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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Pfizer’s Latest Viagra TV Ad Pitches Discounts vai Mobile Texting

Pfizer’s Latest Viagra TV Ad Pitches Discounts vai Mobile Texting | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The same way they do to vote for a favorite singer on “The Voice,” consumers can now text Pfizer for a discount on erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. In what seems to be a first for a pharma company, Pfizer’s new TV commercial for Viagra encourages patients to text a keyword from their mobile phones to receive special discounts.

In typical Viagra direct-marketing style, it’s not a soft-sell message tacked on at the end of the ad. The ad opens with the now-familiar woman in a dark blue dress who asks, “Guys, want to save 50% on a yearlong supply of Viagra for ED?” A mobile phone close-up then takes over the screen with the promotion and text keyword “VSAVE,” and she explains in voice-over how to get the discount. 

Pfizer declined to comment on the promotion, with a spokesman citing, via email, “a policy against sharing competitive information.”

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FDA Regulators Can't Scale To Police Mobile Health Apps

FDA Regulators Can't Scale To Police Mobile Health Apps | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
A senior advisor to the FDA said the agency couldn't possibly scale up to meet the challenge of policing the hundreds of new apps appearing every month.


The sheer pace of innovation in the mobile health application space and the numbers of such applications already available on mobile marketplaces like the iTunes App Store and Google Play mean that many mobile health applications will escape scrutiny by federal regulators, said Bakul Patel, a Policy Advisor in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Pharma Guy's insight:


Will It Be FDA Regulation or Self-Regulation or Both?


In the early days of the Internet hundreds of health Web sites of questionable quality proliferated without any guarantee of accuracy, lack of bias, privacy, etc. Today, thousands of mobile health apps of unknown quality are available for downloading by healthcare professionals and consumers.

As with Web sites in the early days, it is difficult today for users of mobile health apps to be assured that the apps are reliable, accurate, based on valid information, and adequately safeguard users' information. In many ways, we are living through another digital "wild west" without any sheriffs to protect us.

And it appears that we do need protection. 

Topics include:

  • Inaccurate Health Apps
  • Overzealous FDA Regulation?
  • The Regulation of Pharma Health Apps Survey Results
  • Good App Privacy Practices
  • Test and Document
  • Possibly the First Ever "Dear Doctor' Letter Regarding a Recall Mobile Medical App
  • Certification of Mobile Health Apps
  • Will Regulation Kill Innovation?
  • Self-Regulation: Devil's in the Details


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Digital Pharma Marketing: Is the Industry Paying Enough Attention to Mobile?

Digital Pharma Marketing: Is the Industry Paying Enough Attention to Mobile? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Those who access health content are also doing so using more than just PCs. In April 2013, 35 percent of visitors used mobile devices to consume health information. A year later, almost half of health information-seekers used mobile devices to consume health content. This uptick in mobile usage suggests two things: an increased reliance in managing one’s health issues on-the-go, and an increase in tablet usage at home instead of the PC.  For those using mobile devices out-of-home to manage health issues, uses included understanding symptoms, treating a condition, or achieving one’s health goals. Comscore’s research indicates more specifically that on-the-go mobile users seek health information at doctor’s offices and while waiting for prescription refills at the pharmacy.

Pharma Guy's insight:


All the more reason why FDA needs to provide Rx drug promotion guidelines specific for mobile devices.


Read:

FDA's Social Media Guidance Webinar: A Third Guidance Needed for Mobile Devices?
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What's pharma's impact on the mobile health app space? These 3 graphs offer some clues

What's pharma's impact on the mobile health app space? These 3 graphs offer some clues | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
A report highlighting the mobile health app landscape charts pharma companies that have produced the most apps, such as Bayer, Merck and Novartis.


Bayer, Merck and Novartis top the list. Many of them are designed as companion apps for drugs and devices. An app that is available in several languages could also account for some of the relatively high numbers. Some areas of app development Bayer has covered include helping multiple sclerosis patients manage their meds. recording hemophilia A factor VIII infusions and monitoring diet, particularly for people with diabetes. Among the apps Novartis produced include tools for managing cystic fibrosis. Novartis’ oncology division produced a few apps too, such as My Acro Manager to help patients with Acromegaly track test results, medication updates and improve their knowledge of their condition. Medication adherence apps and a tool to track symptoms from HIV treatment are among Merck’s apps

Pharma Guy's insight:


Obviously, this is NOT a numbers game! It's all about utility, quality, and usability, which many pharma mobile apps lack. Read "The Sorry State of Pharma Mobile Apps"


At a recent eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2014 Summit, Carolyn Gauntlett, Senior Innovation Consultant with IMS Health, gave an interesting presentation titled "How to Make Sure You're Getting the Most Out of Your mHealth App Development."

This article summarizes some major points made in that presentation as well as data from the report "Patient Apps for Improved Healthcare: From Novelty to Mainstream" published by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. 

Topics include (partial list):

  • Some Docs Prescribe More Apps Than Pills
  • So, Why Hasn't Mobile Health "Exploded?"
  • More Apps, Less Meds?
  • Few mHealth Apps Are Worthy
  • Figure: Health App Functionality Score Distribution
  • The Pharma App Black Hole
  • Poor ROI
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