Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Targeted Drug Ads: Opening Pandora's Box

Targeted Drug Ads: Opening Pandora's Box | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The drug industry spends billions each year to promote its medicines to the masses, blanketing popular TV shows and magazines with ads. Now, digital companies are increasingly trying to pry away a share of that money for ads that target specific patients, rather than broad demographics.

 

Targeted ads are nothing new in retail; anyone who uses the internet has had the eerie feeling that the ads popping up on page after page appear to be aimed directly at them. But drug makers have long steered clear of many such tools, for fear of violating patient privacy law.

 

That’s changing now. Facebook and the music streaming service Pandora are aggressively vying for pharma dollars by promising to help drug makers identify and reach the users most likely to have certain diseases or conditions — without violating the privacy law known as HIPAA.

 

Pandora is going hard after … pharma [drug ad] dollars.

 

Pandora now has more than 16 million individual monthly listeners over age 55 — and its fastest growing segments of new users are people in that bracket. Not surprisingly, over the past two years, the company has seen a rapid rise in interest from drug advertisers, according to Lee Ann Longinotti, who runs Pandora’s business with health care advertisers.

 

Pandora now counts 20 drug makers among its recent advertisers, including Pfizer, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson. They’ve promoted 40 different prescription and over-the-counter drugs, for conditions ranging from diabetes to erectile dysfunction to a circadian rhythm disorder common in the blind.

 

To target users more precisely, Pandora struck a partnership a year ago with Crossix, a company which mines anonymized patient data from electronic health records, insurance claims, and pharmacy transactions.

 

That’s allowed Pandora to create profiles of the types of people who are most likely to be interested in drugs for a certain condition. Then it helps the pharma company follow those users around as they listen to music on different devices throughout the day.

 

A mom who is a prime target for a given drug company, for instance, might hear ads for the same product as she listens to the Adele playlist on her computer at work, rocks out to the “Frozen” playlist with her kids in the car, and relaxes to jazz at home in the evening. Other listeners streaming the same general playlists at the same time would hear very different ads.

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

People don't like it when they are followed around on the Web or digital devices and "targeted" by advertisers. The process often fails as when, in the past, HIV drugs ads were served up to people on the Web.

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Amgen Wants to Own Your Protected Health Information in Exchange for Copay Card

Amgen Wants to Own Your Protected Health Information in Exchange for Copay Card | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Amgen is the Rumpelstiltskin of the drug industry.

As reported by MedPage Today/CardioBrief, "Doctors, pharmacists, patients and others are now starting to learn that in order to receive financial assistance from Amgen for its expensive new cholesterol drug Repatha, patients are being required to surrender rights to their personal information, including their personal health information."

Not even HIPAA-protected health information is off limits.

"The agreement specifically states that by agreeing to the terms [of Amgen's privacy policy] patients may lose federal HIPAA protection," notes CardioBrief.

Patients must agree that they "understand that Amgen may use [their] personal information, including [their] personal health information, for 10 years once [they] accept this Authorization ..." 

What other nasty things must poor people agree to in order to get a copay card?


Find out here.

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Health Data Breaches Less Important Than Parking Violations, Says Former US Chief Privacy Officer

Health Data Breaches Less Important Than Parking Violations, Says Former US Chief Privacy Officer | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
Federal health watchdogs say they are cracking down on organizations that don’t protect the privacy and security of patient records, but data suggests otherwise.


Since October 2009, health care providers and organizations (including third parties that do business with them) have reported more than 1,140 large breaches to the Office for Civil Rights, affecting upward of 41 million people. They’ve also reported more than 120,000 smaller lapses, each affecting fewer than 500 people.


In some cases, records were on laptops stolen from homes or cars. In others, records were targeted by hackers. Sometimes, paper records were forgotten on trains or otherwise left unattended.


Yet, over that time span, the Office for Civil Rights has fined health care organizations just 22 times.


By comparison, the California Department of Public Health, which also levies fines against hospitals for breaches of patient privacy, imposed 22 penalties last year alone — and another eight in the first two months of this year.


“What you don’t want [the Office for Civil Rights] to become is somebody like your parking enforcement where they’re funding themselves by issuing tickets or fines to everybody who has the smallest infractions,” said Joy Pritts, who until last year served as chief privacy officer for the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

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One Way for #Pharma to to Use EHR Data. Will It Work?

One Way for #Pharma to to Use EHR Data. Will It Work? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Providers have sunk millions into their EHRs, and the imperative to make good on the investment has never been stronger. As the EHR continues to evolve and change the way care is delivered to patient populations, provider organizations and pharmaceutical companies alike need to increase collaboration efforts in targeted ways to see the most benefit.

 

A partnership between the two to optimize their EHRs is a proactive and practical way to achieve shared goals—providing the best possible care to patients and engaging clinicians in that work.

 

One way is for provider-pharma partners to use EHR data to quickly identify and recruit eligible patients for clinical research trials, which would enable providers to have a more direct impact on drug development and innovation. Additionally, real-time data can generate a larger pool of eligible populations more quickly, helping to fast track a new therapy through the clinical testing stage, saving time, money, and effort for both providers and pharma companies.

Pharma Guy's insight:

This is a good idea provided that patients opt-in for this. This was not mentioned in the article. Also read “EHRs Are #Pharma's Digital Marketing Tools, Say Authors of a NEJM Article”; http://sco.lt/6ebfu5

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How Misinterpretation of HIPAA By HCPs Can Cause Adverse Events or Worse!

How Misinterpretation of HIPAA By HCPs Can Cause Adverse Events or Worse! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
The protection of a patient’s health information does not prohibit health care providers from sharing information with family, friends and caregivers.


In 2012, Ericka Gray repeatedly phoned the emergency room at York Hospital in York, Pa., where her 85-year-old mother had gone after days of back pain, to alert the staff to her medical history. “They refused to take the information, citing Hipaa,” said Ms. Gray, who was in Chicago on a business trip.


“I’m not trying to get any information. I’m trying to give you information,” Ms. Gray told them, adding that because her mother’s memory was impaired, she couldn’t supply the crucial facts, like medication allergies.

By the time Ms. Gray found a nurse willing to listen, hours later, her mother had already been prescribed a drug she was allergic to. Fortunately, the staff hadn’t administered it yet.

Such scenarios, attorneys say, involve a misinterpretation of the privacy rules created under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. “It’s become an all-purpose excuse for things people don’t want to talk about,” said Carol Levine, director of the United Hospital Fund’s Families and Health Care Project, which has published a Hipaa guide for family caregivers.

The law does not prohibit health care providers from sharing information with family, friends or caregivers unless the patient specifically objects. Even if she does object, is not present, or is incapacitated, providers may use “professional judgment” to disclose pertinent information to a relative or friend if it’s “in the best interests of the individual.”

Hipaa applies only to health care providers, health insurers, clearinghouses that manage and store health data, and their business associates. Yet when I last wrote about this topic, a California reader commented that she’d heard a minister explain that the names of ailing parishioners could no longer appear in the church bulletin because of Hipaa.


Wrong. Neither a church nor a distraught spouse is a “covered entity” under the law.

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