It is undeniable that the internet has become an essential part of everyday life. People are constantly looking for knowledge, ideas and opportunities online. It is a waste not to exploit the potential of this rich source of all information under the sun, especially social media.
Unfortunately, unlike like most industries, Pharma does not enjoy communicating with its consumers on the internet. Communication with the public can create sensitive situations, such as dealing with exposed adverse events; that most drug makers want to avoid. However, the internet is a large pool of information no businessman wants to overlook. Pharma wants to join social network!
In recent years, it is common that patients go to the internet to ask for their illness, symptoms, recommendation of remedies and even drug usage. In a broad healthcare context, it is important to be well prepared and react decisively.
How is Pharma going to do that?
Brand managers want to benefit from social media, yet they lack of understanding of their patients and target consumers. The most asked questions must be where, what and how.
- Where do doctors and patients discuss medicines?
- What is the appealing content that most readers look for?
- How do we communicate without triggering unwanted discussions?
Healthcare professionals have the answers. They often discuss drugs, policy, treatments and brands in their own community. Communication with healthcare professionals does not bring up troubles. Once drug companies have access to needed information, they can see what is relevant without conducting time-consuming traditional research. Finding out what your patients discuss, need and concern; you can produce the most relevant and valuable content possible.
Appropriate use of social media proves to drive better Pharma outcomes, such as well educated patients, better drug safety reports and evaluation, smooth communication among patients, healthcare professionals and regulators, better PR, and even improved public health. However, many more questions should be addressed, until social media finally becomes Pharma’s comfort zone.