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Want to score on social, pharma? Follow Sanofi's lead, experts say | FiercePharma

Want to score on social, pharma? Follow Sanofi's lead, experts say | FiercePharma | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

Sanofi could have just let it go. When actress Roseanne Barr blamed its sleep aid Ambien for a racist post, the pharma company could have simply ignored it and let the Twitterverse call out the inaccuracy. Instead, Sanofi seized the moment and responded with a pithy, yet relevant and product-accurate tweet response that wryly noted: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

That sort of real-time social media response isn't easy to pull off effectively. Consumer brands like Moon Pie, Wendy's and Oreo do it regularly, but there are also plenty of big brand social media flops to make companies think twice about going for the clever retort.

 

Which makes Sanofi’s leap even more significant: It's a regulated pharma company that has to send its messaging through compliance reviews. But Sanofi’s U.S. communication team moved fast enough to write, vet and post the response within hours of the original tweet, stepping into the cultural conversation as it happened.

  

Social media experts applauded and consumers responded—the post has been retweeted 68,800 times and liked by 186,000 accounts. It also garnered more than 6,100 comments with many people replying  “thank you,” “well done” or posting congratulatory memes. The previous top performing post from @SanofiUS garnered 78 retweets and 241 likes.

 

Pharma marketing insiders, meanwhile, praised Sanofi for its message, timing and boost to pharma social media credibility overall.

Julie Hurvitz Aliaga, vice president of social media at CMI/Compas said via email, “They tackled it before it had an opportunity to be an issue, educated about their drug and what it does not do, and won praise for doing so—as being a company who is not going to sit back and watch—but take action to educate.”

The balance of humor and seriousness was important, noted Klick Health’s senior director of social practice Brad Einarsen in a blog post: “The dry wit that infuses the tweet itself is fantastically balanced. There are many very serious issues surrounding these events, and we cannot lose sight of that, but the understated facts really pull off the corporate message and provide just the right amount of spark for others on Twitter to carry it along.”

 

RELATED: Pharma's social media strategies are growing up—and working better, too, report finds

 

Wendy Blackburn, vice president at healthcare and pharma agency Intouch Solutions, added her own kudos and hope for the industry: “Good for Sanofi for standing up and speaking out. I applaud their ability to react with swift action. Done the right way, we’d all like to see more of this from pharma.”

For pharma companies that might be interested in doing that, she offered a few tips. Companies should listen especially for well-known people or celebrity mentions of their brands because whether positive or negative, those get a lot of attention on social media. She also advised setting up an action plan so that the company can act quickly in those moments. And finally, just do it.

“Respond as immediately as possible. Current events move too quickly. Tomorrow is too late,” Blackburn said.

 

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How AI Will Reshape the Pharma Industry and Make Marketing Easier Than Ever –

How AI Will Reshape the Pharma Industry and Make Marketing Easier Than Ever – | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

Medicine revolves around quality of and access to care. For the pharmaceutical industry, that means delivering the right information and pharmaceutical response to those who need it. Often, that response has been via a doctor’s prescription pad driven from broadly targeted ads on TV or in magazines.

With the help of AI, the pharmaceutical industry will soon be able to proactively and promptly reach out to sufferers to provide a streamlined, personalized treatment experience. That’s just the beginning. AI will also shape R&D, front-line responses, and marketing, just to name a few.

Supported by new insights from AI, the pharma industry of the near future will increasingly take an outcomes-based approach, centered around the “true customer experience”—drawing on the successes of other industries with highly advanced customer experience management. Plus, with new AI research targets that include genomics, proteomics, and DNA sequences, the new pharma landscape will be a patient-centered world where medicine comes to the individual rather than the other way around. “The Patient Will See You Now” will become the new normal.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how AI will help make this vision a reality.

Real-time Monitoring and Outreach

Pharma is well-known for its substantial marketing spend. And yet, as an industry it’s relatively taciturn on social media and with other online discussions. Listening is a different matter. A huge amount of personal medical information is voluntarily shared online through social media networks, ailment-specific forums, and more.

What used to happen on open communities—“public” spaces owned and overseen by companies or organizations—is now taking place on virtual communities. These are adaptive, community-run spaces that are self-owned and self-governed, and which may span multiple networks or domains.

Being able to reach into these spaces, whether public or private, represents a huge opportunity for the pharma of tomorrow. Using AI for real-time social listening, the pharma industry will be able to monitor, identify, and add value to conversations around specific ailments, treatments, and drugs. Say, for example, a patient is suffering from IBS but is unhappy with the current formulation of their medication—specifically how it interacts with medication being taken for a thyroid condition.

An AI can recognize that this patient suffers from two separate conditions and is unhappy with their current formulation. It can then be programmed to reach out to the patient with advice about contacting their doctor about a different formulation or treatment, pointing to a centralized resource.

This same approach can be used to gather information more generally in order to gauge patient satisfaction, issues around a condition, and the market. This can in turn help inform marketing and R&D.

Countering Knowledge Gaps and Bias

Medicine draws upon a knowledge base that we know to be imperfect. Note the known issues in diagnosing heart attacks in women vs. men. Similarly, autoimmune conditions, more common in women than men, have been underdiagnosed or have historically taken a long time to pinpoint and treat. Much of this is due to gaps in clinical data, or biases that have focused on particular groups for particular types of illnesses. Proper, uncolored listening can help shift away from these biases by taking a larger and more comprehensive snapshot of patient data. It can also be used to monitor, identify, and track community sentiment around particular drugs, clinicians, and outcomes.

Using AI to monitor, parse, and understand voluntarily shared information on message boards, health apps, or social media will identify gaps and biases in clinical data or understanding. This knowledge can then be used to direct subsequent studies, marketing outreach, or novel formulations. AI can also be used to create cohorts of patients for enrollment in trials, reducing enrollment time and associated costs, and speeding up the process of getting essential treatments into the hands of sick patients.

This represents a significant benefit not just for those groups who have been traditionally underserved by medicine, but also for pharma companies for whom new R&D and marketing opportunities will open up.

Beware! One very, very common misconception is that an AI is like Spock from Star Trek—a being of perfect logic, uninterested in such petty things as prejudice or systemic social bias. Sadly, AIs are taught based on real-world data, and we’ve seen again and again that this data is biased because society is biased. However, there are some interesting efforts to produce more transparent machine learning processes (if you’re interested, please check out the Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning group).

The New Frontline of Medicine

The way patients engage with healthcare is changing. Dispersed populations, changes in healthcare provision, and a shift towards digital interfaces mean that an RN or family doctor are unlikely to be at the front lines of healthcare in years to come. Convenient and accessible, computers will become the fundamental tool for triage and basic diagnosis.

Under the umbrella of “telemedicine” or “telehealth,” this approach involves the remote provision of real-time medical or well-being services respectively. Using technology and AI in tandem, it seeks to improve the patient experience by delivering on-demand care online and in as seamless a manner as possible.

Imagine chatbots that are able to function as that front line of care. Whether installed on condition-specific sites or forums, or written into the websites of clinics or insurance providers, they’ll be programmed to conduct a basic back-and-forth exchange exploring an individual’s condition and alternatives to treatment. These can complement or even in some instances replace the need to see clinical staff—although to what extent remains to be seen.

As such AI will help take the pressure off front-line staff, while also delivering valuable information about treatment. There is, of course, the need to not be seriously irritating—nobody loves a phone menu where they are stuck in “press 9 to repeat these options,” and chatbots can suffer from the same flaws.

Improved Healthcare Experiences

In healthcare, empathy is key. As AI grows more sophisticated and nuanced, it will give pharmaceutical companies insight into how patients talk about their conditions, treatments, and formulations. This awareness will allow pharma companies to tailor their tonality, topics, and timing to resonate with the needs and expectations of patients.

Moreover, AI will be used to collect and analyze written data in both public and private forums to gauge patient—and practitioner—experience with the healthcare system more generally. These genuine, candid responses will help shape the future delivery of healthcare and ensure better outcomes for all.

The healthcare industry is already monitoring and analyzing patient and practitioner perspectives through surveys and influencer feedback. But with AI’s support, these efforts can scale up, and shift from the general to the granular. In a few years’ time, AI will make pharma marketers’ jobs easier and more streamlined—and patients will benefit too.


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Patient engagement or social media marketing?

Patient engagement or social media marketing? | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

The rising use of social media creates an obvious opportunity for certain parties, such as pharmaceutical companies, to engage with the public in new ways.

Advocates of pharmaceutical companies reaching out to potential customers online suggest the industry has been too reluctant to invest heavily in social media strategies, mainly because of a vague regulatory environment. But skeptics of the practice say the pharmaceutical industry is already gung ho about social media, which some companies appear to be using to circumvent restrictions on direct-to-consumer advertising, a practice legal in only the United States and New Zealand.

In a recent report called “Engaging patients through social media,” the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics states that “the strategies that pharmaceutical companies use to engage with social media could be categorized as low-risk and less innovative than those employed in other industries.”

The report notes that use of social media among US adults has grown from 8% in 2005 to 72% by 2013, and that Facebook is the fourth most popular source of health information in the United Kingdom. These numbers are sure to increase, the report suggests, as so-called digital natives — those as comfortable texting and tweeting as they are walking and breathing — grow into adulthood and become more concerned about their health.

Yet the pharmaceutical industry has been slow to embrace social media, claims the IMS Institute, a company based in Danbury, Connecticut. One reason is the lack of guidance from health regulators — in the US, Canada and Europe — about using social media. In the US, for example, the only restriction seems to be on the promotion of off-label uses of drugs. Some companies may be reluctant to invest heavily in a social media strategy for fear of wasting time and resources should strict regulations come into force.

 

The rising use of social media creates an obvious opportunity for certain parties, such as pharmaceutical companies, to engage with the public in new ways.

Image courtesy of MicroWorks/Thinkstock
 

Other concerns include how — or whether — to handle claims of adverse events received through social media and how to measure return on investment. New strategies would also be required to respond much more quickly to consumer concerns. A slow response can escalate into a public-relations nightmare with tweets, Tumblr and Facebook comments going viral in hours.

“Users of social media now expect to be able to have a conversation with pharmaceutical companies when they face uncertainties,” states the report. “If there is no conversation, or only a standardized answer, it could lead to frustration and be of little overall benefit to both involved parties.”

But what does engaging patients really mean in this context? “When you talk about engagement, it is really about direct marketing to the consumer,” says Timothy Mackey, an investigator for the San Diego Center for Patient Safety at the University of California San Diego.

In a 2011 paper entitled “Prevalence and global health implications of social media in direct-to-consumer drug advertising,” Mackey and colleagues looked at the social media presence of the 10 largest global pharmaceutical corporations. All were active on Facebook, Twitter, sponsored blogs and other social media platforms, and 80% had YouTube channels. Many individual drugs also had dedicated Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

This has led to a new form of direct-to-consumer advertising, developed for interactive social media, which the researchers have dubbed eDTCA 2.0. Though some of these websites state they are intended solely for US residents, the Internet transcends borders. These websites don’t appear to restrict access to web users from outside the US, Mackey and colleagues note in their paper.

“The new consumer is one that is global and connected online, a profile that precisely fits the patient/consumer of eDTCA 2.0,” the paper states. “Public health policy must take into account this new consumer and the rapidly developing digital environment.”

Some websites set up by drug companies (and medical-device manufacturers) to create communities of potential consumers have scant corporate branding and appear to exist primarily to offer free services. These sites, called patient-engagement portals, might offer guidance on how to manage a particular medical problem, such as high blood pressure. They may offer risk assessment tools for sleep apnea or any number of conditions. Some even offer online patient coaches.

“What they are really doing is engaging directly with patients and collecting consumer information, which they may or may not categorize as PHI, or protected health information,” says Mackey. “It’s about getting information directly from the consumer, mining data and using that for their own marketing purposes. That’s why these websites exist.”


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Les patients revalorisent la réputation de la Pharma –

Les patients revalorisent la réputation de la Pharma – | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

"La société anglaise d’études Patient View a publié son panorama de la réputation des firmes pharmaceutiques telle que l’analysent et l‘estiment les associations de patients de 95 pays. En 2017, la branche du médicament se classe au 3e rang pour la réputation d’entreprise parmi neuf secteurs de la santé. Elle regagne ainsi deux places et 5 % par rapport à 2016. En tête du classement des 46 sociétés ou groupes pharmaceutiques passés au crible se situe ViiV Healthcare, une joint venture créée par les laboratoires Pfizer et GSK en novembre 2009. Sanofi ne se place qu’au 15è rang."

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Dream Big: Making a Health Literacy Difference Within an Organization and Beyond (HLOL #174)

Dream Big: Making a Health Literacy Difference Within an Organization and Beyond (HLOL #174) | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

"Laurie Myers is the Global Health Literacy Director for Merck & Co, Inc. In this role, Myers leads the company’s health literacy efforts globally. Her leadership has helped to improve patient communications in medication labeling, packaging, clinical trial materials, lay summaries, patient education, and more. Myers presents this work at conferences around the world and has authored numerous papers about these accomplishments.

 

In this podcast, Laurie Myers talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • A commitment to health literacy that originated with professional training, personal experience, and opportunity. And why a passion for this topic continues years later.
  • Advocacy from leaders, lawyers, and colleagues to initiate and implement health literacy programs.
  • Building on success within a large organization to making a difference worldwide."
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Walking the patient centric talk - PharmaTimes Magazine May 2018

Walking the patient centric talk - PharmaTimes Magazine May 2018 | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
Can pharma prove that being patient centric is more than just a fad?


The empowered patient is on the rise. The internet is a goldmine of health information, patient stories and experiences are shared on social media, and patients are seeking to be treated as partners when it comes to decisions about their healthcare.

“The patient voice is more powerful,” says Isabelle Bocher Pianka, chief patient affairs officer at Ipsen, noting the rise of the patient voice in the fast-changing healthcare environment. “We’re preparing ourselves for the challenge of tomorrow because the patient voice is becoming louder and, it’s clear the industry will need to include this dimension into its entire value chain.”

Being patient centric has been a sentiment that has been discussed by pharma for years. According to Nicola Walsby, managing director, PR, at Syneos Health Communications, the vast majority of pharma has the pillar of being patient-focused but fall short of being truly patient centric, where the patient is the customer rather than the healthcare professional (HCP). “The democratisation of information means patients are more informed than ever before so to treat patients as passive recipients doesn’t align with what consumers experience with other brands,” Walsby says. “Being patient centric will become increasingly important for companies. I want to see pharma walk the talk and live and breathe  patient centricity.”

But whittling down the nuts and bolts of patient centricity is complex. According to Walsby, being patient centric means putting the patient at the centre as the core customer and making business decisions based on the patient as that core customer by understanding their needs and requirements. “Pharma is very good at doing this for HCPs but we don’t do that from a patient point-of-view,” she says. “We need to understand what that customer needs and wants from us but there is currently a lack of resonance and relevance because we assume we know what they want rather than really understanding it.”

Kathy Redmond, director of Havas SO’s patient engagement offering SO Patient, explains: “A commitment to patient centricity implies that a company engages with patients at regular points during the medicines lifecycle in order to understand their needs and preferences and then take these into consideration when making decisions that impact on drug development and access or the development of ‘beyond the pill’ services and resources.” Such engagement and patient insight will influence, for instance, where trials will take place, how medicines are priced, and how patient materials are developed, she says.

“Adopting a patient centric approach means a total overhaul of how different functions operate and this can only happen through effective engagement with patients and their families,” Redmond says. “This requires a change of culture where the primary focus becomes what’s important for patients and families rather than the business and health professionals.”

This transformational shift is important for pharma on many levels. Firstly, there is the impact on pharma’s reputation – improved transparency and trustworthiness, with companies seen to be working for the benefit of patients rather than the company’s own back pockets. Furthermore, as Redmond notes, being patient centric could also benefit the company by attracting talented individuals who buy-in to the company’s patient-centric mission and are keen to make a difference for patients.

Being patient centric is also fundamentally important for improving outcomes and the value of products, which is not insignificant in light of recent market access barriers. That’s because securing patient insights redefines product value from a patient perspective, which could be anything from symptom management to disease cure. “Having patients as active participants in this can help see what the clear value is for them and make sure they get the right product at the right time. That will result in an outcome that is more impactful and beneficial for the patient,” Walsby says.

Perhaps, most significant for the industry, is that patients want to be empowered more and they are increasingly expecting pharma to be patient centric. As such, pharma doesn’t really have a choice. “Patient centricity is here and it’s here to stay,” says Anita Osborn, clinical services director, Ashfield, part of UDG Healthcare plc. “This is not just a flash in the pan. This is something that is really part of a larger movement within healthcare, which is about not only empowering patients, and giving them a voice, but also a real focus on improving patient outcomes.”

But, as Walsby notes, being truly patient centric is uncharted territory. While many companies make claims, and some have even introduced an approach of sorts, the patchy and varied application of patient centricity across the industry is still just tickling the edges. Indeed, notes Redmond, “there is still a lot of scepticism within industry about the value of patient centricity”.

Although from a patient perspective, patient centredness within the industry has improved according to Patient View’s 2017 corporate reputation survey – where 35 percent of patient groups in 2017 believed the industry was ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ at being patient centric compared with just 26 percent in 2016. But more work is needed, Redmond says. “Patient advocates are becoming increasingly impatient and starting to call companies to account for the lip service they are paying to patient centricity.”

The reluctance to move in this direction has taken on many forms from fear of non-compliance and adverse event reporting to just not knowing what to do or how to excel at being patient centric. Osborn adds that many companies seem to struggle to take the next step and put strategies in place to enhance engagement, especially when there are so many stakeholders, both internally and externally.

In addition, there is a massive gap perceived by the industry that doesn’t seem to align patient centricity with a boom on sales, Walsby adds. Redmond agrees. “One of the key reasons that industry has been slow to embrace a patient centric approach is the overall lack of clarity about the strategic importance of patient centricity to a company and the lack of key performance indicators to clearly show a return on investment of being patient centric.”

Redmond gives the example of engaging with patients in drug development, which, she says, many companies are hesitant with because they think it will take too much time and will slow the development process down. But this isn’t actually the case. “A recent study by Levitan et al has suggested that patient engagement activities in clinical trials has the money-saving potential of avoiding protocol amendments and improves trial enrolment and retention,” Redmond says.

Novo Nordisk is one company taking this approach, establishing a Disease Experience Expert Panel (DEEP), which is consulted on when any new devices or products are developed to get rich insight into what the customer needs, Walsby says.
Ipsen is another company, tapping into the patient’s perspective during clinical development. By gleaning patient insight, the company learnt that while patients are often keen to join trials there are, for example, issues with transportation and getting to the clinical trial centres, which are often long distances away. “That is a burden for patients,” says Ipsen’s Bocher-Pianka. “We wouldn’t have known this without listening to patients.” The company is embedding patient centricity into the entire company, from R&D to post-commersialisation, with the Medical Affairs department in the lead, to identify unmet medical needs and deliver outcomes that genuinely improve patients’ lives from their perspective.

They have also discovered by listening to patients that they wanted to know the results of clinical studies, so Ipsen set about making the results available for patients in their own language.

“When we listened to patients we heard a lot of unmet needs,” Bocher-Pianka says. “For instance, they told us that it took seven to eight years before being diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour and being referred to an endocrinologist.” Ipsen decided to tackle the issue together with the patients and the doctors, learning that it was easy to get lost in the general information on ‘Dr Google’ based on their mix of non-specific symptoms. “The patients told us we should aggregate the symptoms, which would raise disease awareness and enable earlier diagnosis. They also emphasised the need to develop information for patients on living with their disease. We took all these insights and over two years we co-developed the Living with Nets website,” Bocher-Pianka says. This programme was named the Most Valuable Patient Initiative at the eyeforpharma 2018 European Awards.

“Executing patient centricity through concrete projects co-developed with patients is important for bringing value and improving the outcomes for patients based on their perspective of what the outcomes are,” Bocher-Pianka asserts, but notes patient centricity has been a journey. The firm had to see it as a top-down, bottom-up approach for it to work. “It has also required creating guidance built from the start with our colleagues from Ethics & Compliance and Legal for employees on how to interact with patient groups, as well as training the medical affairs department to anchor the approach and embed it progressively in the daily operational work. The challenge is to accept that this approach takes time because it is both a cultural and a ‘way we work’ change,” Bocher-Pianka says. “But it all starts with listening to patients.”

Embracing patient centricity might be a challenge, but Osborn notes that patients are better informed than ever before and, indeed, the concept will evolve as the development and introduction of technology, including wearables and other connected devices, continues apace. Another step forward is a much better understanding of how health psychology principles can be embedded into support programmes to help patients adopt positive thinking and behaviours. She says patient-led innovation as a result of these advances is putting pressure on pharma to take-up the patient-centric mantle, but she believes there is a “real and authentic move on the part of industry” to embrace it.

To do patient centricity well is important. Patient expectations are high; a company’s reputation and competitive edge is at stake, Redmond says. “In the future a patient centric mindset will be a must rather than a nice to have. The most patient centric companies will have a better reputation, be more trusted by patients and society as a whole, understand the benefits of their products from a patient perspective, be innovative in their approach to drug development and will excel in the development of services beyond the medicine,” Redmond says. Ultimately that will translate into huge benefits for companies and patients alike.

Experts’ top tips

- Define why the company wants to be patient centric, what it means to you and what value it will add to the business (saying competitors are doing it isn’t enough)

 

- Start listening to patients and understanding their needs – ask them what they think about your ideas, products and services

 

- Be ready to have your preconceived ideas challenged

 

- Ensure senior leadership is onboard

 

- Seek out early adopters in your company that embrace the concept and have them as champions to support this throughout the organisation


-Share the patient insights throughout the organisation


-Measuring the success of patient centricity will be a challenge but define the goals – i.e. a small number  of easy to measure KPIs – early on and expect it to take time before you know whether the approach has been effective


-Ring fence sufficient funds for patient engagement


-Focus on low-hanging fruit initially and use short-term wins to create momentum.
Katrina Megget is a freelance journalist specialising in the pharmaceutical industry

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Digital sensor medicines: the holy grail in adherence? - PharmaTimes Magazine April 2018

Digital sensor medicines: the holy grail in adherence? - PharmaTimes Magazine April 2018 | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

"The pharmaceutical industry spends billions developing innovative medicines which will only improve the lives of patients if they take the medications as prescribed; using the correct dose, frequency and for the intended duration. The situation is particularly challenging for patients with chronic conditions who may need to take  medications for the rest of their lives. The reasons for  non-adherence are plentiful and these range from the patients ‘feeling better’ to the stigma of being diagnosed with an unwelcome disease.

To improve adherence, companies spend millions designing programmes ranging from simple tools like patient diary cards to sophisticated ones like smartphone-based apps. So, what are the latest innovations to improve adherence and benefit patients’ lives, decrease the burden to society, and hence reward companies for their significant R&D investments.

What’s the scale of non-adherence?

Non-adherence rates of chronic diseases like hypertension and type 2 diabetes are in the region of 30 percent after one year of patients being started on medications. Psychiatry conditions like schizophrenia fare even worse, coming in around 60 percent.

While the consequences of non-adherence for physical pathologies affect mainly the patients themselves, that is not the same for serious mental health conditions. Patients with schizophrenia are often in denial of their conditions and are often resistant to taking their prescribed medications. However, when they suffer acute episodes, the impact on themselves, their families and society are severe and at times calamitous, including social repercussions like homelessness, violence and suicide.

Is there an answer?

In November 2017, the FDA approved the first drug in the US with a digital ingestion tracking system. Abilify MyCite is indicated for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. It contains the active ingredient aripiprazole and has an ingestible sensor embedded in the tablet. The sensor is the size of a grain of sand and is made up of edible ingredients. The sensor is activated when the tablet contacts stomach fluids and sends a message to a wearable patch, which in turn transmits the information to an app on the patient’s smartphone. The sensor is digested and eliminated from the gut in the usual manner.

The system allows patients to keep track of their medications and they can also upload the information to a database for their physicians and carers to view via a web-based portal. In addition, the system can collect data on certain daily activities, including self-reported frame of mind, although this function is not approved by the FDA. The labelling also notes that the system’s ability to improve compliance has not been established and it takes between half to two hours before ingestion of a tablet is recorded. Aripiprazole is manufactured by Otsuka while the sensor technology is made by Proteus Digital Health. 

In the respiratory therapy area, Propeller Health’s technology uses a sensor device clipped onto an inhaler to track a patient’s adherence. It is compatible with the majority of maintenance and reliever inhalers for asthma and COPD, including metered-dose, dry-powder and soft-mist inhalers. The clip-on sensor records the inhaler’s actuation and the information is then transferred onto the patient’s smartphone. The app also gathers local environmental conditions like air quality, humidity and temperature, which helps patients to identify possible exacerbating factors and link this with any use of reliever inhalers, thus providing real-time insights. Their physicians can subsequently study the  recorded medication patterns and use these to modify future treatments.
These sensor technologies and apps can enable patients to feel empowered in managing their own conditions. Needless to say, there are numerous other sensor medicines in development besides the two aforementioned examples.

Are there any downsides?

With so much personal and medical information available on the internet via these platforms, what are the privacy and data security issues surrounding the use of digital sensors in medicines?

An obvious risk of these systems is their susceptibility to hackers, resulting in the theft of sensitive medical records. However, one can argue that the level of risk is not dissimilar to the vast amount of data already held by hospitals, GP practices and private health insurers.

A larger risk arises from legitimate organisations like private health insurers and perhaps healthcare providers themselves. Would insurers refuse a claim if they deem that a patient has been non-adherent with their prescribed medications? As it is, many insurers fail to pay out if their customers had omitted to declare all their medical conditions, even if these had nothing to do with the presenting claims. It would be very tempting for insurers to deny a claim should a patient be non-adherent for even a short period of time for one unrelated medication.

Likewise, would healthcare providers insist on patients taking sensor medications and track not just their adherence patterns but record lifestyle activities as well? Would patients have a choice in taking a non-sensor version of medications? This may lead to a new conundrum of patients being monitored for compliance to sensor systems, i.e. not only would physicians be tracking adherence to medications but they would end up tracking compliance to the sensor system itself. However, a sensor system could easily be fooled, e.g. it would still record a positive adherence even if a patient chooses to spray an inhaler into the air.

We would also need to ask who owns the data stored in the adherence systems? The patient, the digital sensor developer or the medicine manufacturer? Proteus and Otsuka have jointly declared that the data generated by their system belongs to the patients, although Otsuka would act as the data ‘custodians’. The patients maintain control over how the data is used, shared and retain the right to withdraw their own  data at any time. However, it is uncertain if these principles will be  universally accepted.

Are we there yet?

The ultimate challenge is none of the above but the proverbial idiom of preaching to the converted. Such programmes are likely to be utilised by adherent patients rather than non-adherent ones for which they are intended. These systems are also dependent on patients being technologically savvy with the means to afford a smartphone connected 24/7. The patient demographics which will benefit most from these adherence programmes are those who are unlikely to use them, e.g. the poor, elderly, less educated and mentally unwell. Therein lies the challenge, to find ways to enable these people to use digital sensor technologies to improve their quality of life.

Dr Stephen Huang is a pharmaceutical medicine consultant and James Huang is a policy researcher, both at SCP Medical

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Person-centred over patient-centred care: not just semantics | Insight

Person-centred over patient-centred care: not just semantics | Insight | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

During a TED talk in 2009, marketing consultant and motivational speaker Simon Sinek described how, despite strong competition in its market, Apple became a world leader in must-have electronic devices. Instead of designing a product and telling people why they must buy it, Apple first thought about why people would come to them: Apple wanted to challenge the status quo. How did they do this? By creating stylish and innovative products, which the creators themselves want to use, and providing an easily accessible, personal and high-quality service. Finally, they talk about what they make.

But how does the technology giant’s marketing approach relate to person-centred care in health? What is it and why talk about the person, and not the patient?

Balance of power


To answer these questions, we need to ask how we, as healthcare professionals, see ourselves — are we people or patients? We can be patients when we access healthcare, but many of us are unlikely to define ourselves in this way. What do we want from our healthcare professionals when we access healthcare?

The word ‘patient’ has specific, but perhaps unrecognised, connotations. In use of the word, there is a shift in the mental balance of power among two equal people — a helper and a person needing help. Using the word subconsciously encourages a more paternalistic attitude toward the person being treated.

The person in context


The advent of the term ‘person-centred care’, rather than care with a focus on the patient, is countering this issue. The term is now used by the World Health Organization (WHO)[1] and is internationally accepted. Person-centred care is now a preferred term. Indeed, guidance for pharmacy, both from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)[2] and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)[3], uses the term, and person-centred care forms the first of the GPhC’s standards for pharmacy professionals.

During person-centred care, an individual living with a condition receives healthcare in the wider context of their life, family and community, and this person has their own expertise to share. The term considers the person’s needs, values and preferences, and identifies that the healthcare professional and person must work together to plan care to optimise the person’s health.

In the same way that Apple have created products that their creators want to use, we need to deliver a person-centred service that we, as healthcare professionals, want to use. Rather than just thinking about what we do and how we do it (through good governance, robust processes and evidence base), we need to focus on why we do it to deliver a good patient experience of a safe and effective medicines-related service. Pharmaceutical care and medicines optimisation puts the person, not the patient, at the front and centre of care.

Changes in policy


Over the past 30 years, the UK public have sought more control over, and involvement in, their health. Government policy has reflected this, beginning with publication of the NHS Plan in 2000[4],[5], which included a description of the essential role of self-management and self-care in delivering and sustaining healthcare. Later publications — such as ‘High quality care for all’[6] in 2008 (also known as the ‘Darzi Review’), ‘Liberating the NHS: no decision about me without me’ in 2012[7], and the ‘Five year forward view’ in 2014[8] — have all promoted patient involvement in healthcare, prevention of illness, shared decision-making and supported self-care. There has been a clear drive, at policy level, toward patient empowerment and partnerships with healthcare professionals[9],[10]. No one can forget the lessons from Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust and the publication of the Francis Inquiry[11] in February 2013, which brought person-centred care to the forefront of NHS care, and called on all healthcare professionals to deliver compassionate, consistent and safe care.

Healthcare professionals are responding to the call. The Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of General Practitioners[12],[13] have created tools and resources, and there is increasing engagement between patient groups, such as National Voices and the Coalition for Collaborative Care, and healthcare professional groups. Pharmacy responded with the RPS’s ‘Now or never’ report[14], which highlights how pharmacists can support patients with self-management, and the RPS’s ‘Medicines optimisation guidance’ published in 2013[15], in which patient experience is listed as the first of four key principles of medicines optimisation.

The Centre for Postgraduate Pharmacy Education provides continuing professional education that acknowledges the move from patients as passive recipients of care to active participants in their care[16],[17]. Methods to support self-care, such as the patient activation measure[18], which helps clinicians to identify the person’s level of knowledge, skill and confidence in managing their health, have been adopted within the NHS. Shared decision-making is central to both individual care and strategic planning[19]. Behavioural techniques to support a person-centred approach — to improve adherence to treatment including medicines, for example — are gaining traction and are being promoted in national policy[8] as evidence for efficacy emerges[19],[20].

Pharmacy adds value


Person-centred care must be at the heart of everything we do in pharmacy. This is not just a national issue, but a global one. The WHO has recently launched its third patient safety challenge, ‘Medication without harm’, which includes the aim of developing “mechanisms for the engagement and empowerment of patients to safely manage their own medications[21].”

And, in an age where information is freely and easily available, and where empowered patients have more options for seeking medicines-related support, pharmacists are in a unique position to add value to medicines-related consultations, using the person-centred approach to evidence-based medicine — first discussed over 20 years ago[22] — to incorporate the patient’s expertise on their lives and their condition, with our experience and expertise in the evidence base.

Replicating a tech giant’s approach


Using Apple’s successful approach, we can ask why person-centred care? Because we believe this is the best way to provide high-quality, personalised and safe care. The how comes through modelling the behaviour we would want for ourselves and our relatives, and the what is providing a person-centred approach using our evidence-based knowledge and clinical experience to deliver medicines optimisation. In using this approach, pharmacists could become the leaders of person-centred care in health and support the growth of our profession. We can provide professional, unbiased interpretation of medicines-related information in the context of the beliefs, values, preferences and lives of our patients.

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Facebook continues to dominate pharmaceutical social media, new report reveals | Pharmaceutical | Healthcare Global

Facebook continues to dominate pharmaceutical social media, new report reveals | Pharmaceutical | Healthcare Global | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

"A report by Ogilvy Healthworld and data specialists Pulsar has highlighted how the pharmaceutical landscape continues to transform in alignment with the growth of social media and continued consumer engagement.

With data taken from 2016 and 2017, the duo analysed over 20 pharmaceutical companies and their use of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Chloe Partikas, Social Media Director at Ogilvy Healthworld, said: "It is clear that the pharma social media space is changing. Pharma is reaching social media maturity, posting more strategically and tailoring content to the channel and audiences."

Whilst all usage of social media channels by pharma companies have decreased since 2016, the use of YouTube across the industry has risen by 8%, reflecting changing consumer tastes from content which is linear, to the growing popularity of digital, visual content.


Finding an increased use of visual content, Instagram is slowly creeping up behind Facebook and is becoming a favoured consumer engagement platform of choice. Pharmaceutical companies received up to 190 average number of engagements per post, a significant increase from previous years.

Additionally, Novo Nordisk has taken the lead in company engagement and activity across its platforms with a 13% rise, with Johnson & Johnson and Novartis following swiftly behind with regards to the consumer engagement, receiving a 111% and 77% rise over the last 12 months alone.

In stark contrast, Takeda, Gilead, Sanofi, Amgen and AstraZeneca were named as some of the pharmaceutical companies with the lowest number of posts and social engagement across all digital platforms."

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Ogilvy and Pulsar reveals latest ‘social check-up’ report - PMLiVE

Ogilvy and Pulsar reveals latest ‘social check-up’ report - PMLiVE | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
Ogilvy Healthworld, in partnership with social media monitoring platform Pulsar, has revealed its fourth annual report ‘The Social Check-up’, and with it come some interesting insights for pharma.

The report analyses social media usage across top 20 pharma, looking at how the companies produce content, their posting behaviour and their ‘weighted’ engagement scores.

Chloe Partikas, social media director at Ogilvy, said: “The Social Check-up reveals a growing maturity in pharma’s use of social channels, since our first report in 2014, reflecting increasing confidence and experience in the social space.”

Partikas explains that the agency uses Pulsar’s social listening platform, which captures year-on-year social media data and for this year in particular, “it is clear there has been a reduction in the overall number of posts and a huge shift in top performers between 2016 and 2017”.

According to the report, Novo Nordisk was the most ‘engaging’ pharma company on social media in 2017, achieving the highest weighted engagement score - calculated and ranked by using Pulsar’s formula - across all 20 companies.

Johnson and Johnson and Novartis closely followed, with the former also demonstrating their rating as most improved company along with Merck.

“It is clear that the pharma social media space is changing, [with] pharma reaching social media maturity, posting more strategically and tailoring content to the channels and audiences,” added Partikas.

The report also described that all of the pharma social communities grew ‘significantly’, with Instagram showing the largest percentage increase and Facebook with the most ‘new follower’ acquisitions.

In comparison, all social channels have seen decreases in posting frequency from 2016, with the exception of YouTube, which saw an increase of 8%.

Partikas concludes: “The social media space is becoming ‘pay to play’ and companies are embracing paid social media to ensure their content is visible in a very crowded space.

“Companies must continue to adapt their strategies to stay ahead of the game.”
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Improving health literacy is in pharma’s interests

Improving health literacy is in pharma’s interests | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
Patients who understand the information provided about their health are more likely to adhere to a medicine regime and feel empowered to take steps towards healthier lifestyles. To what extent are pharma companies taking the initiative? Amanda Barrell reports.

In meeting rooms in galaxies not so far away, pharma executives once said it was the role of advocacy groups to provide health information. It was the role of pharma, they continued, to make money for the shareholders.

But the world has changed in the last few years, and the industry realises that to be truly ‘patient centric’ it must play its part in the health education of the people who rely on its medications.

Health literacy, or the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand the basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions, is low.

In England, between 43% and 61% of working-age adults routinely do not understand the health information they are given.

Jonathan Berry, Personalisation and Control Specialist in NHS England’s Person-Centred Care Team, said: “Our system provides oral and written information to patients of such complexity that it far exceeds people’s functional skills in language, literacy and numeracy, and therefore their ability to make sense of it and act on it.”

Providing this information in a way that people understand empowers patients, which can only be a good thing for pharma companies.
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Big pharma et réseaux sociaux: des contenus moins nombreux en 2017, mais mieux ciblés

Big pharma et réseaux sociaux: des contenus moins nombreux en 2017, mais mieux ciblés | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

PARIS (TICpharma) - Les publications des 20 plus grands laboratoires pharmaceutiques mondiaux sur les réseaux sociaux ont été moins nombreuses en 2017 que l'année précédente, mais ciblées vers des audiences plus pertinentes, selon les résultats du troisième "Social Check-up" réalisé par l'agence Ogilvy Healthworld et consultés par TICpharma.



Via Rémy TESTON
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Helene Decourteix's curator insight, March 21, 8:53 AM
l'âge de la maturité pour les principaux laboratoires pharmaceutiques et leurs usages des réseaux sociaux
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Pharma should avoid Facebook at all costs

Pharma should avoid Facebook at all costs | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it

Facebook’s objective was to keep users addicted to social media as much as possible, but now that Facebook has become nothing but a media company they don’t want to play by the same rules as other media companies.  The risks of advertising on Facebook are too great while the rewards are too few.

In the early days of social media, and Facebook, both social media experts and Facebook told the marketers they “had to be on Facebook”.  Then organic reach dropped to below 1% and Facebook told us again that we had to be on the site as advertisers.  Brands flocked to social media, but Facebook said that it had messed up more ad metrics than previously thought, potentially eroding its trust and relationship with marketers and publishers.  The social network said in a blog postmiscalculated it the number of completed video views, the total organic reach for business Pages and the amount of time spent with Instant Articles.

 Time and time again Facebook has undermined its credibility by making claims that are easily proven to be false, and then defended these claims with statements that are absurd.   It was reported, for example,  that Facebook was claiming to reach 41 million Americans between the ages of 18-24. If Facebook reached every American between 18 and 24 they’d still be 10 million short. There are only 31 million of them.

Even P&G, that huge marketing powerhouse, is pulling back on Facebook.  According to the Wall Street Journal “Procter & Gamble Co., the biggest advertising spender in the world, will move away from advertising on Facebook Inc. that targets specific consumers after deciding the practice has limited effectiveness”.

When Congress wanted to talk with social media executives they sent their lawyers instead.  In a speech on Wednesday, Senator Franken offered up a damning critique of the companies, charging them with having unchecked influence that even they don’t know how to control. “These companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves,” he said.

So how can pharma really use Facebook and be confident that their posts are not going to be avoided or used in other fake news?   When it comes down to it the best way to increase the effectiveness of your digital ads is through better creative based on user studies and testing.

The social media boat sailed a long time, largely without pharma.  Their fears over social media use may have been too extreme, but in the end their fear is justified for another reason.


Via Plus91, Giuseppe Fattori
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Individuals are starting to control their own health treatments

Individuals are starting to control their own health treatments | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY : McKinsey says:  “Patients are becoming more than just passive recipients of therapies. “Healthcare will be driven much more by consumers than physicians, with patients increasingly coming to their doctors with more information, parameters they measured at home, and an informed opinion about how they should be treated,” says Dr. Bertalan Mesko, medical futurist and author of My Health: Upgraded”.  How is pharma using this to leverage DTC?
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Pharma websites not influential enough

Pharma websites not influential enough | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: Online health seekers are on a journey that is very personal.  They will go to a lot of websites to get the information they need to make a decision about treatment options and while pharma websites are part of that journey there is a lot of room for improvement.


I just finished analyzing quantitative research that we conducted in November on the impact of pharma product websites on a patient’s decision to ask their doctor for/about the product and the results clearly shows that pharma HAS to do a better job in persuading online health seekers to ask for their product.  Here are some top-line findings:
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What exactly do patients want?

What exactly do patients want? | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: Despite the onset of digital health, in all forms, what patients really want is a more “human approach” to health.  They want a better relationship with HCP’s and want insurers to see them as “customers”.
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What do consumers want from digital pharma?

What do consumers want from digital pharma? | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: Developing any digital initiative starts with users, but it seems that a lot of pharma companies have forgotten this key point.  What consumers want and need is very different from what pharma offers.

In celebration of Digital Pharma East I received permission from a pharma client to discuss some topline findings from some qual and quant research conducted in August and September of this year.  The objective was to determine just how much investment would be required to make a pharma website relevant to patients, caregivers and consumers.  Here are the findings:
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Why do patients go to so many health websites?

Why do patients go to so many health websites? | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: Online health seekers go to a variety of health websites to gain a better understanding of health conditions and treatment options.  The vast majority say that pharma websites “do not meet their needs” when it comes to all the information they need.
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ePatients and health apps

ePatients and health apps | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: A lot of patients and caregivers don’t have the time to research every aspect of their health condition(s) and most pharma companies haven’t done anything to get them the information THEY need to manage their health problems.

Newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers are often overwhelmed with health information and usually have to go to a number of websites to get the information they need to make treatment decisions and manage their health.  While the conventional thinking is that the information on a site like WebMD is enough the research that I have been involved with over the last three years says “no”. Patients and caregivers need more information beyond the basics.
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Most surprising findings in pharma research

Most surprising findings in pharma research | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: Patients and HCP’s are being left behind by changes in our healthcare system and they are turning, in bigger numbers, to the Internet for answers.  Some pharma companies are trying to cut through the clutter to actually help patients, as opposed to selling them, but that isn’t enough for most.
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Pharma’s use of Twitter, sigh..

Pharma’s use of Twitter, sigh.. | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: The key advantage of social media is that allows one-one conversations with your audience, but a recent audit of pharma’s activity on Twitter indicates that they are using the social media platform as another way to broadcast content.
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Accès aux Médicaments : le classement 2016 des laboratoires pharmaceutiques MyPharma Editions | L'Info Industrie & Politique de Santé

Accès aux Médicaments : le classement 2016 des laboratoires pharmaceutiques MyPharma Editions | L'Info Industrie & Politique de Santé | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
Publié le mardi 15 novembre 2016


L’Indice d’Accès aux Médicaments (Access to Medicines Index) 2016, publié lundi, établit un classement des 20 principaux laboratoires pharmaceutiques en fonction des efforts qu’ils accomplissent afin d’améliorer l’accès aux médicaments dans les pays à faibles et moyens revenus. GSK arrive en tête du classement pour la 5ème fois suivi par un groupe compact comprenant Johnson & Johnson, Novartis et Merck KGaA.
Cet indice est publié tous les deux ans par l’Access to Medicine Foundation, un organisme indépendant à but non lucratif financé par la Fondation Bill et Melinda Gates, le Ministère Néerlandais des Affaires Étrangères et le Département pour le Développement International du Royaume-Uni.
Cet indice classe les laboratoires « en fonction de leurs efforts d’amélioration de l’accès aux médicaments, l’évaluation portant sur sept domaines comportementaux. Il identifie les meilleures pratiques, met en lumière les domaines faisant l’objet d’améliorations et ceux dans lesquels des actions importantes restent nécessaires », précise l’Access to Medicine Foundation.

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Pharma and the connected patient: How digital technology is enabling patient centricity - Health Solutions

Pharma and the connected patient: How digital technology is enabling patient centricity - Health Solutions | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
This week we launched our report Pharma and the connected patient: How digital technology is enabling patient centricity. Our report focusses on pharma’s efforts to utilise smartphone apps, wearables and other digital technologies in an effort to put patients at the centre of new business and operating models. This transformation, from a provider-driven marketplace to a patient-centric health ecosystem, is being driven by the need to demonstrate value to payers and patients and respond to a variety of powerful forces that are transforming healthcare. These forces are requiring pharma to become more agile and to do more for patients than deliver safe and effective drugs.
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Where pharma is losing business

Where pharma is losing business | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: According to DRG 31% of adults leave a website if they can’t get the information they want in a couple of clicks and 45% of online adults don’t trust online information because of fake news.  Pharma is letting these opportunities go down the drain.

Pharma websites are starting to look like generic websites and more and more online health seekers are saying “pharma websites don’t meet our needs”.  Why can’t most pharma companies develop a great online brand experience?
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Oncology DTC: Falling short?

Oncology DTC: Falling short? | "Patient empowerment and pharma, patient-pharma relationship, pharma social media, patient-centricity, patient-focused drug development" by VAB Traductions | Scoop.it
KEY TAKEAWAY: Patients want to be empowered when it comes to choosing oncology treatments, but there’s a fine line between informing and pushing products that may not be right for them.
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Curated by VAB Traductions
ENG to FR freelance translator focused on patient empowerment through: ehealth - digital health - health IT - AI & medicine/healthcare - health literacy - health education - patient education - global health www.linkedin.com/in/VABtraductions