Social media may be a potential minefield for Big Pharma, but some companies are finding their way safely. One of them is Sanofi ($SNY), which recovered from a Facebook slap from a disgruntled patient to move into the online networking world in a big way, at least when it comes to diabetes.
The French drugmaker, like several of its rivals, is counting on growth in the diabetes market to help fuel its own sales. One way Sanofi is trying to set itself apart from other makers of diabetes medications is by engaging with patients online.
And it's doing that with its own mini-web of efforts, Fast Company reports. Sanofi interacts with patients via existing patient communities, Twitter, Facebook, a website reference called Diabetapedia, and its own forums, where comments are carefully monitored to keep from running afoul of FDA. The company has also set up a site known as The DX, with its own blogs and other content, as well as outward links.
And then there's the web support behind the IBGStar, that blood glucose monitor that plugs into an iPhone or iPod Touch. Its app tracks blood sugar info and logs exercise and meals. Its dedicated website offers patients video tutorials and other resources.
Fast Company notes that the current product will be tweaked as comments from the patient community roll in. "It's a big hit with the online community," Laura Kolodjeski, Sanofi's diabetes community manager, told the magazine. "It's also given us a great opportunity to prove back to them that if we hear someone comment about something, we have the ability to engage in a public manner."
- read the Fast Company story
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