Much discussion on leading patient blogs around twitter lately.
According to Pew Internet’s new report on twitter and status updating, 11% of Americans currently use twitter with e-patient’s being even more likely to use it (exact number to be discussed in Susannah’s upcoming report). So, if patients are on twitter, this must be a channel of interest for pharma, correct? Well, as Amy from Diabetesmine points out in this post, pharma is not quite ready yet to embrace twitter (and social media in general for this matter).
Why? I believe this has a lot to do with organizational readiness and shifting gears in the minds of management. I also believe that there exists a good deal of simple ignorance and thus fear of the unknown (Based my limited sample and experience, I would estimate the use of twitter by pharma executives below the 11% average – anyone have some figures on this?).
So I had a quick (and most likely incomplete) look at pharmaco twitter accounts. (Please help me complete this list, the idea is to create an up-to-date pharma twitter directory )
Here is who I found so far:
As a native German, I also was very excited to find Boehringer Ingelheim on twitter (See, us Euros can twitter as well Just like JNJ, this is a real person twittering and participating in many of the conversations. Like the twitter healthcare group for example.
AstraZenca US is sending interesting tweets around access programs, healthcare reform and strategy. I tried a couple of other languages and countries, but it seems AZ twitters in US only at the moment.
While Novartis corporate communications in Switzerland twitters with a clear focus on sending their existing press releases through this new channel for right now.
Generical (ex twitter.com/tevapharm) is the unofficial tweet by an employee of a global generic pharmaceutical company – thanks PierreYves and check out his great list of healthcare related twitter accounts
I found inactive twitter accounts with the handle Pfizer, Allergan, Amgen and Merck (Merck is reserved by brandigital). So we might see some upcoming twitter activity there soon?
GSK, Sanofi, Roche and Abbott handles exist but no relation to pharma I’m afraid
To sum up, four five major pharma corporations are active on twitter. All of them quiet recently, within the last 6 monhts. And it looks as though more are to take the “plunge“ soon. This is exciting news, and definately a step in the right direction. It is, however, important to keep the objective in mind. Simply being on twitter and not participating or shuffing out useless information is not going to help patients. For successful use of Twitter, the strategy has to be to inform patients and to provide information that is going to help them either access or adhere to treatment (easier, cheaper or quicker).
doseofdigital wiki on pharma and healthcare social media revealed a couple more pharma twitter accounts:
Check out the wiki for many more great pharma social media examples