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For B2C Marketing Professionals

How To Create A Social Application For Life Sciences Without Getting Fired

Social Strategies That Succeed Within A Regulatory Framework

April 20, 2009

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  • By Josh Bernoff
  • with Christine Spivey Overby,
  • Zach Hofer-Shall,
  • Jennifer Wise

Why Read This Report

People with health problems naturally form mutually supportive communities and seek out information about drugs and treatments. And yet, because of restrictive FDA regulations, pharmaceutical and other life sciences companies are terrified to take advantage of this powerful channel — they're 18 months behind every other industry we've encountered. Our advice to pharma, biotech, and medical device companies: First, determine whether the people who use your products are ready to connect socially around their health challenges. And second, choose a strategy that fits not only your objectives but also the risks you face. Options include a private community, an application with limits on customer-generated content, or a fuller application with appropriate safeguards built in. As social networks become a bigger and bigger part of the healthcare ecosystem, pharma companies will need to become adept in dealing with them, even if they don't create them.

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Table of Contents

  • People With Health Problems Want To Connect — And Pharma Wants To Help
  • Analyze The People You Are Trying To Help
  • Plan A Strategy Based On Your Objectives
  • Face Up To Regulatory Issues As You Create A Strategy
  • Tactics For Success

  • Healthcare Will Swim In A Social Sea
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents