One of the great uses of the Internet is that anyone can reach out to a community for help, or read about the experiences of others who are managing, sometimes, complex health problems. I’m really surprised that pharma and medical device companies haven’t reached out to these people more or, at a minimum, used them for market research.
My wife recently had a pacemaker implanted and decided to share her experiences via a BLOG. To her surprise a lot of people read her first post and want to ask/share experiences. So then why aren’t more pharma and medical device companies doing this?
I created an online community for women who suffered from PMDD when Lilly launched Sarafem and it was very successful. We pre-screened each post with legal and regulatory and posters were not allowed to use their real names although their identities had to be verified via eMail.
While the emphasis on social media is certainly an opportunity for pharma and medical device companies, there is also a huge opportunity to connect patients to one another so they can share experiences with people they trust.