Voilà a very clever initiative from GSK France illustrating how pharma can use its priviledged position at the cross-roads of many important influencers to drive positive change of the healthcare system.
In 2005, GSK France under their CEO Hervé Gisserot started a blog to facilitate the discussion between French citizens and the main stakeholders of the French healthcare system. The site “avenir de la santé“ - the future of healthcare features interviews with stakeholders on how to reform the healthcare system, gives news on latest developments in the French healthcare debate and discusses and features the results of the annual conferences GSK organizes around the different hot topics. It also features some good information on the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the healthcare system, on market access etc. There is a possibility to leave comments, but you cannot directly post them on the site nor read those of others.
Last years conference on “How to create better orientation in the healthcare system: why and how?” was followed up with two internet market research study of over 1000 French citizens each: one on the perception of health and information, published in April 2008, and one on the current opinions on the French healthcare system, published in Sept. 2008 by GSK in collaboration with IFOP (The French institute of public opinion).
Many interesting themes emerged from these studies, one of which being the use of internet and social media in France. According to the study, internet is starting to take an important place in the information search habits of French citizens: 51% of people questioned have used the internet to search for health information (with an important divide based on age, citizens 65 or older only used the internet in 22% of the cases). Blogs and forums on specific health topics were consultant by 8% of the study participants.
In 2009, the debate will concentrate on “hospitals, patients, health and regions“. In fact hospitals represent 50% of the French healthcare systems spending. The debate will thus focus on how to reduce spending while maintaining quality and national coverage of services.
This is a great approach in which a Pharma company can play a positive, value-added role in shaping health policy. Look forward to this years conference (and maybe some more market research?).