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Big Pharma would like to befriend you

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4075 (Published 28 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4075
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

Online social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are a “gold mine” where the “sky is the limit” for drug companies, a marketing expert has said.

During a recent “webinar” on how drug companies can expand their presence in social media, Adam Kleger, vice president of business development at ListenLogic Health, a social intelligence company serving the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, told the audience that the industry can use social media to create “personal relationships” with patients and healthcare providers—relationships he likened to “going to a cocktail party or a wedding reception” where information is exchanged.

The benefits of “social CRM” (customer relationship management), said Mr Kleger, include the ability to direct patients to branded drug sites, recruit patients into clinical trials, and to collect business intelligence on patients and healthcare providers. It also allows the industry to identify “KOOLs” (key online opinion leaders).

The webinar was sponsored by PharmaLive, a project of UBM Canon, which is based in Newton, Pennsylvania, and which provides the “$500bn pharmaceutical industry with need-to-know business information.”

Mr Kleger said that obtaining intelligence on doctors and other healthcare providers can be difficult, as most avoid conversations on public websites. However, some “innovative companies” have managed to monitor private sites, such as those …

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