Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nader Backed Consumer Groups File FTC Complaint on Pharma Social Media

If you we don't think we have enough to deal when it comes to DMD's in treating MS, we are targeted on social websites for information,trends and private information

• Medical or Disease Condition Targeting, in which consumers or patients who express a particular health concern or interest are digitally profiled, tracked, and served ads and content based on the collection and analysis of such information. Among the many sensitive categories used in condition targeting are depression, COPD, diabetes, and asthma.
• Social Media Monitoring, through which health and drug marketers engage in online surveillance of the conversations consumers and their networks of friends have about brand pharmaceuticals, medical conditions, and treatments. 
• Behavioral Targeting, based on online data collection that analyzes a consumer’s Internet activities (which some call the “patient online journey”), in order to deliver marketing and advertising that zeros in on their medical concerns. Health and medical condition behavioral targeting is also used by online ad auction exchanges that sell access to a particular consumer in real-time for advertising purposes.
• Viral and word-of-mouth “buzz” marketing campaigns sponsored by pharmaceutical companies or health-related marketers that seek to drive sales of specific prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
• Unbranded online medical condition websites that appear to provide independent information on a particular disease or condition, but which are actually sponsored by a company whose products include treatment for the medical condition or problem addressed by the site.
• Seemingly independent testimonials or advice online, including through social networks and online video channels or sites, that are in fact the result of sponsorship arrangements and financial support by a pharmaceutical or health marketing company.
• Free online newsletters (WebMD alone offers nearly 50, covering such topics as arthritis, cancer, and weight control) and discount coupons ( offers “hundreds of coupons for prescription and non-prescription drugs”) are used to collect personal and other digital information from consumers, which is then used for profiling and targeting.
• The practice of “e-Detailing,” where physicians, nurses, and other health professionals are targeted via sophisticated digital marketing techniques designed both to influence their decision-making regarding specific drug brands and closely monitor their behaviors. These practices, unknown to patients and consumers, can have a direct effect on their healthcare costs and methods of treatment.
• The growing promotion for the use of electronic medical records by online health advertisers, such as Google and Microsoft, that also have a significant business in digital health marketing.
• Neuromarketing practices, which draw on the techniques of neuroscience to develop advertising campaigns for medical products that make direct appeals to the consumer’s subconscious


Cindy said...

Linda, I realized this today myself that a social media site you used to know well, is doing this. I almost went through with participating in something, when it dawned me me (reading the pharmaceutical literature) that they were actively trying to market their product through social media. Currently there is one out there for jelly fish (social media site I participate on) and a trial where pretty near everyone gets to be part. But in the end to continue on the product, you have to purchase it out of pocket at a hefty expense. It is really just a marketing scheme.

Unknown said...

There is so much dishonesty in every facet of these industries.The drug companies, we know in part, what to expect. The MS societies and their loss of trust, still shakes me to the very core. MS support websites,neuros, even the doctors who are now providing the procedure don't have clean hands.

I'm not trying to make a blanket, all encompassing comment about each one.There are people acting in earnest.At least, I pray there are, but sometimes I have to wonder how low these people can go.