Archive for the ‘Pharmaceuticals’ Category

By Daphne Swancutt

HiRes 300x300 AstraZeneca’s #Rxsave Twitter Chat:  Shake, Rattle and Roll—or Much Ado About Nothing?Depending who you’re talking with, last week’s @AstraZenecaUS chat (hashtag #rxsave) on Twitter was either a PR stunt or the shot heard ‘round the world. The one is cynical, the other hyperbolic.

So let’s forget the extremes, and talk about what comes in the middle. First, AstraZeneca did attempt to demonstrate leadership in an industry notorious for being skittish on social media. Twitter can be especially unnerving for pharmaceutical companies, and moderating a wide-open chat would make most of them break out in to a cold sweat. (more…)

By Daphne Swancutt

iStock 000010062821Small 300x225 Healthcare Needs Rx for Internal CommunicationsBy most accounts, 2011 will be the start of a watershed in the healthcare industry. From HIT spending, meaningful use and HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10, to ACOs, M&As and the demand by consumers for more sophisticated digital technologies.

Imagine the communication challenges. (more…)

Get Lit, or Else?

By Daphne Swancutt

iStock 000005926987Medium1 300x199 Get Lit, or Else?Two people in the United States just died in the last hour. Seventeen more will die in the next 7 to 8 hours. Over a year, that number will accumulate to about 7,000.

The reason? Medical errors that include misread or otherwise misinterpreted handwritten prescriptions. Believe it. This means that doctors are being sloppy, pharmacies are making mistakes and people are getting dead.

Even more disturbing about this statistic is that 85 percent-plus of pharmacies are equipped to receive electronic prescriptions, yet only one-third of the nation’s prescribers use this system.

It seems appropriate, then, to draw some attention to this stupid and nonsensical tragedy during Health Literacy Month and to ask: What’s the deal? (more…)

By Daphne Swancutt

I’d planned on writing a brilliant post after last week’s  9th Annual ePharma Summit in Philadelphia. I wanted to explain why this statement made by one of the conference’s speakers always makes me bristle.

“Content remains King.”

Someone else’s brilliant post beat me to it, though (h/t Phil Baumann). Still, I have more, probably less brilliant, stuff to say on this irksome, but important, topic.

First, most of us have heard some version of the content-is-king quip. Few of us understand what it really means. So many seem clueless about the power of content. Hardly anyone in pharma knows how to do it well. Finally, and most important—and I did say something along this line at the conference: Content without context is just a bunch of rubbish. (And, by the way, bad content without context should be rammed down someone’s throat.) (more…)

Just Say Nocebo

By healtheditor

The FDA goes to great lengths to ensure drug makers disclose side effects. This “fair balance” language in ads and marketing materials is intended to ensure patients know the risks involved in taking a medication, and have all the information they need to make an informed decision with the help of their physician. And, to keep drug companies from making bold claims about a drug while minimizing risks.

All of this makes sense.

Except: What if disclosing side effects actually causes a patient to experience them, thus making a patient sicker and ultimately making the drug less effective?

It’s called the “nocebo effect,” the opposite of the “placebo effect.” A nocebo response occurs when the suggestion of a negative effect actually leads to a patient experiencing that side effect. It’s for real and has repeatedly been scientifically proven: (more…)


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