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Michael Boken,
Senior product  director, Vyvanse, 
Shire

When will pharma companies start spending more online?
Budget allocation: The overall marketing mix is still weighted toward offline tactics. With the efficiency of online programs in terms of reach, quality and value, Shire and the Vyvanse team have recognized the importance of allocating a significant share of marketing dollars toward interactive. This makes sense for us, because ADHD patients are among the biggest seekers of online health information. Other industry players will follow suit, if it's right for their brand.

What are the obstacles to pharma embracing Web 2.0 and how will they be overcome?
Social media: Web 2.0 offerings provide unprecedented insight into ADHD consumer thought process and behavior while affording an unparalleled level of engagement with our customers. However, the lack of control, within an industry as highly regulated as ours, requires a methodical, strategic approach and thoughtful teamwork between marketing and our internal legal and regulatory teams.

What's the next big thing in interactive promotion in the pharma space?
Tactics: Moving forward, we're focused on utilizing the power and flexibility of the Internet to personalize our Vyvanse marketing messages to both physicians and patients. This personalization will take the form of engaging individuals when they are making decisions and on their own terms. In addition, it will involve the custom delivery of content in a one-to-one fashion, making for a highly personal and impactful experience for us, and most importantly, our customers.
Robert Likoff
CEO, 
Group DCA

When will pharma companies start spending more online? 
Budget allocation:  More brands will embrace the online channel, because they see their competitors or peers using it to reach and deepen relationships with their targets, increase share of voice and wallet, and change behavior. We're late adopters in our industry where online programs are concerned. The channel's potential is still largely untapped in our space. That means great opportunity for pharma.

What are the obstacles to pharma embracing Web 2.0 and how will they be overcome?
Social media: Many forms of publishing such as weblogs, wikis, podcasts and other social softwares provide enhancements over read-only websites and work in the consumer world. If pharma companies sponsor exchanges for physicians on brand-specific sites, adverse events need to be reported. That's the limitation. Un-branded, disease-state specific, physician-to-physician social sites make sense and can be sponsored by pharma sans brand mention.

What's the next big thing in interactive promotion in the pharma space?
Tactics: Portable devices, i.e. Apple's iPhone. Interactive content could be uploaded by reps to detail physicians in a way that is more inviting than via tablet or laptop, or transmitted to patients over time to improve patient education, adherence and persistency. The key: reach people where they're comfortable. Devices are personal and convenient.

Paul Ivans,
President, founder,
Evolution Road

When will pharma companies start spending more online? 
Budget allocation: Pharma will dramatically increase spending as soon as it demonstrates that online marketing drives topline sales and delivers strong ROI. We're in a very difficult budgetary environment, and brands simply don't have the luxury to shift funds online from other marketing disciplines/channels unless they are comfortable that those efforts will drive sales. For most brands, appropriate spend is 5x-10x current levels.

What are the obstacles to pharma embracing Web 2.0 and how will they be overcome?
Social media: Regulatory concerns and time. Guidelines are drastically slowing pharma's participation in social media and Web 2.0. Companies are highly concerned about the risks involved in either advertising or participating in any form of consumer-generated media (blogs, chats, etc.). And only time (and a few ingenious companies) will help pharma overcome its reluctance. Remember: we had the same hesitations about search engine marketing. 

What's the next big thing in interactive promotion in the pharma space?
Tactics: Scale. Simply scaling up e-marketing, so it's a very “big thing” in the marketing toolbox, so that it drives hundreds of millions of dollars of topline sales for brands at strong ROIs. Companies need to rigorously measure their online initiatives, optimize and then scale them up to drive topline sales. On the consumer side, the key online initiatives to scale are paid search online banner/rich media campaigns and e-detailing for healthcare professionals.
Marjorie Martin,
General manager,
About.com

When will pharma companies start spending more online? 
Budget allocation: Pharma is slowly but surely moving more money online, though the transition feels slow to many of us. The current flux in the industry may expedite the adoption of online programs due to the efficiency of the spend. And once they're online, we're confident they'll like the results!

What are the obstacles to pharma embracing Web 2.0 and how will they be overcome?
Social media: Pharma has stayed away from Web 2.0 mainly due to regulatory concerns; however, I think there are some fairly simple solutions. Many pharma programs would benefit significantly by including some user-generated content. And there are ways to do it without adverse event concerns. It's important that pharma and online health providers work together on solutions.

What's the next big thing in interactive promotion in the pharma space?
Tactics: The exciting new opportunity in the health space is providing health services. In addition to providing content that helps patients identify symptoms and learn more about specific conditions, we're now developing sophisticated tools to help them get the best care and actively manage their conditions. Health users are not only embracing the concept; they're returning frequently and getting amazing results.
Marc Weiner
President, 
Qi, part of CommonHealth

When will pharma companies start spending more online? 
Budget allocation: Every year we see pharma companies allocating larger budgets for their online initiatives. Virtually every target audience is represented online, so our clients are leveraging new channels—like social media—to communicate their brand messages. Brand managers are actively spending on online initiatives that are relevant and actionable. If you can demonstrate ROI, the budgets are already available.

What are the obstacles to pharma embracing Web 2.0 and how will they be overcome?
Social media: Pharma companies are conservative, because this is a highly regulated industry, and even though these are new channels, marketers must find innovative ways to use them while complying with HIPAA and other regulatory guidelines. It takes time to determine which technologies will stick. Ultimately, pharma brand managers will embrace creative Web 2.0 technologies, as long as the campaigns are measurable and scalable.

What's the next big thing in interactive promotion in the pharma space?
Tactics: People want to control the flow of information they receive. So the next big thing is actually a small, vertical thing. That is, we will enable users to customize how they receive and parse information. If people can “own” part of the message, they will use it or share it, helping brand messages travel farther and longer than ever before. 
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