Early bird pricing for the PAAB training

If you would like to network with Canadian pharmaceutical colleagues, meet with existing and potential new clients, as well as brush up on your PAAB knowledge, then you might want to attend the upcoming PAAB training workshop.

Register before September 28 to benefit from their early bird sale. The more people you sign up for the workshop, the bigger the price discount. You can register directly on the online registration form.

Montreal PAAB training: Tuesday, November 26th, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm

Toronto PAAB training: Thursday, November 28th, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm

Marketing 4 Health Inc. is proud to be a promoter of the PAAB training event again this year.

For medical copywriting or marketing project management services requiring PAAB approval, please contact Nat at nat@marketing4health.net .

Searching for Presenters for November PAAB Workshops

Update: The submission deadline has been extended to September 2nd. There will be no further extensions.

The Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB) is doing something new this year; they are inviting clients to submit for an opportunity to present at the November 2019 PAAB workshops. Here are the details, criteria and caveat regarding the submission and acceptance of a proposed PAAB presenter, as per the PAAB workshop website:

For more information on how to become a speaker at the PAAB workshops, visit the PAAB workshop website.

Save-the-date: Become a Leader in Compliant Marketing and Communications

  • Montreal: November 26, 2019 (Crowne Plaza, 6600 Côte de Liesse, Saint-Laurent)
  • Toronto: November 28, 2019 (Delta Hotels by Marriott, 655 Dixon Road, Toronto)

For more information on the agenda and speakers of the PAAB workshops, visit the PAAB workshop website.

Marketing 4 Health Inc. is proud to be supporting the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB) again by helping to promote their upcoming PAAB workshops. I will be at the PAAB workshop in Toronto. I hope to see you there!

Contact Nat at Marketing 4 Health Inc. for help with your PAAB-related project:

Contact information for Nat at Marketing 4 Health Inc:

  • Email: Nat@Marketing4Health.net
  • Call/text: 647-871-4NAT(4628)

PAAB Social Features on their Website: What to Expect

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to be one of several volunteers on the PAAB Website Social Functionality Committee, which was chaired by Jennifer Carroll (Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board – PAAB). Members of this PAAB Social committee consisted of both agency and client stakeholders;

PAAB Website Social Functionality Committee, 2019

What prompted the need for PAAB social features?

One of the PAAB’s business objectives is to increase client engagement in a more timely and regular basis.  What better way to do this than to allow ones’ stakeholders to reach out to the PAAB as well as to directly engage with other PAAB stakeholders online, whenever the need arises.  To help with this objective, the PAAB decided to form a Website Social Functionality Committee consisting of multiple stakeholders to provide guidance and practical feedback on social features for the PAAB website.

The PAAB Website Social Functionality Committee was initiated as a result of these issues. The objective of the committee was to determine how to configure social features on the PAAB website with the following considerations in mind;

  • How to promote client use of the social feature
  • How to effectively manage risks associated with the social feature
  • How to generate useful data and powerful insights contributing to PAAB’s mandate of continuous improvement

Juliana and I presented the final plan to the PAAB Board of Directors, which got approved. Yeah!! The PAAB has given me approval to publicly share insights about some of their website changes to come.

Proposed revisions to the PAAB website’s social features:

A PAAB staff member will be assigned to identify all similar documents throughout the PAAB website and group them in the same location to create sub-categories so that they can all be found more readily by the user. Whoever will be responsible for this assignment is going to be very busy!

New social features will be added to the existing website. Below are some of the key details:

  • PAAB website users will be able to like, share and comment per document OR per sub-category
    • Each document will have its own comments feed
    • People can comment at a concept level or at a specific document level. So when you see the comment, you will know what it is connected to.
    • Document comments won’t show up in categories, but if you’re on the category page, you’ll be able to see the amount of activity on each document, but it won’t assimilate all the comments.  That could get too messy.
    • You can also ‘like’ documents so users can filter a view based on popularity if they wish.
    • There will be the option to share documents which will contain static and social content. This will prove to be a great coaching tool for marketers who need to know the PAAB code well. It will also be a useful tool for agencies who need to inform their client as to what can and cannot be done in their marketing tools, and why or why not.

Here’s a made-up example of what all this could look like for a single document and a sub-category of multiple documents.

NOTE: This is only a mock-up for descriptive purposes.  The designs have not been finalized but we wanted you to have an idea of how it could look like : 

The PAAB website; Example of what social functionality on a document

The PAAB website; Example of what social functionality on a sub-category

Who can view, like, comment and share?

Anybody! There will be no limitation in the audience. In general, we anticipate that the audience will mostly consist of Canadian medical marketers or Canadian medical marketing agencies, but healthcare professionals, consumers and patients can also participate.

There will be no requirement that participants use their real names although this is highly encouraged.

Benefits for medical clients and medical marketing consultants and agencies:

The implications of adding social features to the PAAB website go beyond PAAB’s intent of increasing engagement with their clients in a more timely and regular fashion. And the

  • There will be an opportunity to participate at your convenience, 24/7
  • There will be an opportunity to learn (and coach) from the content generated by or in response to your peers’ comments
  • You will have access to an efficient avenue to ask questions which are focused on specific PAAB documents or sub-categories
  • You will have a streamlined mechanism to locate PAAB resources.
  • You will have increased access to training and resource documents.

The PAAB will benefit from this as well:

  • The PAAB will receive client insights on documents and sub-categories
  • The PAAB will see open and transparent communication between users which will provide insight into additional learning needs
  • The PAAB will be able to provide feedback as required which may answer questions from several people all at once, or for those who will come to see the document at a future time.

How does the PAAB plan to manage all of these comments?

You cannot have a social marketing plan without having a risk mitigation plan. Here are some of the high level risk mitigation plans that the PAAB is setting up as we speak;

  • There will be an assigned PAAB staff member who will be responsible for continuous comment monitoring
  • The PAAB will not be responding or commenting on all discussion threads. They will jump in if they need to respond to a question or if there is a comment that is perceived as being high-risk.
  • Responses to frequently-asked-questions are already developed and will be used to respond to these typical questions which may now appear in comments.
  • Comments which are considered to be high risk will be managed individually based on the PAAB escalation process.

When does the PAAB plan to launch the social features on their website?

At the moment, I am unsure. If we get an answer to this, we will update this blog post accordingly.

What do you think of the changes to come?


It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.” 
― Roy T. Bennett

Thank you to the PAAB for allowing me to give you a sneak peek about the upcoming social changes to their website. Furthermore, I am grateful for the confidence that the PAAB has shown me by including me on both the committee and on the presentation team.

I would love to know what you think of all this. Are you looking forward to these changes? Are you a bit weary, and if so, why? Please leave me a comment below.

Wishing Ray from PAAB a happy retirement

Natalie et Ray Chepsiuk - PAAB Commissionner - retraiteCongratulations to Ray Chepesiuk on his retirement from the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB)

Over the past 20+ years, he has saved me from getting into regulatory trouble on multiple occasions during my brand management days, and once I went off on my own, he still took the time to discuss topics for my blog and even connected me with various people who might lead to business opportunities. In fact, Ray brought me in for my very first pharma social media training session to train the PAAB reviewers. That was when social media was still in its infancy. One of the highlights of my career was back in 2009 when Ray invited me to sit with him and others on a speaker panel focused on social media & pharma. I felt so intimidated but Ray always showed his confidence in me.

I, as well as many other Canadian pharmaceutical marketers, learned a lot from Ray, both from a regulatory and a leadership perspective. Thank you, Ray, for your kindness, generosity and support throughout all these years. Best wishes on your well-deserved retirement.

New Facebook Group Admin Feature that Pharma Just Might Like

Social Media Marketing Society posted on its closed Facebook group that Facebook is rolling out a new feature that will allow Facebook Group admins to anonymously remove a member’s post and give a reason why the post was removed.  Pretty cool, huh!

Note that this is for Facebook GROUPS, not Facebook pages.

This could be a handy little tool for pharmaceutical or healthcare marketers who have regulatory guidelines to abide by.  Of course, all Facebook groups should have engagement rules that are prominently visible to their members, but sometimes, people either don’t read them, don’t remember them or simply don’t care for them.

If somebody makes a first offence such as mentioning a product name and disease state in the same post (which is a big no-no in Canada since the post may be seen by consumers), the admin could remove the post and politely inform the member that the post was removed in order to follow regulatory guidelines, with a reminder and link to review the group’s policy.  If the offence is more serious or comes from a repeat offender, depending on the group’s tolerance policy, the admin may decide to give this person a chance and a warning if they wish to remain part of the group.  It goes without saying that this person would also receive the reminder and link to the group’s engagement policy.

I have checked my Facebook groups, but none of them have this feature yet.  Oh Facebook – always slowly rolling out new features and teasing those who don’t have early access!  Here’s a sneak peak at the pics that were posted by the Social Media Marketing Society.

FB group rule broken - admins can now explain why removed comment 1FB group rule broken - admins can now explain why removed comment

Do you think this will be a handy tool for you and your organization?

Is PAAB review required for chatbots?

88341455_sMarketers in every single industry have been hearing about the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), including pharmaceutical marketers.  The major difference between the pharmaceutical industry and the others is that pharma is highly regulated in what it can say and do.  So, is PAAB review required for chatbots?  The answer is, of course, yes!

Whether a communication from a pharmaceutical company comes from an employee or a chatbot, the regulatory requirements must be treated the same;

For chatbots, the initial submission must include a detailed description of the model determining which scripts are used in which contexts (such that the underlying logic and model assumptions can be reviewed). Again, if applicable, A detailed description of how machine learning will take place must also be included.

-Patrick Massad, Deputy Commissioner, PAAB.

For more on how PAAB reviews chatbots, download the PAAB training document Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Canadian: Pharma: Opportunity or risk?

Want to learn even more than what’s in the training document, then join us at the upcoming PAAB workshop: Download the agenda and register now!

Workshop dates:

November 20, Montreal

November 22, Toronto

Early Bird Special:
Book by September 28, 2018 and save $50

 

Marketing 4 Health Inc. is pleased to help raise awareness for the PAAB workshop.  We hope to see you there!

PAAB workshop focuses on Artificial Intelligence to applying Real World Evidence

PAAB workshop speakers

PAAB workshop speakers

Have you signed up for the 2018 PAAB workshop yet?  With exciting topics from knowledgeable speakers, it promises to be a worthwhile event.  Download the agenda and register now!

 

 

 

Workshop dates:

November 20, Montreal

November 22, Toronto

Early Bird Special:
Book by September 28, 2018 and save $50

Here are the key learning objectives:

1) 2017-18 complaints & advice
Case studies from Health Canada and PAAB on public non-compliant communication materials and campaigns.​

2) Real World Evidence
Discover what of types data can be used as evidence for your product’s claims with PAAB.​

3) Digital marketing & communication masterclass
From AI and chatbots to deploying social media campaigns for disease awareness, turn digital innovation into an opportunity, and not a challenge.

4) PAAB Clinic
Collaboratively build several traditional and digital Advertising/Promotional Systems while tackling challenging issues provided from PAAB.

Those who would benefit from the PAAB workshop:

​This training is designed for anyone working on healthcare advertising, marketing or communication materials that circulate in the Canadian market. The workshop is designed to support a full range of attendees, from beginners to experienced.

Register now!

 

Marketing 4 Health Inc. is pleased to help raise awareness for the PAAB workshop.  We hope to see you there!

The 1st Canadian Pharma Ad on FaceBook?

This article was published on my original blog, Marketing4Health.ca, on May 13, 2010.

Since it is a significant milestone for the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, I decided to republish it on my new blog and backdate it so that it can be accessed by anybody who may need it as a reference point. Oh how we’ve come a long way since then!

Epipen FaceBook ad, May 2010.  Potentially the 1st Canadian pharma ad on Facebook.
Epipen FaceBook ad, May 2010. Potentially the 1st Canadian pharma ad on Facebook.

A brave Canadian pharmaceutical company has taken the plunge and is giving FaceBook direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising a try. King Pharmaceuticals has been promoting its EpiPen.ca website via the following English and French FaceBook ads:The call-to-action is to take the allergy risk test, but it appears as though the main objective of the site itself is to introduce the new EpiPen and EpiPen Jr (0.3 and 0.15 mg epinephrine) Auto-injectors (“EpiPen”) to Canadian consumers and healthcare professionals.  Both the FaceBook ads and the site are DTC advertising. Although King Pharmaceuticals launched the new EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors on April 14 2010, I first noticed the FaceBook ad on Monday May 10th 2010.  Of course, it is possible that the ad was launched sooner and that it just came to my attention later.

Canadian EpiPen patient website, May 2010
Canadian EpiPen patient website, May 2010

Can a prescription Rx brand copy this social media model? EpiPen falls under “ethical pharmaceuticals” in the regulatory system.  However, it is not a schedule F product (prescription required for sale).  Therefore, section c01.044 of Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations Act (which limits pharmaceutical DTC advertising to only product name, price, quantity) does not apply.  To promote a prescription product (Schedule F) in a FaceBook ad (DTC), only the product name, price and quantity would be allowable because it is a public direct-to-consumer placement.  Since the PAAB approves campaigns as a whole, this would also apply to any website that the FaceBook ad would link to.  For more information about Canadian regulatory requirements for prescription products promoted in social media, see Highlights from “Social Media Marketing in Pharma: What Works in Canada” or contact Patrick Massad at the PAAB.  If you are interested in learning more about Canadian regulatory guidelines for other types of healthcare products, you might like this article. 

Is this the first Canadian pharma ad on FaceBook? As far as the ads that I have seen on my personal FaceBook profile, this is the first one that I have seen from a Canadian pharmaceutical company.  There may have been others.  I might have missed them, or perhaps I was not part of the target market for the ad.  So unless somebody tells me otherwise, I do believe that this is the very first branded FaceBook ad by a Canadian pharmaceutical company.  In fact, I have not seen an unbranded FaceBook ad by any Canadian pharma companies.  I you know of others, then please share in the comments section. 

Is the FaceBook ad driving traffic to the EpiPen.ca website? Since the EpiPen FaceBook ad seems to have the objective of driving unique visitor traffic to the EpiPen.ca website, it is reasonable to track traffic to the site as an ROI measurement.  As an outsider, I will use data from Alexa and Compete. The following data and snapshot were taken on May 12 2010:

  • Alexa traffic rank as of May 12 2010 is 1,562,812
  • Alexa traffic rank in Canada is 27,244.
  • 1,177 monthly unique visitors to the website in February 2010.

Congratulations to King Pharmaceuticals for taking this innovative step.