Business briefs: pharma websites among top ten

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Pharmas may be generally hypercautious and/or inept at online communications, but the 2013 Financial Times Bowen Craggs Index of corporate web effectiveness ranks several among its Top Ten. Roche came in at No. 7, followed by Novartis and GSK (a little further down the list, AstraZeneca placed 14th, Novo Nordisk 16th and Sanofi 21st). The firm pointed to Roche's “visually beautiful site” and said the company “is not afraid to use ‘authentic' photography to illustrate its stories,” and said Novartis had “polished its site over several years to tackle reputation issues well,” while hailing GSK as “one of this year's big improvers” with “notable integration of social media channels.”

Congress continues to eye DTC advertising tax deductability as a possible cost-savings target. In a recent Senate Finance Committee white paper, DTC deductability was cited as one potential avenue of tax reform, along with deductability of advertising for foods aimed at children. DTC tax deductability was the topic of a major behind-the-scenes lobbying battle as the Affordable Care Act was being hashed out three years ago. The mention, said the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, is “not yet a cause for alarm,” but “demonstrates yet again that no bad idea disappears quickly in DC and that careful listening and speaking is often needed.”

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