John Mack invited me last week to participate in his newest podcast, this time focusing on how pharma could use Wikipedia. As a Wikipedia administrator, I tried to provide useful pieces of advice.
Posts from the ‘Pharma’ Category
Dr. Robert Goodman, a physician in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx has been collecting gift pens received from pharma reps over the years. You can see the pictures below, but it raises some interesting questions.
You can imagine how many pharma reps contacted him in the past years. Do we really need these reps? Cannot we provide the same information in a personalized, time-consuming way for the physicians? (Yes, we can…)
A few days ago, I published an open letter to pharma about employing a Wikipedian and that letter received quite huge feedback including hundreds of tweets and some interesting blog posts.
John Mack, author of PharmaGuy, invited me to participate in a podcast on the 17th of July:
Pharma does not have a stellar record when it comes to editing Wikipedia articles. See, for example, “Simply Irresistible: Abbott Tampering with Wikipedia Entries” and “Web 2.0 Pharma Marketing Tricks for Dummies.” So it’s no surprise that this raises a number of interesting issues that were hotly debated during a recent #hcsmeu Twitter chat. That discussion will be continued in a Pharma Marketing Talk podcast on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. You are invited to listen or call in with your opinions. For more information, go here.
Until then, you can fill in a short survey about this issue on his blog.
Based on the recent open letter sent to the Royal Society about employing a Wikipedian in residence, here is my open letter as a Wikipedia administrator to pharma following the discussion with Michael Spitz on Twitter.
Dear Pharma Companies,
The place of Wikipedia in the dissemination of medical information online is indisputable now. If you want your customers to access information about your products from the quality perspective and in the simplest way, you have to deal with using Wikipedia.
Based on the pretty negative past encounters between pharma employees and Wikipedia editors (pharma employees trying to edit entries about their own products in a quite non-neutral way), we advise you to employ a Wikipedia editor if you want to make sure only evidence-based information is included in entries about your own products. Appointing someone from within your company as a “spokesperson” in Wikipedia who would perform all edits on behalf of the company is an excellent way to update those entries.
For more details, please see our open access social media guide.
But basically, we, Wikipedians, are more than open to starting a discussion about this with you.
I’m looking forward to working together.
Dr. Bertalan Mesko
A lot of colleagues from the pharmaceutical industry have asked me about the recent closure of J&J’s Psoriasis 360 Facebook page in the past couple of days. They asked whether this is a proof that pharma shouldn’t be on Facebook.
Psoriasis 360 was one of the best examples of pharma being open to use social media effectively. It was the first pharma-driven Facebook page initiated by Alex Butler, that allowed comments. People likes that, the industry used it as the example, it won awards. And now, it’s closed.
More than a year after launching its Psoriasis 360 page on Facebook, the Janssen UK unit of Johnson & Johnson is closing down due to a growing number of comments that had to be removed because specific drugs were mentioned or, in some cases, offensive language was used. The decision was posted on the Facebook page today.
I have managed large medical/pharma Facebook pages and I know it can be hard to manage a page with a lot of limitations, but in that case it must have been around 1-2 comments daily. Yes, daily. It means there is another reason behind the closure.
I’ve told all my pharma contacts this is the proof that a pharma-driven Facebook page (or any social media channel) can only be successful if someone with good communication/social media skills is behind that and is responsible for that. As soon as Alex left the company, they decided to close the page.
Take-home message: find the right people for managing and designing these social media channels otherwise it just won’t work.
Long story short:
- Pharma and medical professionals had been waiting for the FDA to come up with a social media-related guidance. They did not.
- We collaboratively created an open access social media guide for and about pharma.
- Submitted it to the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (this agency later confirmed to me they do not work on a social media guide).
- The FDA came up with a guidance in which partially dealing with social media.