Here I was thinking that this article would be a piece of cake. The FDA intended to issue its guidance on how pharmaceutical companies could use social media by the end of 2010. I thought for sure this column would be prime real estate.
At the 2010 ePatient
conference in October, the Lance Armstrong Foundation reiterated Lance's belief that it is "the obligation of the cured" to help others navigate a health crisis. Pharma companies fundamentally exist to fulfill this obligation and advance patient health. While this mission is commendable, at the end of the day, big Pharma is big business too. And business is suffering as Pharma becomes increasingly peripheral to the healthcare conversation.
The price of admission for having a business in five years is to remain relevant to your consumers. But how can an industry remain relevant when customers ...
By bringing the doctor and patient into the mix and providing a platform where they can seriously discuss both disease and solution, a pharmaceutical company could be taking leaps into health care's future. The technologies are there. What we need is imagination and investment to create collaborative care platforms that will evolve doctor-patient dialogue to a whole new level.
Whether it's an ache in your back, your heart starts beating like it's on overdrive or maybe you spend a good part of your day in the bathroom, dealing with your health is one of those things people would rather not do. So they put it off for as long as they possibly can, until one day things get bad and that usually motivates them to deal with their health and to begin their journey to finding out what's actually wrong with them.
While no single piece of information would convince an audience that a pharma company didn't have ulterior motives, the eventual cumulative effect of providing such a service could convince many that the company is truly interested in the wellness of its customers.
Let's see if Share of Influence can be the first real step towards remaking pharma into world class companies organized around the needs of their customers. That, I think we can all agree, would be one big, sweet step forward.
While the technologies of communication and marketing have undergone massive and rapid transformation -- the fundamental restriction on the pharma industry stands unchanged.
As we explore the pharmaceutical digital marketing frontier of unlimited creativity and innovation, it's also important to remember who it serves. Without meaningful mental and psychological connections, your digital message, no matter how cleverly crafted, may just turn into cyber-space junk.
Pharma has a unique ability, in fact a responsibility, to educate patients as much as possible. Why should a little extra scrutiny stand in the way? As a company, if you are there for the right reasons and keep the patient at the center of your decision-making process, you will welcome the added attention. What are you waiting for?
What are the implications of widespread networked EMR adoption in the age of social media? There are many.