Sanofi Aptly Responds to Roseanne Barr ‘Ambien Tweeting’ Comment

Roseanne Barr made some racist remarks on Twitter and had her show cancelled as a result.  Her excuse; “Ambien tweeting”.

Roseanne Barr - Ambien tweeting

Although her tweets have been deleted from her Twitter account, they live on the web forever.

With these two tweets, Roseanne Barr has created a cloud of doubt about a prescription drug that many take to help them sleep faster and longer.  By blaming a medication for her poor behaviour, she is trying to turn this into a ‘big bad pharma’ issue to benefit her public perception.

Everybody knows that Roseanne is not a physician or a pharmacist, but as a public figure, many will hear her comments and trust her, regardless of her lack of expertise in the matter or inaccuracy of her statements.

I applaud Sanofi US for their quick, clever and confident response on Twitter;

Roseanne Barr - Ambien tweeting - Sanofi response

Their response was courteous yet to-the-point.  Racism is not a side effect of a Sanofi medication.  End of discussion!

Pharma is so often made to feel like an evil machine, that this industry often just stays quiet in the face of unfair criticism, for fear of being criticized even more for not just rolling over and accepting the original criticism.  I’m so glad that Sanofi US spoke up and let its voice be heard.

Now I’m sure that I will be criticized for standing up for Sanofi US. Take a look at the list of adverse effects collected by  This list was created from a staggering 1,158 clinical trials.  That’s not peanuts!  Having such a huge number of clinical trials to back up a list of side effects means that the list will be that much more complete and accurate. lists the Ambien adverse effects as follows, in order of most frequent to least frequent, as collected from 1,158 clinical trials;

  • drowsiness, headache, dizziness, allergic reactions, sinus infection, dry mouth, back pain, lack of energy, drugged feeling, diarrhea, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, racing heart, lightheadedness, depression, abdominal pain, constipation, rash.

There is not one mention of racism or other lewd behaviour listed as a side effect.

To blame a medication for being a racist, and shoving that particular pharma company under the bus …. come on, Roseanne!  That’s not fair and it’s not accurate, and you know it!



Stop Thinking that you Would Never Forget your Child in your Car

never_leave_child_in_hot_carThis is an odd topic for this blog because I always post about healthcare and pharma marketing, trying to inspire creativity and innovation from other marketers.

Today I am making an exception, just this once.  As a mother of four young children, I feel compelled to write about this on my blog.

Last week, a 3-year old was found in a hot vehicle in Hamilton, Ontario.  He died of what appears to be signs related to being left in a hot vehicle.  This week, a 6-year old boy was found dripping in sweat in a hot car after a friend of the parent left the child to go shopping for a bit.  Apparently the child did not want to go shopping so he was left in the car with the doors locked and the windows closed tight.  Luckily, that child was found and saved by a couple walking by. We hear way too many cases like this. It is devastating.

As mentioned, I have four kids. The age span between the youngest and the oldest is 6 years, none of them are twins, so they were all born very close in age.  Just imagine, I was basically dealing with 2 or 3 babies at a time for a while.  It was chaos.  I was forgetting a lot of things, things that I would never forget normally.  I feared that one day, I would end up forgetting my keys in the ignition, lock the door and shut it before taking my kids out of their seats.  This was so worrisome to me that I started wearing my spare car key around my neck every day. I never needed to use it, but it helped keep me on my toes.  My 3 older kids are able to unbuckle themselves and get out of the car on their own now, but I still wear that key around my neck every day I bring them somewhere with me.  I was NOT being paranoid.  I was admitting to myself that I was capable of making errors, and I was preparing myself in case a bad scenario came up.

My point in telling you this story is that as parents and caregivers, we have to stop saying to ourselves that something bad, like forgetting our child in a hot car, will never happen to us.  It can and unfortunately does happen to some.  You are better off to take extra precautions and protect those wee ones.

We live in the era of technology! Take the time to use the technology that is on your smartphone to help protect your child.  You might feel like it’s silly and useless, and it might never be an issue for you, but why not take the extra precaution.  The effort to set this up is next to nothing and the peace of mind that will come with it will be enormous.

Here are some high-tech and also plain and simple ideas for you or anybody else that drives your children around, especially if it is out of the adult’s routine;

– Put your wallet and cell phone next to your kid’s seat

– Use Waze as a child reminder (yes, it has that feature!)

– Set up an alarm on your cell

Baby Reminder Widget app

My Precious Cargo app

A sensor for your child’s carseat


Thinking that an idea is a good is not the same as actually implementing it!  Take action now. Set something up that works for you right or anybody else that drives your children around.

If you know of a healthcare or pharmaceutical company that implements a campaign to help remind parents to take their child out of the car, let me know as it might be worth featuring on my blog.  Thank you in advance!

Novo Nordisk Privacy Policy Update and Community Guidelines Update

Warning – this is a long blog post because it needed an intro explaining the recent GDPR changes and the new Canadian privacy guidance documents.  If you are here because you are only interested in reading about the Novo Nordisk privacy policy update and community guidelines update, then feel free to skip about the first half of this blog post. 


If your inbox looks anything like mine, you have received quite a few notifications over the past few weeks about companies who have updated their guidelines to improve your privacy.  These updates are in response to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the European Union’s new data privacy law which came into effect as of May 5 2018.

Companies that collect, store or analyze information on EU residents must now be more transparent about the data they have and who they share it with.

If an EU resident asks a company to delete his or her data, to send a copy of his or her data, or agrees for a company to collect his or her data but not use it in specific circumstances, the company must comply.

If the GDPR is specific for EU residents, why are companies based in other countries required to comply as well?  

If a company, or online service regardless of where it is located, has any data on an EU resident, they must comply.  Basically, the GDPR has become a global standard.  This is actually good news for non-EU residents as they now share the same rights as EU residents, except that they have no legal right to complain if any issue related to this topic arises.

Canada Privacy Guidance Online

On May 24th, the day before the GDPR became applicable, the Canadian Privacy Commissioner issued 2 new Canadian privacy guidance documents to steer webpage owners in the right direction when it comes to content challenges on the internet.  Here is a summary of the 2 Canadian privacy guidance documents.  The information is copied directly from the documents because I did not want to use incorrect wording that would change the meaning of the guidance principles, but please keep in mind that I have only included excerpts that I deemed most important.  If you are a Canadian webpage owner that collects information on its viewers, then I strongly advise that you read both Canadian privacy guidance documents in their entirety. 

The first guidance document focuses on meaningful consent and sets out 7 guiding principles.

  1. Emphasizing certain key elements in privacy information and explaining them in a user friendly way

2. Allow individuals to control the level of detail they get and when

  • Information must be provided to individuals in manageable and easily-accessible ways (potentially including layers) and individuals should be able to control how much more detail they wish to obtain, and when.

3. Providing people with clear options to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’

4. Be innovative and creative

  • Organizations should design and/or adopt innovative consent processes that can be implemented just-in-time, are specific to the context, and are appropriate to the type of interface used.

5. Consider the consumers’ perspective

    • Consent is only valid where the individual can understand that to which they are consenting.

6. Make consent a dynamic and ongoing process

    • Informed consent is an ongoing process that changes as circumstances change; organizations should not rely on a static moment in time but rather treat consent as a dynamic and interactive process.
    • Organizations should also consider periodically reminding individuals about their privacy options and inviting them to review these.
    • Organizations should periodically audit their information management practices to ensure that personal information continues to be handled in the way described to individuals.

7. Being accountable and standing ready to demonstrate compliance

  • Organizations, when asked, should be in a position to demonstrate compliance, and in particular that the consent process they have implemented is sufficiently understandable from the general perspective of their target audience(s) as to allow for valid and meaningful consent.
  • Pointing to a line buried in a privacy policy will not suffice.

The second guidance document clearly identifies ‘no-go zones’.

The “no-go zones” are:

  • Collection, use or disclosure that is otherwise unlawful.
  • Profiling or categorization that leads to unfair, unethical or discriminatory treatment contrary to human rights law.
  • Collection, use or disclosure for purposes that are known or likely to cause significant harm to the individual.
  • Publishing personal information with the intended purpose of charging individuals for its removal.
  • Requiring passwords to social media accounts for the purpose of employee screening
  • Surveillance by an organization through audio or video functionality of the individual’s own device.


Novo Nordisk Privacy Policy Update and Community Guidelines Update

Pharma companies sometimes hold very personal information that could allow for a person’s identity and perhaps even associate that person with various health issues.  Since the social media profiles and blogs by pharmaceutical companies are often managed by the global office yet reach website users from around the world, it makes sense that the majority of the pharmaceutical companies probably updated their privacy policies to better reflect the requirements of the GDPR as well because they certainly get visitors to their sites from various European countries (amongst many other countries).

Novo Nordisk made a privacy policy update as well as a community guidelines update and promoted this change via LinkedIn and Facebook.  As I did not have a copy of their original privacy policy, I was not able to compare the old and the new side-by-side, but I did ask Novo Nordisk, via their Facebook post about their privacy policy update, to comment on what changes they made, and here is the feedback that they have provided as a response to my Facebook comment.

“We have changed the disclaimer so it reflects our updated data privacy policy.”

OK, so this response wasn’t earth shattering, but hey, they took the time to respond back and their response is definitely accurate and to the point.

Here is a screenshot of the Novo Nordisk privacy policy update post on LinkedIn.  Personally, I found the imagery spoke volumes and was very well chosen:

Novo Nordisk -privacy - LinkedIn


And here is the link to the Novo Nordisk privacy policy update in its entirety.  I have copied a few excerpts of their policy below;

Privacy disclaimer and community guidelines for Novo Nordisk’s social media accounts

We welcome and encourage your participation and engagement. When you engage with us on social media, you also agree to follow our disclaimer and community guidelines that explain how we use data and the restrictions of our social media pages.

Thank you for your understanding and for ensuring that your comments fit within these guidelines. While we reserve the right to remove any posting at its sole discretion, we are working to foster openness and dialogue and will therefore only remove comments that violate these guidelines.


Privacy disclaimer
1. The information we collect

We collect information for statistically purposes that can help us improve our communication. When you follow us on social media or engage in our content (via likes, shares, comments etc.) we automatically collect this information and use it to inform us if our content is relevant, where our visitors come from, what they look for and act on, and where the most time is spent. The information we gather about impressions and engagement does not include any personally identifiable information.
2. Collection of sensitive data

We do not collect or retain sensitive personal data relating to your health, ethnic origin, religious beliefs or political conviction etc. on social media. In the rare case where we do seek to collect other sensitive data we will do so in strict compliance with local data privacy law.


6. Information provided ”as is”

The information on our social media sites is provided “as is” and we make no representations or warranties, expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or noninfringement.

We make no representations or warranties of any kind as to the completeness, accuracy, timeliness, availability, functionality and compliance with applicable laws.

By following our accounts you accept the risk that the information may be incomplete or inaccurate or may not meet your needs or requirements.


Community guidelines
1. Product mentions and medical advice

Due to the nature of our industry, we cannot talk about certain topics with you online. If that is the case, we will let you know and provide others means in which to connect.
Our social media accounts are not intended for discussions about products made by Novo Nordisk A/S including the reporting of side effects associated with the use of prescription drugs.

Any questions or comments specific to products should be made to your healthcare professional.

Social media is not a place for us to provide healthcare advice. If you have questions about your health or the medicine you take, your doctor or health care provider is the person to ask. If you have issues with our medicines (an adverse event), or if you have a product inquiry or complaint, please contact Novo Nordisk’s office in the country you live.

For other comments or feedback please contact us via content (messages) on our accounts that is managed by colleagues in Novo Nordisk in Denmark, on behalf of our colleagues across the organisation.

2. Tone of voice

We welcome comments and questions and try to join the conversation whenever possible. However, we may remove any comments that: (1) are off-topic; (2) are inappropriate, vulgar or abusive; (3) are intended to spam; (4) reference a product; (5) solicit or offer medical advice; or (6) otherwise violates our community guidelines.

3. Information purposes

The content posted on our accounts is presented solely for informational purposes. The accounts do not provide you with advice or recommendation of any kind and should not be relied on as the basis for any decision or action. You are advised to consult professional advisors in the appropriate field with respect to the applicability of any particular aspect of the contents. In particular, nothing being posted constitutes an invitation or offer to invest or deal in Novo Nordisk securities.

Further, our accounts provide selected information of diseases and their treatment. Such information is not intended as medical advice and cannot substitute for the advice of a health care professional. If you have or suspect having any health problems, you should consult your general practitioner or other qualified health provider.


5. Replies, comments and direct messages

We welcome feedback and ideas from all our followers, and encourage you to join the conversation where possible. We will read all replies, comments and messages and ensure that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are passed to the relevant people in our organisation.

Thanks for reading and for connecting with us.


***  Leave me a comment below to let me know if this information was helpful and if you like seeing examples of privacy policies and community guidelines by pharma and healthcare organizations.

Prescription Drug Promoted on LinkedIn

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prescription product promoted on LinkedIn.  Now I’m sure there have been some and I’ve just missed them, but since this was my first time seeing one, I thought that perhaps there might be others who haven’t seen this and would be interested in seeing an example.

This month, I have seen ads for Ozempic(R) by Novo Nordisk on LinkedIn on several occasions. Ozempic is an injectable prescription product which is indicated for the once weekly treatment of adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycemic control.  Here is the Canadian Ozempic product monograph by Novo Nordisk for those who would like more information about this product.

I have seen 2 versions of the Ozempic ad on LinkedIn. The wording and image (brand logo) are identical, except the layout is different.  You can see them below.  The ads are simple, but the mechanism used to communicate directly to healthcare professionals is creative:

Ozempic ad on LinkedIn v2

Ozempic ad on LinkedIn

Since LinkedIn is a public, non-gated site, any ads on this site would be considered direct-to-consumer advertising.  In Canada, when promoting a prescription product to the public in general, only the product name, price and quantity can be mentioned.  The Ozempic LinkedIn ads follow those regulations.

However, based on the verbiage of the ad, it is obvious that Novo Nordisk is not targeting consumers.  They are solely targeting Canadian physicians with this ad, but they still need to treat the ad as a direct-to-consumer ad since it could be viewed by consumers who could then click on the link.

The Ozempic website that one gets directed to when clicking on the ad is gated and can only be accessed by either a physician, nurse or pharmacist who can provide their licence number.  This is considered appropriate gating of a website by Health Canada.

Ozempic ad on LinkedIn - link to website

I don’t have access to the views and clicks that Novo Nordisk is getting for these ads, but in general, most of us know that LinkedIn is a network for business people, and that includes healthcare professionals.  As such, I think it makes sense for Novo Nordisk to at least give LinkedIn a try for its advertising.  It is clearly an innovative means to get their message out to target healthcare professionals and the ad is implemented within the regulatory confines of the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.  Novo Nordisk may also be advertising on physician-specific sites such as Sermo and targeting Canadian physicians, but perhaps they are focusing on LinkedIn as a start since the advertising fees on Sermo are quite steep, however they can offer repetitive visibility to your specific target.

If you are managing a product that is targeted to healthcare professionals, don’t discard social media sites just because of regulatory restrictions.  You may have to test a few variations and different sites, but there is a way to communicate your message to your target audience.  Congratulations to Novo Nordisk for trying out a newer way of communicating directly with healthcare professionals.

A Pharmacy Facebook Party

I remember when my children were younger, it seemed like all the parenting blogs were hosting Twitter and Facebook parties to generate awareness and sales for their clients.  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see nearly as many Facebook or Twitter parties promoted as I used to.

But a few weeks ago, I saw a Shoppers Drug Mart Facebook party being promoted on Facebook.  I did not participate in the party, but since one of my objectives for this blog is to inspire healthcare organizations to use social media and digital marketing to reach their audience and achieve their objectives, I thought it would be worth posting a few screenshots of the Shoppers Drug Mart Facebook party.  See bottom of blog post.

The objective of the Shoppers Drug Mart Facebook party was to promote women’s mental health and to recruit women for their upcoming Run For Women event.  Very clever!

SDM RunForWomen FB ad

Shoppers Drug Mart promoted the hashtags #SHOPPERSLOVEYOU and #RunForWomen during the Facebook party.  If you are not familiar with hashtags, these are a great way to create a conversation and to help others find conversations about your topic.  According to, one of my favorite sites for tracking hashtag data, the #SHOPPERSLOVEYOU hashtag has a good momentum going on whereas the hashtag #RunForWomen had a slight increase for a couple of weeks, but now it is back to being flat and barely used.  Both hashtags have been tweeted mostly by Shoppers Drug Mart and other users tended to be concentrated in Canada.

ShoppersLoveYou hashtag

Shoppers Drug Mart has also been promoting their run for women via Facebook ads.

ShoppersLoveYou ad

Here are the screenshots of their Facebook party event invitation and a few others.  If ever your organization wants to create buzz around an event, why not try to host a Facebook and/or Twitter party.  It could be a great hook for your real objective.

SDM Facebook party 1SDM Facebook party - welcomeSDM Facebook party - thank you at endSDM Facebook party - FB story

Facebook drastic drop in view share in Canada since Cambridge Analytica fiasco

11817730 - concepts of quit facebook, by tearing the facebook sticker half.A couple of months ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that major changes would be made to Facebook which would result in a substantial drop in amount of time spent on Facebook.  The intent was to make Facebook more personal again, and less about the pages.

Then there was the whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco, which understandably turned off a lot of people from Facebook.  Here is how Mark Zuckerberg responded about the Cambridge Analytica situation;

Angus Reid Institute (1) ran a survey with 1,256 Canadian Facebook users immediately after this story came out, and their results showed that;

  • 27% would make no changes on how they use Facebook
  • 41% would keep using Facebook but would check or change their privacy settings
  • 23% would use Facebook less in the future
  • 6% would suspend their account or take a break from Facebook
  • 4% would delete their Facebook account

From these results, only a small percentage of current Canadian Facebook users were planning on actually leaving Facebook, even if just for a temporary period.  But even the tiniest percentage of a massive base ends up being a very large number.

The question that this survey did not ask is what would substitute Facebook.  When a brand loses market share, another brand often benefits as a result.  The brand that swooped the share of page views in Canada was Pinterest! Careful how you interpret this!  The results are given as a percentage, so this does not mean that Pinterest took all of the lost page views by Facebook and added them to their total.  Not at all.  Although Pinterest would have liked that, I’m sure!  What this simply means is that Pinterest now has the lion share of page views, albeit from a smaller base now that the social media goliath Facebook has lost page views.  The total number of page views of all social media sites combined has probably dropped substantially as a result of the lost page views from Facebook.  But, now that Canadian social media users may have gained back a bit of time from when they left or reduced their usage of Facebook, this will allow them time to use other social sites instead.

Social media in Canada - March 2018

Statcounter. Social Media Stats Canada. March 2017 to March 2018. 


At its peak in December 2017, Facebook owned 80% of the social media page view share.  As of March 2018, that has dropped to 52%! (2)

Facebook drop in share

As for Pinterest, as of December 2017, it owned 13% of the social media page view share, whereas this increased to an astounding 30% in March 2018. (2)

Pinterest big win

It is quite unlikely that either social media platform could have predicted the circumstances that have led to such drastic changes.  It certainly changes a lot for Facebook.  They were facing their own problems before this.  It might not be changing all that much for Pinterest because although they gained share of a smaller pie, they may or may not have gained that many more page views.

Where is Instagram in all of this?  Well, if you look at the Statcounter mobile data, you will notice that Instagram has also increased in page view share, but minimally compared to Facebook.  I would keep an eye on Instagram over the next few months to see their growth.  This site is sure popular with all the younger mothers at my kids’ school!

Source (1):   Angus Reid Institute. Un-liking Facebook: 3-in-4 Canadian users say data mining scandal will change how they use the platform.  March 26, 2018.

Source (2): StatCounter Global Stats – Social Media Market Share

Congratulations Iodine! 2018 Webby Winner in the Health Category

Iodine 4 - WebbyThe 2018 Webby winners have been announced! Congratulations to Iodine , the 2018 Webby winner of the Health category.  If you don’t already know this site, it’s well worth taking a few moments to go through it because it certainly has a lot of positive features.

The Iodine site was launched on September 30, 2014.  It is a user-friendly website that allows users to search for information on drugs and over-the-counter products. Once the user has found the product page that they are looking for, they will find all sorts of information about that particular medication based on a mixture of clinical research and real-life experience; benefits, adverse events, how to use, information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), people’s experience and reviews about their usage of the product, pictures of the product and even alternatives to that product.  There is so much information, but yet it’s all in a really easy to use format and easy to understand language and it really does not feel overwhelming at all.  The data is credible as it all comes from the FDA and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Although the team behind the Iodine site is quite small, what they lack for in numbers they more than make up for in experience.  According to their website, many of the people who started the Iodine site are engineers and designers that used to work on Flu Trends at Google, which unfortunately are no longer publishing current data.  According to the Iodine About page on their blog, their mission is to “help people find what works best for them” and their goal is “to become the most useful and trusted resource for medication information on the planet”. Wow, that is some lofty goal but I have a feeling that if somebody can pull it off, it just might be the team behind Iodine.

Now that we understand the site a bit better, let’s go through a little analysis of the site to see what is it that makes this site so great that it won a 2018 Webby in the health category!

For starters, according to Alexa, visitors to the Iodine website tend to be mostly females with college education who either stay at home or work outside of the home.  The daily page views per visitor is 1.2 and visitors spend an average of 1 minute and 54 seconds on the site, which is well above the average of 15 seconds according to HubSpot; “55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website”.

Iodine 1

Here are some of the features of the Iodine website which make it stand out.

✅ Clear objective

The Iodine website has a clear objective, to provide information to Americans about various prescription and other-the-counter drugs. Visitors from other countries would benefit from this site as well, except that some information is very specific to the U.S. pharmaceutical market. Other than the fact that sometimes the brand name might not be the same from country to country, the Iodine website lists prices for the drugs, provides coupons (to be used in the U.S.) and references the FDA.

✅ Functional

Iodine achieves its goal because it is chock full of relevant information about the medication, all of which is presented in an aesthetically pleasing format and is easy for consumers and patients to understands, whether they are medically literate or not. This is paying off for Iodine because according to Alexa, the Iodine website is the 79,499 most popular website on the internet.  Now that may not seem impressive, but when you consider that there are over 1.8 billions websites out there, that figure looks pretty good all of a sudden. However, being a website targeted to Americans, it is interesting to note that within the United States, ranks at 21,230, which is definitely something to brag about. The site also ranks at an impressive 25,233 in Canada!

✅ Easy to navigate

Within a few seconds, you will most likely find what it is that you are looking for.  It’s really that easy.  The tabs are clearly marked and are readily visible. You just go to the tab of interest and scroll or click away.  It is very intuitive.

✅ Speed

I have been on this site a few times from both my laptop and smartphone, and the site always loads reliably and quickly.  There are a few graphs but no heavy images that slow you down.  GTmetrix and DareBoost report the homepage load time to be 5.3 seconds and 5.7 seconds respectively.

✅ Reliability

According to an analysis by Power Mapper, the Iodine website does not have any broken links.

✅ Search

According to an analysis by Power Mapper, there are no search issues with Google, but the titles and meta descriptions are too long to be optimal on Yahoo and Bing.

❌ Social component

Although the site allows feedback from people who have used a specific drug, the format of the site is not conducive to generating a conversation. I do appreciate the ability to filter the reviews based on being a female, age and condition being treated.  It allows one to find a patient similar to oneself.

Although Iodine has social sites which it communicates from, such as its presence on Twitter Facebook and its blog (which has not been updated since October 2017), none of its web pages seem to have any sharing icons such as Facebook, Twitter or other.  This might have been done intentionally due to the seriousness of keeping their visitors’ privacy intact since they are looking up details about medications which could provide insight into their health conditions.  Or maybe it’s just an oversight, or it  has not been a priority.

This site is most useful for American patients and consumers, but it could expand its audience to healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical / health industry workers.

What do you think of the Iodine website?  Leave us your comments.


Iodine 2


Iodine 3


Teva uses social media to promote their research challenge

The pharmaceutical industry has been slow to adopt social media marketing, so it is always exciting for me to find a little gem that is different from what has been typically done in pharma in the past.  Here’s one that I found today that I wanted to share with you.

Teva Pharmaceutical, in association with ALS Association and Huntington’s Disease Society of America, is using a novel approach to launch a challenge to researchers worldwide to help them find a business solution.  The TEVA Challenge aims to find Novel Therapeutic Targets for Disorders of the Central Nervous System.

Today, Teva used their social media channels on Facebook (2,225 followers), Twitter (4,337 followers) and LinkedIn to promote this challenge. See their posts from earlier today, March 27 2018, below;



TEVA CNS disorder challenge - twitter


TEVA CNS disorder challenge

Their following on Facebook and Twitter is rather small and it probably consists of a majority of consumers along with a  pharmaceutical professionals within various roles, some of which might be research. However, the odds are good that they might reach their ideal candidate on LinkedIn.  Not only is LinkedIn focused on professionals, but Teva has a large following on this network.  With 106 ‘likes’ within 11 hours, the word is going to spread.



TEVA CNS disorder challenge linkedin

Social media has made it easier to reach and communicate with others around the world.  There is no doubt that Teva Pharmaceutical is searching for a pin in a haystack, but if they are successful in finding the right person, it will have all been worth it, because that person just might give them the answer that they need.  If they do not find the person, they have made some noise about themselves and their desire to do research and innovate.  The latter is not what Teva is hoping for, but my point is that there are no negatives in the method for searching for the right person.

Whether or not they find their ideal target via social media, this is definitely a novel way of reaching out to find a potential partner to help them achieve their business objectives.  Way to go Teva Pharmaceutical for opening up this dialogue with your networks.

For more details on the Teva challenge, go here.  Good luck to all who apply.

J&J Live Facebook Video – #ChampionsOfScience Competition

J&J went live on Facebook yesterday to share their Champions of Science, The Lab Coat of the Future finalists’ competition.  It was completely unbranded and simply focused on science. Their key message was that the lab coat is an integral symbol of innovation and science, yet it has not been updated in over a century. The objective of the competition was to grant the group with the best idea to innovate the lab coat with a $50,000 award.

My interest in this tactic is not the content of the video nor the objective of the competition itself, but rather the means that J&J chose to host the grand finale of the competition; via Facebook live video.

J&J Live FB

This was a well chosen medium because it made it ideal to promote the event and create hype for it online, meaning that a much larger audience could hear and learn about it.  It also created the potential for a much, much larger audience than would have been possible had the event been held in front of a live audience only.  This allowed over 11K views of the live Facebook video.  The finalists must have appreciated this large audience, whether they won or not, because it means that their work was made visible to a much larger audience and potentially to an investor as well.

When Mark Zuckerberg announced the new Facebook algorithm that would allow people to focus on their friends’ posts, he did allude to the face that live Facebook videos would still be a priority feature on page followers’ homepages.  Live Facebook videos remain a method of reaching a lot of eyeballs, and it is still free.  Keep in mind that when you have over 776K followers like J&J’s Facebook page, the odds would definitely be in your favor for getting a large online audience.

Note that there were no ads listed under their ad tab on the day of the live Facebook video.  It is not known if they had advertised on Facebook days prior to their live broadcast.  I am not certain if J&J took advantage of the Facebook stories feature when they were promoting their live broadcast.  If so, then I missed it.  If not, then I would certainly recommend that to whoever is hoping to replicate this type of activity.

A live Facebook video also has the option of living on, getting engagement from viewers during the broadcast as well as afterwards.  For example, after almost 24 hours after the live J&J Champions of Science broadcast, the video was viewed over 11K times, has been shared 146 times, received 465 reactions (all positive or neutral) and 225 comments.

J&J Live FB 1

The live broadcast was even talked about on Twitter with the hashtag #ChampionsOfScience, with 559 posts by 235 users (Source: Keyhole). There are 127 Instagram posts with the hashtag #ChampionsOfScience , however many of these are either from a much earlier date and a few seemed to be completely unrelated to the event.

On a personal note, I hope that we will see more pharmaceutical events such as this one showcased live on Facebook, because this will show the general public that pharma companies do a lot of good work within their communities, and often do not get recognized for them.  Kudos to J&J!

Congratulations to the winners and best of luck to the two other finalists in finding another investor for your ideas.

Pfizer Honors Women in Science with Instagram Story

The pharmaceutical industry is starting to take advantage of the greater visibility of stories on both Instagram and Facebook.  You can see an example of a Facebook story by Bayer here and by Pfizer here.

Today, Pfizer posted an Instagram story to honor women in science.  It is a nice collection of their female employees, known as colleagues, who are making a difference in bringing new medicines for various diseases.  This is well thought-out media tactic as not only does it honor women and promote women in science, but it also gives a public pat on the back to some of their own employees.  Pfizer has a track record of acknowledging its employees publicly and on social media as is described by their #PfizerColleagues social media campaign.

Here are the screen shots of the Pfizer Instagram story honoring women in science:

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