Facebook For Pharmaceutical Marketing

Thank you to Matt Arnold for writing this, Matt is Principal Analyst at DRG, follow Matt @MattArnoldRx 


  • Facebook is now offering pharma advertisers a scrolling ISI (Important Safety Info) feature, a design fix for a problem that has bedeviled marketers trying to work within FDA guidelines in space-constrained media. Bayer piloted it with ads for their Betaconnect autoinjector, for MS patients, and announced it at last week’s Digital Pharma East conference. The Bayer ad also features a “Call now” button connecting users to live nurse support.


  • Perhaps equally importantly, Facebook is reversing its policy prohibiting pharmas from turning off comments for posts about branded products, thereby removing the burden of monitoring them for reports of adverse events that they’d have to pass on to FDA. It’s a far cry from 5 years ago, when Facebook basically shrugged in the face of industry exasperation over the comments-on mandate, and suggests that the digital megalith is finally taking pharma seriously as a revenue center.




  • Incidentally, a study published earlier this month calculated doctors’ partisan political affiliation by specialty. Surgeons were the most GOP-leaning — 67% were registered Republicans, while infectious disease specialists were equally Democratic-leaning. Overall, physicians lean slightly to the left – 54% are registered Democrats.


  • Prices aren’t just on the up for innovative specialty drugs – prices for several brands of insulin have risen sharply in recent years. Says The Post: “The history of insulin captures one of the mystifying complexities of the pharmaceutical market — how long-standing drugs become more expensive with time and competition fails to hold down prices.”





  • Teva and IBM are deepening their partnership to focus on finding new indications for existing drugs and improving chronic disease management. As mobihealthnews notes, Teva acquired smart inhaler maker Gecko Health Innovations last year, so this isn’t their first time around the disease management rodeo.






  • How about a prescription for a video game? Akili Labs is seeking FDA approval to market its Project: Evo game for prescription to ADHD patients, and the developer’s CEO foresees the use of multiple games in combination acting as “a neural CrossFit training.”


  • AARP launched (in beta) a comprehensive caregiver support website, dubbed CareConnection, that combines telehealth features (from Teladoc), in-home care support (from CareLinx and Hometeam), meal delivery (bistroMD) and advice from UnitedHealthcare professionals, along with a mobile app and a social component.