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Rescooped by Zoe Elliott Dunn from Pharma!

A social pill for pharma

A social pill for pharma | Health |

Pharmaceutical companies are slow to board the social media bus, but the rest of the healthcare industry isn’t waiting around.


Online health information is readily available, and consumers have no reservations about tapping the Internet and social environments to find it.

Via Andrew Spong
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Rescooped by Zoe Elliott Dunn from Social Media and Healthcare!

Facebook Can Help Doctors Today

Facebook Can Help Doctors Today | Health |

A recent search for doctors on Facebook reveals more than 1,000 pages including a mixed bag of public figures like Mehmet Oz, authors (Ben Carson), and inevitably, fictitious characters like Dr. House. Scroll down a bit and you will start to see pages for physicians with everyday types of practices.

Why would a physician be on Facebook? Because this is where their patients and potential patients spend time online. According to Pew, 72% of American adults who go online use Facebook.

Doctors Must Remember Their Practice Is A Businesses

Facebook is business-friendly and easy to use. Its business pages offer templates for different kinds of businesses and lets doctors designate themselves as a local business, a community resource, or a doctor or specialist. Doctors can also give themselves a Medical & Health designation.

A personal page is not permitted for any business. This works to your benefit as there are no hard feelings when you—rightly—decline to “friend” a patient. Facebook business pages do not allow Friends, only Likes.

Facebook’s business tools help businesses get information about people who visit their pages. Once you get 25 Likes for your page, you can personalize your URL and learn about your page’s performance, including:

People who visited, including gender, nation, city, languagePage reach, including the number of people who read a post and whether it was found “organically” or by a Facebook or other paid ad; and Likes, comments, and sharingPost performance including information on how people engaged with a post by clicking on it, Liking, commenting, and sharing it

Target Your Ads to Specific Audiences

Facebook allows for highly targeted ads. According to a 2012 Nielson Study, its targeted advertising tool reaches 91% of its intended audience, compared to 27% of other online advertising.

You may pay for Facebook’s advertising based upon the number of clicks on an ad or the number of impressions your ad gets. It offers guidance on where to place an ad (in the News feed or on the right-side column) and lets you define a target audience as small as a zip code or city or as large as a state or country, and by age, gender and more.

For example, a doctor who is trying to sell a book on men’s health can choose a national audience of men ages 30-60, while one who wants to attract more patients in their 40s who live in Scottsdale, Arizona can drill down to this level. You can also decide on the days and times your ad appears.

Advertising data are provided and break down demographics of people who clicked on an ad for your page and how they interacted with it, when they visited, and for how long.

Another Way to Communicate With Patients

Posting general medical or health information on your Facebook page is a great way to reach out to current patients, potential patients, and people interested in what you have to say. The more who people who Like you, the more your page becomes visible to their network.

Let’s say you want to tell people about how the American Heart Association botched its new guidelines for statin treatments. Post an article about it with a comment summarizing your opinion. Something like “Don’t panic—they took it all back” can help soothe people who just learned (erroneously) they should have been taking Lipitor since middle school.

Never use your business page for personal communications. Follow HIPAA guidelines for any individual patient communication and for the management of your Facebook presence. This might mean choosing carefully who you have managing your Facebook page. Not everyone is familiar with the HIPAA guidelines.

Keep in mind too that HIPAA guidelines might influence whether a patient Likes your page. For example, I had a doctor client who was an endocrinologist specializing in Diabetes. One of her patients was hesitant to Like her Facebook page because she didn’t want other people to know my client was her doctor because then people would know she had diabetes.

Facebook Influences Decisions

Facebook is a trusted resource for many people. Someone seeking out a recommendation for a physician, or wanting learn more about a particular one, may turn to Facebook and their Facebook friends.

While developing your online strategy, doctors would be wise to put Facebook in the mix and give it some thought. Many will benefit from a strong Facebook presence.

Via Plus91
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Rescooped by Zoe Elliott Dunn from Patient Centered Healthcare!

Pharmacist–patient relationship is key in #adherence to #cancer meds

Pharmacist–patient relationship is key in #adherence to #cancer meds | Health |

With the availability of more oral and topical drugs for the treatment of cancer, it’s surprising to learn that adherence to cancer medication is a common problem among patients. “One of the thoughts that a lot of people had was that because cancer medicines are treating a life-threatening disease, patients would be much more certain to take medications as instructed,” said J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society, in an interview with Pharmacy Today. 

But research has shown otherwise, according to Lichtenfeld. Adherence is a problem even though oral cancer drugs—such as the older and widely used tamoxifen, as well as newer oral drugs including aromatise inhibitors, imatinib mesylate, erlotinib, and capcetabine—have fewer adverse effects and are better tolerated than I.V. chemotherapy drugs. 

There is no “one size fits all” explanation for lack of adherence to medications that treat a life-threatening disease like cancer. Reasons cited include adverse effects that exist even with oral and topical drugs that are better tolerated, the cost of medications, a sense of fatalism about the disease, lack of support from family members and caregivers, and, especially among older adults who often take many medications, the difficulty in remembering to take their meds or in understanding how to take them correctly. 

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Via Parag Vora
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Rescooped by Zoe Elliott Dunn from Pharma Biotech Industry Review (Krishan Maggon)!

FDA allows marketing for first of-its-kind post-natal test to help diagnose developmental delays and intellectual disabilities in children

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized for marketing the Affymetrix CytoScan Dx Assay, which can detect chromosomal variations that may be responsible for a child’s developmental delay or intellectual disability. Based on a blood sample, the test can analyze the entire genome at one time and detect large and small chromosomal changes. According to the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, two to three percent of children in the United States have some form of intellectual disability. Many intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome, are associated with chromosomal variations.   The FDA reviewed the Affymetrix CytoScan Dx Assay through its de novo classification process, a regulatory pathway for some novel low-moderate-risk medical devices. For the de novo petition, the FDA’s review of the CytoScan Dx Assay included an analytical evaluation of the test’s ability to accurately detect numerous chromosomal variations of different types, sizes, and genome locations when compared to several analytically validated test methods.  The FDA found that the CytoScan Dx Assay could analyze a patient’s entire genome and adequately detect chromosome variations in regions of the genome associated with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, the agency’s review included a study that compared the performance of the CytoScan Dx Assay to tests that are commonly used for detecting chromosomal variations associated with a developmental delay or intellectual disability. A comparison of test results from 960 blood specimens showed the CytoScan Dx had improved ability over commonly used tests, including karyotyping and FISH chromosomal tests, to detect certain chromosomal abnormalities. This device should not be used for stand-alone diagnostic purposes, pre-implantation or prenatal testing or screening, population screening, or for the detection of, or screening for acquired or genetic aberrations occurring after birth, such as cancer. The test results should only be used in conjunction with other clinical and diagnostic findings, consistent with professional standards of practice, including confirmation by alternative methods, evaluation of parental samples, clinical genetic evaluation, and counseling as appropriate. Interpretation of test results is intended to be performed only by health care professionals who are board certified in clinical cytogenetics or molecular genetics. Affymetrix CytoScan Dx Assay is manufactured by Affymetrix, Inc., located in Santa Clara, Calif. The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.  

Via Krishan Maggon
Elizabeth W.'s curator insight, March 25, 2014 3:15 PM

This is an interesting study and concept but part of me is skeptical of how applicable it will be or useful. This article states that there is a tool that will be able to measure a whole genome and see its chromosomal pattern and therefore be able to identify if someone has an intellectual disability. By doing this, the article states then that support systems can be put into place to help the child. This ,however, should not be done to stand-alone diagnosing or be used for pre-implantation or prenatal screening. I am skeptical of this concept because I am not able to see its important use. Even when the intellectual disability can be identified, it cannot be prevented. The article does state that it can be useful for intervening but didn't go into specifics. Perhaps  there is more to this than I understand but the article didn't explain things in detail about what specific benefits it has and how it is different from our current system.