Friday, August 1, 2014

In Case You Missed It

  • Google introduces Baseline, an effort to benchmark the healthy human body at the molecular level. Google is betting that diagnostics is the next big thing in healthcare. Can they  uncover all of the biomarkers and become the, er, Google of genomics?
  • Meanwhile, 23andMe just got 1.4 million from the NIH to upgrade their database and share data with researchers looking for genetic disease factors – despite their disagreements with FDA over the banned health-centered version of their test.  

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Digital Competitive Landscape Spotlight: Facebook pages for consumers

by Mehek Punatar, Healthcare Analyst

Three years ago, pharmas pulled their Facebook product pages down en masse after Facebook announced it would require them to keep comments live. Since then, FDA has given industry a little more clarity as to its views on user-generated or third-party content and reporting of real-time communications, but pharmas so far continue to shy away from branded Facebook pages – with rare exception.

Through Manhattan Research’s new Digital Competitive Landscape offering, we scanned 161 consumer product websites across 19 therapeutic categories. While most pharmas have corporate pages on Facebook, we found only two branded Facebook pages linked to their consumer product websites – one for Novartis’ MS treatment Gilenya and another for UCB’s epilepsy drug Vimpat. The average age for MS patients and epilepsy patients in our ePharma Consumer® study was under 50, and as a general rule, the younger a patient is, the heavier their social media use.

Gilenya’s Facebook page features a “Let’s Talk” app – essentially a click-through moderated comments page separate from the main brand page (comments are reviewed before posting) – as well as its “Marley’s World” game app.  Vimpat’s page features a “Take the Pledge” app, along with apps for patient assistance and support and for risk information.

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According to Manhattan Research’s ePharma Consumer® 2013, 11% of online U.S. consumers have “liked” a pharma company or brand Facebook page, and another 16% are interested in doing so. This represents about a quarter of the consumer population that either have or would like to connect with pharma companies through Facebook.

Even in light of the new guidance, pharmas face a stringent regulatory environment in social media, and most aren’t prepared to respond “at the speed of social.” Given only moderate consumer interest, compounded by the fact that patients in many categories may be uncomfortable sharing experiences in a public forum, we expect that for the time being, pharmas will continue to shy away from product Facebook pages and focus on social listening or non-product specific Facebook efforts.




Friday, July 18, 2014

In Case You Missed It

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Are payer portals worth it for pharmas?

by Matthew Arnold, Principal Analyst image

Eisai’s Belviq.com pipes payers through to Belviqmanagedmarkets.com via a tab atop the HCP page.

As hospitals and health systems seek to control drug costs through increasingly restrictive formularies, drug companies are eager to reach the people that call the shots on what treatments are covered. Pharmas have beefed up their market access units in recent years, hiring reps to detail payers, and some have begun investing in digital tactics targeting payers. Many are now debating whether or not to invest in payer portals, dedicated websites or microsites purpose-built to meet the needs of the pharmacopeia’s gatekeepers.

So should they? It’s a big investment in both dollars and operational commitment. Findings from Manhattan Research’s Taking the Pulse® Formulary Decision Makers study may provide some direction.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Digital Competitive Landscape spotlight: diabetes resources for nurses

by Mehek Punatar, Healthcare Analyst

Nurses are a vital part of a diabetic patient’s healthcare team, and providing pharma resources for them is crucial. Manhattan Research’s brand new offering, the Digital Competitive Landscape, scanned the diabetes market and found a lack of support resources for nurses.

One exception was Quick Cases In Diabetes, by Sanofi -  a novel initiative that provides hospital, long-term care and senior care staff with training resources to help manage diabetes patients. The website offers separate modules for the three, as shown in the screenshot below.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

In Case You Missed It

  • Following Apple’s HealthKit and Samsung’s SAMI, Google has unveiled Fit, its entrant in the health and fitness data aggregator race, and like Samsung (but unlike Apple), seems to be focusing more on the fitness and less on the connected health angle that’s very much a part of HealthKit. And here’s Heartbeat’s Bill Drummy on why it all matters.
  • Verizon is getting into the telehealth game with Virtual Visits, a platform for urgent care consults via smartphone.
  • Physicians Interactive (now backed by Merck Global Health Innovation Fund) has acquired MedHelp, maker of patient support and education apps. It’s an interesting move into the consumer side for PI, which to date has been pretty physician-focused in their product offerings, and may offer validation for companies investing in patient support and surrounding the patient-physician dialogue.
  • PBMs seem to finally getting tough with Pharma, and it’s really putting a dent in sales of some major products. An important development in the tug-of-war between payers and pharmas over drug costs.



Friday, June 20, 2014

In Case You Missed It

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The inaugural Cannes health advertising awards panel caught pharma snoozing.

  • FDA has issued two more draft guidances on social media – these ones addressing character-constrained formats like Twitter and how companies can correct misinformation from third parties online. Here’s our first read of it, and here’s coverage from Pharmalot, Regulatory Focus and Bloomberg.
  • Sanofi and Medtronic are forming a diabetes partnership centered on disease management. Medtronic brings pumps and continuous monitoring tech to the table, while Sanofi brings its array of insulins and drugs for diabetes (along with some tech chops of their own, having developed the iBGStar and GoMeals app). Some interesting quotes about where Sanofi’s going with this here.
  • Google is jumping into the health data aggregation platform fray as they prepare to unveil Google Fit, which will go up against Apple’s HealthKit and Samsung’s SAMI platforms.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FDA to pharma: better fair balance those Tweets and sponsored links (character constraints or no)

by Matthew Arnold, Principal Analyst

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The FDA has just released two more draft guidances on topics concerning pharma use of social and digital media – one addressing how companies can correct misinformation from third parties about their products online (and whether they’re obligated to, which – spoiler alert – they’re generally not), the other on the use of space-constrained online media like Twitter and paid search, ala Google’s AdWords with Sitelinks.

Let’s look at the latter. The question of how companies can meet fair balance requirements in character-limited formats has been a major barrier to pharma use of social media. With this guidance, FDA is saying, first of all, that the medium just isn’t suited to complex and high-risk products:

For some products, particularly those with complex indications or extensive serious risks, character space limitations imposed by platform providers may not enable meaningful presentations of both benefit and risk

The agency is clear that where marketers make a product benefit claim – including what the product is indicated for – they must also provide risk information within the same Tweet or sponsored link.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

In Case You Missed It

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HealthKit and Apple’s edge with HCPs

by Matthew Arnold, Principal Analyst

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Brian Dolan has an astute observation on the health data tracking platform battle shaping up between Apple’s HealthKit and Samsung’s SAMI:

Apple is making a concerted effort to bring health tracking data into patient-provider consultations. Samsung presented a platform and device that might have considerable value if used by certain patients and providers, but Samsung didn’t offer up ideas for how to connect those two groups. It was much more focused on wellness and fitness than healthcare.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Apple’s thinking about the patient-provider dialogue, given the strong preference of healthcare providers for the company’s phones and tablets.

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