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January 29, 2013
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Agency Update 
  • Doctors rate most effective ads in medical journals
    Doctors rated Conceptus' ad for birth control implant Essure the most effective single-page ad and Pfizer's nerve pain drug Lyrica the most effective two-page ad in journals, according to the Association of Medical Media's Doctors' Choice Study. Doctors rated Boehringer Ingelheim's Pradaxa ad the best multipage ad. Ads for Humira from Abbott and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia were also among the top rated. Medical Marketing & Media (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Retail strategy shaves 14 months off clinical trial recruitment
    Orexigen recruited clinical trial participants for experimental weight-loss drug Contrave by developing patient-centric recruiting materials that avoided loaded terms such as "obese" and included language more frequently found in sales pitches. The campaign received 100,000 responses, and recruitment took 10 months instead of the expected two years. The campaign included direct marketing, social media, television and advertising, and paid search. Medical Marketing & Media (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Digital marketers take aim at brands' TV budgets
    Until now, most online ad spending has been diverted from brands' print budgets -- but the rise of online video is now letting online marketers make a play for brands' TV budgets too, says RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney. "The number of people watching TV seems to be stagnating or declining, and the number of people turning to the Internet for entertainment is surging," he says. "It almost inevitably drives these TV budgets online." Reuters (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Trends, Research & Stats 
  • X and Z mark the spot for names of new drugs
    Drugmakers are again turning to names that start with X and Z for new medicines to draw the attention of patients and doctors. Since 1995, there have been 15 FDA approved medicines with names that start with X, and seven of them were introduced in the past two and a half years, according to this article. Reuters (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Interactive Ads & Technology 
  • Health-tracking apps and devices catch on slowly
    Sixty-nine percent of American adults monitor at least one aspect of their health, and 21% of those who do use some form of technology, such as a smartphone application or an electronic device, a Pew Research Center survey found. "It turns out that half of trackers say they are keeping track of progress just in their heads," said Susannah Fox of the center's Internet and American Life Project. Some apps transmit data to users' doctors, enabling them to spot early warning signs and adjust treatment accordingly, and many patients who have used digital health technology said it prompted conversations with their doctors. (1/28), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Digital communication may improve doctor-patient relationship
    A Televox report showed 85% of Americans believe high-tech forms of communication such as e-mail and text messages are at least as useful as conversations with health professionals that occur in person or over the telephone. Researchers also found 51% of those who had received text messages, voicemails or e-mails from their providers reported feeling more valued as a patient. (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Go to Market Strategy 
  • Turn your social media followers into SEO fuel
    Having a strong social media presence can boost a website's search engine optimization, Charles Dearing writes. Social actions such as sharing your location on Facebook or adding followers on Twitter translates to higher rankings in Google searches -- but it's not just a matter of how many people you interact with via social media, but who they are, he writes. "The authority of people who follow/mention or share/like your website, content and social media pages also are taken into consideration for ranking," Dearing writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Policy Pulse 
  • FDA will not appeal decision to permit off-label drug marketing
    The FDA said it will not appeal a 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals verdict in favor of Jazz Pharmaceuticals in an off-label marketing case. The company had marketed Xyrem to treat chronic fatigue and drowsiness, though the drug was approved only for narcolepsy. The FDA said it didn't believe the decision would "significantly affect the agency's enforcement of the drug misbranding provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act." The Wall Street Journal (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Coalition News 
  • Caronia panel: Off-label enforcement paradigm is shifting
    During a Drug Information Association Webinar held last week to discuss the implications of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decision in U.S. v. Caronia, a panel of industry experts, moderated by Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Director John Kamp, concurred that many questions remain about how the decision will change FDA marketing regulations and related U.S. Department of Justice actions under the False Claims Act. Kamp reminded DIA attendees that even though the ground is shifting, industry should not “read this decision as stripping the FDA of its authority to regulate off-label promotion. FDA’s authority to regulate ‘false and misleading’ promotion is intact and the agency fully intends to use it.” Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

Closing the Deal 
In terms of cognitive psychology ... [drugs] need a memorable, distinctive name that doesn't have negative associations. They may be distinct in terms of sound, but also visually distinct."
--Matthew Traxler, University of California, Davis, psychology and linguistics professor, as quoted by Reuters
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