More Transparency, Collaborative Competition and Other News in Pharma/Health


As part of our new ongoing More series, today’s post will concentrate on news and trends, along with our own strategic insights, within pharma and health, one of our four focus categories. For nearly ten years, we’ve been creating work that transcends the patient-consumer divide. By staying on top of global shifts in regulations, the marketplace and healthcare administration, we’re able to better connect with and empower consumers. Here’s a look at what we’ve seen in the pharma/health space recently.

Growing Global Pressure for Transparency
Last week, Johnson & Johnson announced Yale University’s Open Data Access Project (YODA) will serve as an independent body to review requests for full and free access to its clinical trial data. A YODA spokesman told Pharmafile, “This is the first time any company has collaborated with a completely independent third party to review and make final decisions regarding every request for clinical data, and we believe it sets a new industry standard in ensuring all requests for clinical data are reviewed in a systematic and objective way that protects patient privacy and confidentiality.”

The announcement signifies a major shift for drug companies – less secrecy, and more opportunities for enhancing public health, as researchers will now be able to examine Johnson & Johnson data themselves to identify their own conclusions. Ultimately this move will likely encourage other pharma companies to release their trial data, too.

Big Pharma Reports Are In
Quarter reports and full-year 2013 results are out, including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly & Co. While the reports reflect varied revenue performance, each company has its own outlying issues affecting results. Across the board though, you’ll find each brand evolving and attempting to position themselves for long-term growth.

The Chicago Tribune reports John Lechleiter, Eli Lilly & Co. CEO, as saying the company will now go back on offense…”we’re on the cusp of launching products in cancer and diabetes, two therapeutic areas where we’re well established and where we have built out the infrastructure we need. And we believe that’s going to be the beginning of our return to growth.”

Collaborative Competition
New competition within diagnostics and care from outside influencers like Google, Microsoft and AT&T are bringing new viewpoints and increasing expectations around healthcare, as PM360 reports. Former Bartle Bogle Hegarty chairman Cindy Gallop describes the current industry as collaborative competition – “when everyone in a sector competes with everyone else in the sector by doing exactly the same thing as everyone else in the sector is doing.”

Responsiveness is key in any industry today, but especially pharma. In order to survive, traditional companies will need to stop watching and waiting to see what trends and technology take off, but either innovate themselves or adapt quickly in order to compete with outside influencers.

Doctors Like Wikipedia, Too
A new report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that nearly half of pharma manufacturers are using social media. Also found in the report, Wikipedia is the single leading source of medical information for healthcare professionals, as well as patients. Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, explains “This trend only heightens the need for relevant, accurate content that can be accessed and used throughout the patient journey. Healthcare professionals, regulators and pharmaceutical manufacturers all need to overcome their reticence and acknowledge the vital role that they can and should play as participants in the healthcare conversation.”

Anyone can write and edit pages for Wikipedia. At the time of writing this there were 20,657,612 Wikipedians. Today’s patients and doctors are turning to this undoubtedly vast, and arguably unreliable, source, as well as social media for their research needs. The ability to monitor online conversations is a huge resource for pharma/health marketers to gather research and influence, or even regulate, the information out there about their brand.

Will You Be At SXSW?
SXSW may not be the first (or 176th) thing you think of when talking quality in healthcare marketing, but the topic is taking Phenomblue’s Kt to this year’s festival. After participating in the first ever QA Summit on Digital Healthcare Marketing this past fall, she’ll be on a panel discussing the findings and best practices for QA in healthcare and across industries. This SXSW Showcase peels back the lid on why and how this panel came to be…and why you should pay attention.