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Pharma, Physicians and Social Media: Engaging Opportunities and Challenges

September 2009 | 50 pages | ID: P6718D6E93AEN

US$ 495.00

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The inexorable rise of social media is resulting in more and more business communities taking notice of its huge global potential, and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception.

Whilst patients have been the early adopters of social media channels, physicians and other healthcare professionals (HCPS) have somewhat lagged behind. But things are changing fast, with recent studies revealing that physicians are increasingly turning to the Internet for product and treatment information. Indeed, Twitter’s adoption by many healthcare professionals demonstrates how it is evolving from a purely social medium to one promoting serious content. With its global reach, the potential for an exciting new way to connect with a more diverse audience is proving compelling.

So, if HCPs and their patients are increasingly using social media platforms, how are pharma companies tapping into this new medium to target and engage with them? And, with the internet becoming the most prevalent source of healthcare information for both HCPs and their patients, can pharma companies afford not to get more involved?

Key insights from expert sources

This 50-page report -- the second in FirstWord’s best-selling Pharma and Social Media series -- brings the issues into sharp focus using a wealth of examples, opinions and case studies. It investigates how pharma companies are using social media as a new channel for reaching out to physicians and the digital HCP community.

The report maps the experiences and activities of leading pharmaceutical companies to establish:
  • Who in the healthcare profession is using social media and how pharmaceutical companies are tapping into their 'influence points'
  • How pharma companies can benefit from using social media and remain within the spirit and letter of regulation

The report:
  • Examines how physicians and other HCPs are currently using social media
  • Investigates what pharma companies are doing to tap into this space
  • Compares and contrasts social media channels with the more traditional internet marketing methods employed by pharma
  • Analyses the benefits and challenges facing those pharma companies who actively engage this community

Networks covered by the report:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Physician-only networks


Are Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) using social media?
Key attractions
Use of social media
Professional usage
Personal usage
What are they using?
    Healthcare Professionals
    Hospitals and clinics
  Physician-only sites
Case Study
  Mayo Clinic
Key Concerns
  Privacy and Professionalism


So what are pharma companies currently doing?
    Live video detailing & e-sampling
    Physician customer service portals
    Enhanced Product Websites
    Search Engine Marketing
  Engaging through Social Media
    Boehringer-Ingelheim (BI)
    Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
    Through physician only websites
  Engaging HCPs through social media - benefits for pharma companies
    Get to know outcomes and receive opinion data from doctors
    Gain first hand knowledge of how particular drugs are working in the real world
    Dissemination of useful information
    Online physicians write more prescriptions?
  So how can pharma companies engage with physicians?
  Challenges of engaging with healthcare professionals via social media




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