Saturday, August 08, 2009

From Twitter 08-07-2009

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Hitwise: Top 15 US Websites, July 2009

The Hitwise data featured here (Top 15 US Websites, July 2009) is based on US market share of visits, as defined by the IAB—the percentage of online traffic to the domain or category—from the Hitwise sample of 10 million US Internet users.

Hitwise measures more than 1 million unique websites daily, including sub-domains of larger websites. It categorizes websites into industries on the basis of subject matter and content, as well as market orientation and the competitive context.

The market-share-of-visits percentage of certain websites does not include traffic for all sub-domains that could be reported on separately.

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From Twitter 08-06-2009

  • 10:10:19: RT @manhattanresear: "New eHealth Trends podcast: The FDA & Pharma Search Engine Marketing":
  • 22:06:13: Well, well. hre we R. U have exactly 8 hrs & fifty-four mins 2 think abt y U're hre. U may not talk, U will not move from ths seats. Any ??s

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

From Twitter 08-05-2009

  • 11:32:48: Paid search? New FDA guidenlines? Download the whitepaper: "Yes We Can: Time for an FDA Internet Drug Advertising Policy":
  • 13:40:35: "DTC Implications: FDA Calls Foul on Magic Johnson Promotional DVD" (via Arnold Friede from RPM Report):

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

DTC Implications: FDA Calls Foul on Magic Johnson Promotional DVD

Written by Arnold I. Friede

Source: The RPM Report
July 2009, Vol. 4, No. 7
(posted with permission of author)

FDA’s criticisms of promotional DVD for Abbott’s Kaletra highlight pitfalls of celebrity testimonials. FDA says too much of the session with the basketball star focuses on benefits from drug; risk information is just an afterthought. The interview with net star also demonstrates FDA concept of inaccurate “net impression.” The DVD creates implied claim that drug works for five years – without supporting data.

On July 14, the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC) in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research issued a Warning Letter about a promotional DVD featuring an interview with basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson about his personal experience with the combination protease inhibitor AIDS drug, Kaletra (lopinavir and ritonavir).

This compliance correspondence offers immediate insight into how a few of the concepts articulated by the agency in its May 2009 Draft Guidance for Industry: Presenting Risk Information in Prescription Drug and Medical Device Promotion will be applied in practice.

In this context, perhaps the most important aspect of the Warning Letter has to do with the substantial criticism by the agency of where and when in the promotional DVD the key risk information appears.

According to DDMAC, “the first 11[and 1/2] minutes of the promotional DVD are devoted to an engaging and lively discussion…presented in an interview format…that includes a discussion of the benefits Magic Johnson has received from Kaletra.” However, “in contrast, the presentation of serious risks associated with Kaletra is relegated to the end of the DVD after the interview is over, where it is unlikely to draw the viewer’s attention.”

FDA says “this overall presentation misleadingly minimizes the serious risks associated with Kaletra because it fails to convey the important risk information with a prominence and readability reasonably comparable to the claims of effectiveness.”

Putting aside for the moment the underlying concerns about the importance in context of the specific information about the drug’s serious risks, the temporal delay between communication of the benefit information in the promotional DVD and the information about serious risks was in and of itself particularly troublesome to FDA. In this respect, DDMAC appears to be articulating a principle that might be termed “tight integration” of risk with benefit information.

As the agency said in the draft guidance: “In addition to appearing with or near benefit presentations, risk information should appear as an integral part of the piece, just as benefit information does.”

One might question how the principle of “tight integration” might be applied where the temporal delay between the benefit and risk information is substantially less than the 11 and 1/2 minute delay in the Magic Johnson promotional DVD—say, for example in the context of a 60 second television commercial. At the same time, however, deviation from that principle, at least as perceived by DDMAC, is a major aspect of this Warning Letter.

A second key lesson from FDA’s letter has to do with whether, to what extent and how testimonial claims can be generalized to a broader target audience consistent with the “net impression” standard for evaluating the meaning of advertising as articulated in the draft guidance.

Magic Johnson is perhaps the best known example of the role and value of chemotherapeutic management of AIDS through aggressive use of anti-retroviral agents. He is an almost perfect embodiment of how these medicines have helped many people with the disease lead a relatively “normal life”.

We can all recall a time when these drugs were not generally available in the United States, and the ravages of the disease without them. At the same time, FDA has an institutional concern, grounded in the statutory “substantial evidence” standard, about basing promotional claims on one person’s experience, or even the experience of a small group, and then extrapolating from there to a broader population.

In this context , one can certainly comprehend the concern that the “net impression”—although the term is not used explicitly in the letter—from the Magic Johnson interview is the claim that Kaletra would be effective for at least five years and allow someone to lead an absolutely “normal life” except for having to take medication.

This concern was intensified because, ironically, almost precisely five years ago (on October 29, 2004), DDMAC issued an untitled letter about implied claims “that patients taking Kaletra can expect to survive and be healthy for at least five years, in the absence of substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience to support such an implication.”

This overall net impression was not alleviated, according to FDA, by the use in a “super” of the qualifier “individual results may vary”. This interpretation is consistent with the tenor of the draft guidance, which repeatedly emphasizes the limitations of qualifying information in a variety of contexts.

In the end, the draft guidance provides a useful prism for discerning some of the generalizable principles in FDA’s Warning Letter on Kaletra and the Magic Johnson DVD. It should likewise provide a useful framework for both going-forward and retrospective analysis of other DDMAC compliance correspondence.

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A New “BLACKBAG” for Physicians

by Melissa Waggenspack
Original post: JNJBTW

You may have noticed your physician using a PDA or smartphone during your last visit to the doctor’s office. According to a report by Manhattan Research, this trend is on the rise in 2009, with approximately 64 percent of U.S. physicians using a PDA or smartphone to stay connected while on-the-go.

Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc observed this increase in the number of health care professionals using mobile technologies and created the BLACKBAG™ iPhone Application, which gives physicians access to the latest medical information at their fingertips. Within the first two months of launching the app, BLACKBAG was downloaded by approximately 24,000 users.

The idea behind the BLACKBAG app was to provide physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other health care professionals with easy access to resources and tools to help them stay informed; an electronic version of a doctor’s “black bag.” The app contains unbranded content across a number of medical areas and specialties. Health care professionals can subscribe to customized news feeds to receive breaking medical news, and access to journal summaries, conference coverage, videos and podcasts related to their areas of interest.

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From Twitter 08-04-2009

  • 13:38:33: Just had my 1st vid conference on a commercial jet / via Skype. Client was talking, I remained silent & gestured/used chat. By choice.
  • 14:29:48: WORTH WATCHING: "Ben Stiller is Online". Video of Stiller (@RedHourBen) using social media: (via @mashable)
  • 19:19:55: Thoughts on how this applies 2 "FDA's 14 Letters 2 Pharma"? MediaPost "Onerous Regs 4 Web Ads Ruled Unconstitutional":
  • 19:20:57: NICE! RT @jonmrich: No, Pharma's Digital Future Isn't All Social Media. Check out article in AdAge's DigitalNext:
  • 19:22:23: Glad u guys all met! Beer Summit? RT @ambremorley: Nice meeting @pharmaguy today with Charlie
  • 19:53:08: Download the new whitepaper: "Yes We Can: Time for an FDA Internet Drug Advertising Policy":
  • 20:32:15: LOL! RT @jonmrich: @SonofaMack & other bloggers 2. I feel sry 4 U, son. Shall I call the authorities 2 rescue U? Tweet once 4 yes, 2 4 no.
  • 20:59:45: RT @nicolejohnson @bmaldonado: ADAGE: Marketers shifting budget funds from traditional media to social media:
  • 21:04:14: If only Mary wld leave SoUThnkUCnDnce I wld B complete! RT @mashable: Paula Abdul Tweets That She's Leaving American Idol:
  • 21:05:21: RT @michaelgass: New Research: Marketers are finally moving into social media along with budgets
  • 21:20:24: DO U AGREE? eMarketer's KEY TAKEAWAY in recent survey: w/out broader consumer acceptance, TWTTR will b poor markting tool:

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Who Finds Twitter More Effective, Advertisers or Consumers?

Source: eMarketer
AUGUST 4, 2009

Consumer awareness remains low.

Though Twitter is currently a media darling, only 8% of advertisers and consumers think it is a “very effective” promotion tool, according to June 2009 data from LinkedIn Research Network and Harris Interactive.

The research, which included surveys of US advertisers and Internet users, found that while 83% of advertisers were familiar with Twitter, only 31% of Web users were.

Naturally, younger respondents were more familiar with the microblogging site. Only 11% of 18-to-39-year-old advertisers did not know enough about Twitter to have an opinion on its value, compared with 20% of advertisers ages 40 to 49 and 21% of those 50 and older.

Among Internet users, 55% of 18-to-34-year-olds said they were not familiar enough to have an opinion, compared with 80% of those 55 and older.

In terms of Twitter’s effectiveness for promoting products and ideas, both advertisers and consumers were tepid.

In addition to the 8% of advertisers who said Twitter was very effective for promotion, 50% said it was somewhat effective. More than three in 10 (34%) said it was not very effective and 8% felt it was not effective at all.

Among consumers, 8% said it was very effective, 42% believed it to be somewhat effective, 31% said it was not very effective and 19% felt it was not at all effective.

The takeaway: While marketers, advertisers and members of the media have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, the average US consumer has not. And without broader consumer acceptance—not to mention awareness—it can’t be considered an effective marketing tool.

If this never happens, all the tweets in the world won’t make much difference.

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More Marketers Use Social Media, Survey Says

55 percent said they shifted funds from traditional media to execute social media campaigns

By Steve McClellan
Source: Ad Week

NEW YORK Social media has gained significant traction this year as a marketing tool, according to a new survey from the Association of National Advertisers, BtoB Magazine and marketing services firm Mktg.

The study found that 66 percent of marketers have used social media in 2009, compared to 20 percent in 2007. Fifty percent have employed viral videos so far this year, up from only 25 percent in 2007.

The survey was conducted online in June and is based on responses from 172 client-side marketers.

Facebook was the most popular venue, with 74 percent of respondents saying they used the site for marketing purposes. YouTube and Twitter followed with 65 percent each, and LinkedIn tallied 60 percent, according to the study.

Search engine marketing was cited as the most effective new-media platform by 65 percent of respondents, while 59 percent cited their own Web sites. Search engine optimization was selected by 55 percent, while 45 percent chose e-mail marketing. Company-owned Web sites will get most of the money earmarked for new-media platforms, according to 26 percent of the respondents, while 19 percent said search-engine marketing would get the biggest share and 17 percent said it would go to online advertising.

More than half of the respondents (55 percent) said they shifted funds from traditional media budgets to execute social media campaigns, while 48 percent said they took money from marketing communications budgets. Twenty-six percent said they created an incremental budget.

The top concerns for marketers when considering newer media platforms are the inability to prove ROI (45 percent) and a lack of metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media (43 percent).

Commenting on the results in a statement, ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice said: "As more media platforms become available, it is imperative that all marketers continue to assess their capabilities and select the platforms that are best suited to help them meet their brand's goals and objectives. With this proliferation of media, marketers must work harder, survey the entire landscape available to them and create their brand's most optimal media mix."

The study also revealed differences in the ways business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers use new media platforms. While mobile is used by 32 percent of overall marketers, it is three times more likely to be used by b-to-c marketers. LinkedIn rates first with b-to-b marketers while Facebook is top among b-to-c marketers.

Twitter is used more by b-to-b marketers (70 percent) than b-to-c marketers (46 percent). B-to-c marketers see more effectiveness from SEM (76 percent) than b-to-b marketers (48 percent).

In the next year, blogs are expected to be the hottest new marketing channel, according to 34 percent of the respondents not already using the platform, while 28 percent cited mobile and 23 percent cited social media.

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Yes We Can: Time for an FDA Internet Drug Advertising Policy

Download the paper by Arnold I. Friede and Robert B. Nicholas

"Hopefully, DDMAC’s preemptive war on sponsored links, and its unequivocal rejection of the “one click” rule that industry had long assumed was applicable in this context, does not refl ect the Obama Administration’s long-term intention to continue to apply to manufacturer Internet communications the same regulatory regime that FDA applies to traditional print labeling and advertising."

Click on the image below to download the full article.

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Onerous Regs For Web Ads Ruled Unconstitutional

Source: Media Post Blog
by Wendy Davis

"Internet advertising differs significantly from advertising in traditional media." That's according to U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman in Louisiana, who Monday invalidated portions of new state restrictions on attorney advertising.

The new rules would have required lawyers to submit all ads, including pay-per-click search ads, to a committee for advance review at a cost of $175 per ad. If blog posts were deemed ads, attorneys could have had to pay for vetting each time they made a new post.

The law firm that challenged the new regulation, the Wolfe Group, said that it spent $160.63 on pay-per-click ads with Google in the second quarter. During that time, the firm ran 12 variations of its ad. The cost to the firm of vetting those ads could have been as high as $2,100.

Feldman found that such limits on Web advertising were unconstitutional. In his 39-page opinion, he also criticized the authorities for crafting an ad policy that didn't account for the difference between push and pull mediums. "The Internet presents unique issues related to advertising, which the state simply failed to consider in formulating this rule," he wrote.

This decision makes a lot of sense. Like other types of advertising, pay-per-click ads can mislead consumers. But that's no reason to require marketers to present their ad copy for pre-publication review -- a process that would certainly discourage many legitimate companies from using the Web to communicate with consumers.

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From Twitter 08-03-2009

  • 18:07:06: From "United Breaks Guitars" to "Motrin Moms", here are @roncallari's "Top Ten Branded Social Media Nightmares":

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Monday, August 03, 2009

inVentiv Health Expands Into Japan

SOMERSET, N.J., Aug. 3, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- inVentiv Health (Nasdaq:VTIV - News), a leading provider of commercialization services to the global pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, announced today it has established inVentiv Japan, a Tokyo-based operation that will provide commercialization services to healthcare clients.

"Japan is among the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world and our clients are launching many products into the Japanese market," said Blane Walter, Chief Executive Officer of inVentiv Health, Inc. "Establishing inVentiv Japan will enable us to fulfill our clients' needs, while also supporting inVentiv's growth as a global healthcare leader."

inVentiv Japan will provide outsourced sales solutions through the company's Selling Solutions division. inVentiv currently has agreements with four top 20 pharmaceutical companies and a Japanese specialty pharmaceutical manufacturer to provide sales teams that will promote several of their products in Japan.

Japan was a $76.6 billion market for pharmaceutical sales in 2008, with expected growth of 4-5% in 2009, according to IMS data. The market is comprised of approximately 56,000 pharmaceutical sales representatives, but only about 4% are currently outsourced.

"We believe there is significant opportunity for outsourced sales growth in Japan," said Terry Herring, President and COO of inVentiv Health, Inc. "Not only have many top-selling U.S. pharmaceutical products not yet launched in Japan, but a growing number of pharmaceutical companies in Japan are looking to increase the flexibility of their workforce. We have been extremely pleased by the initial response to our offering over the past quarter, and we are excited by the opportunity to build additional client relationships in this expanding market."

inVentiv's sales operation in Japan is led by Dan Feldman. Mr. Feldman has more than 20 years of senior management experience in marketing and sales of ethical and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, and in the delivery of outsourced services in Japan, Asia, and Australia. Prior to joining inVentiv, he served as Vice President of Sales at Merck-Banyu in Japan, and held several senior-level positions with pharmaceutical service providers in Japan and Korea. Mr. Feldman also previously founded Churchill Communications, the first healthcare communications firm in Japan.

"Dan Feldman is the ideal person to lead our sales operation in Japan. His experience managing pharmaceutical commercialization efforts in Japan and throughout Asia is unparalleled. Also, having worked for both pharmaceutical manufacturers and service providers, he brings valuable perspectives on the needs of our clients," said Thomas Dimke, Senior Vice President, overseeing international efforts for inVentiv Selling Solutions.

In addition to its Selling Solutions offering, inVentiv Health also has Communications capabilities in Japan through an affiliate relationship with Ad-comm Group, a privately-held network of specialized communications companies in Japan.

About inVentiv Health

inVentiv Health, Inc. (Nasdaq:VTIV - News) is an insights-driven global healthcare leader that provides dynamic solutions to deliver customer and patient success. inVentiv delivers its customized clinical, sales, marketing and communications solutions through its four core business segments: inVentiv Clinical, inVentiv Communications, inVentiv Commercial, and inVentiv Patient Outcomes. inVentiv Health's client roster is comprised of more than 350 leading pharmaceutical, biotech, life sciences and healthcare payor companies, including all top 20 global pharmaceutical manufacturers. For more information, visit

The inVentiv Health, Inc. logo is available at

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks that may cause inVentiv Health's performance to differ materially. Such risks include, without limitation: changes in trends in the pharmaceutical industry or in pharmaceutical outsourcing; our ability to compete successfully with other services in the market; our ability to maintain large client contracts or to enter into new contracts; and, our ability to operate successfully in new lines of business. Readers of this press release are referred to documents filed from time to time by inVentiv Health, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission for further discussion of these and other factors.

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From Twitter 08-02-2009

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

From Twitter 08-01-2009

  • 17:30:46: RT @DigitalBulldog New Pharma Twitter model: sponsor trusted content providers. Lilly Oncology sponsors @MedscapeOnc news from lung meeting
  • 17:39:35: @MaverickNY "@MedscapeOnc: IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer, Day 2: Medscape Oncology news on Twitter sponsored by Lilly Oncology."
  • 17:45:01: @MaverickNY - interesting... Perhaps not all the tweets are sponsored ??
  • 18:03:01: @MaverickNY aha. Haven't taken the quiz. Boy, that's a lot of characters to use - "sponsored by lilly oncology"... :)
  • 18:19:09: RT @MaverickNY: Everyone's learning. But it's interesting - and actually provides value.
  • 18:20:47: Medscape Oncology survey on use of twitter at World Lung conference.
  • 18:27:26: WORTH THE READ - Fighting AIDS in Africa, The Future of Healthcare in Your Hand(set)-Via @BlippVert:
  • 18:32:12: @shwen Happy anniversary. LOVE skydiving. One of the coolest things I've ever done.
  • 18:40:36: My entomologist brother just updated FB from Iceland: "The results so far: Spiders are predators". Anyone else find that creepy & cryptic?
  • 18:49:20: Cool! AMC launches "MADMEN YOURSELF" microsite 2 promote season 3. Build character, swap our your twitter/facebook avatar:
  • 18:57:29: Anyone remember "25 RANDOM THINGS", that facebook "note" that went hyper-viral? Check out this funny College Humor video:
  • 19:36:14: MySpace launches "MySpace Graveyard" in an effort to monetize lost members:

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