Medical Communication

Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

>Evolving use of Social Media in Healthcare Business

Posted by drneelesh on December 11, 2010

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A social network diagramI


Most businesses have discovered that word of mouth advertising and networking are two of the most successful ways to find new business or clients. Social media is simply a way to network and use word of mouth, online. Small and Medium size business, especially in healthcare,  are seeing the most benefits from use of social media.


Check this Hospital Social Network List by Ed Bennett comprising of all the hospitals in the US on Social Media.


The Presentation below has just been voted amongst the top 3 presentations of 2010 on Slideshare.
If you are not using social media strategies in your marketing plan, Now is the time to start.

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Posted in marketing, Social Media | 1 Comment »

Promotional mix for Pharma medcom

Posted by drneelesh on April 26, 2010

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One role of pharmaceutical research companies is to provide information about their medicines to health care professionals. This interaction between pharmaceutical representatives and health care professionals is often referred to as “marketing and promotion.”A number of tools and media are available for marketing communications in pharmaceuticals. Many avenues like detailing and samples have been overused and scant attention paid to other equally, if not more effective avenues.







Detail aids and materials – Traditionally, detailing via sales representatives has been the most often used avenue for medical communication. Nowadays, with increasing difficulty in arranging a face-to-face meetings with doctors, many companies are looking at using e-detailing in place of live detailing through sales rep. This is because a shift to e-detailing erases all logistics problems associated with physical presence of a sales rep at the doctor’s clinic, fully armed with a large number of visual aids.


Samples – This is a very important and often frowned upon tool. Samples are effective ways of demonstrating a drugs’ effectiveness and its importance cannot be underestimated.


Speaker programs – Though such speaker programs can be arranged through a live speaker program or technologically enabled via web casts, studies have shown more effectiveness for live speaker programs.


Journal advertising and Medical publications – An ethical dilemma to many. I shall comment more on this in one of my later posts.


Medical education and Patient education programs

DTC advertisingWith about 18 to 20 % of Indian drug market consisting of OTC (Over-the-counter) drugs, its a mystery what is being done in this arena. A few new advertisements on television do bring about a whiff of change, though.

Posted in marketing, Media | Leave a Comment »

Youtube for pharma marketing.- Best practices

Posted by drneelesh on October 29, 2009

YouTube, LLC

Recently read this post from Rohit Bhargava  titled “10 Rules Of Using YouTube For Pharma & Healthcare Marketing“. Though I don’t back all his logic, i found many of his views very important and worth repeating in another post. I have taken the liberty to add a few extra notes, while editing  many of his.
Youtube is a great channel for marketing and many Pharmaceutical companies are already actively involved.Check the playlist below for a few examples. 

               EIGHT RULES OF PHARMA MARKETING WITH YOUTUBE:

1) DO create a video as short as possible.
Short is sweet , simple and sexy. Ideally keep it between 2 and 4 minutes.

2) DO use descriptive language in the title.
The title is what will get you in the search listings , and ignite your viewers interest.Be sure to write the most interesting and compelling description you can

3) DO choose your thumbnail wisely.
This is the first Visual the viewers would focus on.Get the most visually interesting image you can to use as the thumbnail..

4) DO allow embedding and ratings on your video.   
That will let your video go viral , and prove its popularity.

5) DON’T allow comments on YouTube videos. 
Youtube comments are generally lowbrow.If you want to create dialogue, bring the video onto your own site and invite comments there instead.

6) DO integrate your video(s) with other online efforts
Make your video channel a part of your complete online marketing strategy.

7) DON’T expect people to just find your video through search.
Have an active promotional strategy.

8) DON’T forget to follow all the Regulatory guidelines.
Take care to comply with all the required legal and regulatory language. FDA is getting tougher on such “abuse” of online marketing efforts.

Original post here- 

Also see

Posted in marketing, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »

Youtube for pharma marketing.- Best practices

Posted by drneelesh on October 29, 2009

YouTube, LLC
Recently read this post from Rohit Bhargava  titled “10 Rules Of Using YouTube For Pharma & Healthcare Marketing“. Though I don’t back all his logic, i found many of his views very important and worth repeating in another post. I have taken the liberty to add a few extra notes, while editing  many of his.
Youtube is a great channel for marketing and many Pharmaceutical companies are already actively involved.Check the playlist below for a few examples. 

               EIGHT RULES OF PHARMA MARKETING WITH YOUTUBE:

1) DO create a video as short as possible.
Short is sweet , simple and sexy. Ideally keep it between 2 and 4 minutes.
2) DO use descriptive language in the title.
The title is what will get you in the search listings , and ignite your viewers interest.Be sure to write the most interesting and compelling description you can
3) DO choose your thumbnail wisely.
This is the first Visual the viewers would focus on.Get the most visually interesting image you can to use as the thumbnail..
4) DO allow embedding and ratings on your video.   
That will let your video go viral , and prove its popularity.
5) DON’T allow comments on YouTube videos. 
Youtube comments are generally lowbrow.If you want to create dialogue, bring the video onto your own site and invite comments there instead.
6) DO integrate your video(s) with other online efforts
Make your video channel a part of your complete online marketing strategy.
7) DON’T expect people to just find your video through search.
Have an active promotional strategy.
8) DON’T forget to follow all the Regulatory guidelines.
Take care to comply with all the required legal and regulatory language. FDA is getting tougher on such “abuse” of online marketing efforts.
Original post here- 

Posted in marketing, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »

FDA regulations for e-marketing of Drugs

Posted by drneelesh on October 27, 2009

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Sales and marketing in the Pharmaceutical industry has always been a very expensive affair, with some people claiming that the industry spends more money on marketing than on R&D.The emergence of internet technologies, and especially Web2.0, has dramatically changed the scope and potential of marketing functions for most industries, except pharmaceuticals. Why?
Because there are NO clear guidelines by the regulatory authorities.

Regulatory guidelines are sorely lacking for direct-to-consumer spending by pharmaceutical companies using internet media Though FDA has been working on this for a long time, no concrete guidelines on Direct-to-Consumer marketing have emerged yet.

Podcast with Dr. Jean Ah Kang, Special Assistant to Tom Abrams at DDMAC in charge of Web 2.0 policy

The pharmaceutical industry is a heavily regulated sector and needs FDA approval for (almost) all their medical communication materials. Though a few companies like Pfizer and Novartis have been wetting their toes in the social media ocean, most are hesitant to take initiative because of absence of guidelines.

Healthcare + Social Media: 2009 Trends and strategy
The dilemma of not having regulatory guidelines for marketing via such tools as Twitter, Face book, blogs and websites, came to a head in April of 2009 when the FDA sent warning letters to 14 companies for search- engine ads that the FDA said violated regulations regarding presentation of fair balance. The industry argues that the regulations requiring disclosure of risk information in print and broadcast advertisements should not be applied to internet ads that only contain 12 words on Google ads, or 140 characters on Twitter.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will now hold a two-day public hearing on November 12 and 13 in Washington, on how pharmaceutical companies use the web and social-media tools to market their products,  the first step in a long overdue process that will finally establish guidelines for how drug makers proceed in a Web 2.0 world.
“This meeting and the written comments are intended to  help guide FDA in making policy decisions on the promotion of human and animal prescription drugs and biologics and medical devices using the Internet and social media tools,”
 “Although the agency believes that many issues can be addressed through existing FDA regulations, special characteristics of Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies may require the agency to provide additional guidance to the industry on how the regulations should be applied.”
Very few expect the hearing to provide any solid guidelines so soon, but the inclusion of social media enthusiasts in this  meeting is a very positive sign from the FDA.

Not all are optimistic about the use of Social media in pharmaceutical marketing.Some of them are sitting on the fence while others believe social media tools may not be the path to be followed by Pharmaceuticals.

Related articles-



Posted in Business, marketing, Prescription drug, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

P&G as models for Public Health and Social Marketers

Posted by drneelesh on September 16, 2009

What Public Health and Social Marketers Can Learn From P&G: “
P&G brands
While many people in social marketing and public health often look to companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike as models for successful consumer marketing to aspire to, P&G stands out among the best and most innovative. What is most attractive to me about P&G is that they have 10 different business areas, ranging from baby care to home care, with 43 brands of over a half billion USD each. If you are in the public health business – not just the obesity, physical activity, breast cancer, HIV prevention or tobacco control business – then the way P&G creates and manages a portfolio of brands, not a unitary one, is where you should go to school.
Here are a few nuggets quoted from their annual report – the core strengths to win:
1. No company in the world has invested more in consumer and market research than P&G. We interact with more than five million consumers each year in nearly 60 countries around the world. We conduct over 15,000 research studies every year. We invest more than $350 million a year in consumer understanding. This results in insights that tell us where the innovation opportunities are and how to serve and communicate with consumers.
2. P&G is the innovation leader in our industry. Virtually all the organic sales growth we’ve delivered in the past nine years has come from new brands and new or improved product innovation. We continually strengthen our innovation capability and pipeline by investing two times more, on average, than our major competitors. In addition, we multiply our internal innovation capability with a global network of innovation partners outside
P&G. More than half of all product innovation coming from P&G today includes at least one major component from an external partner.
3. P&G is the brand-building leader of our industry. We’ve built the strongest portfolio of brands in the industry with 23 billion-dollar brands and 20 half-billion-dollar brands. These 43 brands account for 85% of
sales and more than 90% of profit. Twelve of the billion-dollar brands are the #1 global market share leaders of their categories. The majority of the balance are #2.
4. We’ve established industry-leading go-to-market capabilities. P&G is consistently ranked by leading retailers in industry surveys as a preferred supplier and as the industry leader in a wide range of capabilities including clearest company strategy, brands most important to retailers, strong business fundamentals and innovative marketing programs.
5. Over the decades, we have also established significant scale advantages as a total company and in individual categories, countries and retail channels. P&G’s scale advantage is driven as much by knowledge sharing, common systems and processes, and best practices as it is by size and scope.
6. P&G has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best companies for leaders. We work hard at leadership development because, as a build-from-within company, our future success is entirely dependent on the ongoing strength of our talent pipeline.
Put another way:
Public health agencies should invest significant proportions of their resources in 
(1) talking with and understanding their audiences (rather than a few focus groups here and there), 
(2) innovating in public health programs (rather than recreating wheels or sitting still waiting for
evidence bases to develop), 
(3) creating and sustaining strong public health program brands (not their corporate image), 
(4) being the go-to partner for public health retailers or intermediaries (not someone to avoid because of bureaucracy and painful ‘processes’), 
(5) having in place common systems for getting things done across disease and behavioral risk areas 
(6) developing leaders ratherthan rewarding the status quo.
To sum it all up, as the new CEO Bob McDonald phrases it:

I believe it comes down to one simple and remarkably constant
factor: the clarity and constancy of P&G’s Purpose. Since the Company was
founded, we’ve been in the business of providing daily essentials that improve
the quality of people’s lives. We help people care for their babies, pets and
homes. We make everyday chores easier to do. We help people look and feel
better. We’ve stayed true to the inspiring Purpose of touching and improving
people’s lives in meaningful ways.

Posted in Business, marketing, Public Health | Leave a Comment »

Marketing prescription drugs in India- Guidelines

Posted by drneelesh on June 27, 2009

188px-India_(orthographic_projection).svg

The guidelines for pharmaceutical marketing are typically debated all over the world, more so in India. Many issues are not clear and the drug industry interprets the rules the best it can . Cases of unethical promotion of drugs to the health care industry come up with regularity in the western world. Fortunately, no major case has been reported in the Indian media at present. But thats because many such unethical promotional activities havent come to light. There is an urgent need to inform all the concerned parties of the regulatory Dos and Donts of pharmaceutical marketing in India.

Promotion of drugs in India is governed by three major documents. THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS ACT, 1940 is defined as An Act to regulate the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics in India. It has last been amended in 1995 and new amendments are overdue. The Rules 96 and 97 of THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS RULES, 1945 describe the essential information to be provided regarding labeling of drugs. The product monograph should comprise the full prescribing information necessary to enable a physician to use the drug properly. It should include description, actions, indications, dosage precaution, drug interactions, warnings and adverse reactions.

The OPPI code of conduct ( effective since 1st January 2007) sets out the guidelines to be followed for promotion of prescription drugs to the health care industry. It is based on the IFPMA code and incorporates local region ( India) specific guidelines. it sets out certain principles basic to the ethical promotion of pharmaceuticals in the country. Though it is widely followed, it is not legally binding and the final responsibility for implementation lies with the pharmaceutical marketing organizations themselves.

Below is a short presentation document outlining the Major points in marketing pharmacutical products to the health care industry.
http://bit.ly/nHqwE–

Posted in Business, Guidelines, India, marketing | Leave a Comment »

Marketing prescription drugs in India- Guidelines

Posted by drneelesh on June 27, 2009

188px-India_(orthographic_projection).svg

The guidelines for pharmaceutical marketing are typically debated all over the world, more so in India. Many issues are not clear and the drug industry interprets the rules the best it can . Cases of unethical promotion of drugs to the health care industry come up with regularity in the western world. Fortunately, no major case has been reported in the Indian media at present. But thats because many such unethical promotional activities havent come to light. There is an urgent need to inform all the concerned parties of the regulatory Dos and Donts of pharmaceutical marketing in India.

Promotion of drugs in India is governed by three major documents. THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS ACT, 1940 is defined as An Act to regulate the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics in India. It has last been amended in 1995 and new amendments are overdue. The Rules 96 and 97 of THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS RULES, 1945 describe the essential information to be provided regarding labeling of drugs. The product monograph should comprise the full prescribing information necessary to enable a physician to use the drug properly. It should include description, actions, indications, dosage precaution, drug interactions, warnings and adverse reactions.

The OPPI code of conduct ( effective since 1st January 2007) sets out the guidelines to be followed for promotion of prescription drugs to the health care industry. It is based on the IFPMA code and incorporates local region ( India) specific guidelines. it sets out certain principles basic to the ethical promotion of pharmaceuticals in the country. Though it is widely followed, it is not legally binding and the final responsibility for implementation lies with the pharmaceutical marketing organizations themselves.

Below is a short presentation document outlining the Major points in marketing pharmacutical products to the health care industry.
http://bit.ly/nHqwE–

Posted in Business, Guidelines, India, marketing | Leave a Comment »

Glogging in Medical communication

Posted by drneelesh on April 22, 2009

I have often seen Glogs on other blogs and websites and have been attracted to them, though i usually don’t like the Untidy look that most glogs seem to favor. So i tried to make a glog for myself which is tidier and could be put to creative business use as a tool for digital marketing media. Well done, a Glog can be very attractive and eye catching.Just an experiment, really, but exciting.
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Posted in Business, marketing | Leave a Comment »

Glogging in Medical communication

Posted by drneelesh on April 22, 2009

Mobility and the Future of Marketing and Adver...
I have often seen Glogs on other blogs and websites and have been attracted to them, though i usually don’t like the untidy look that most glogs seem to favor. So i tried to make a slightly tidier glog for myself which could be put to creative business use as a tool for digital marketing media. Well done, a Glog can be very attractive and eye catching.Just an experiment, really, but exciting.

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Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Business, marketing | Leave a Comment »