Epilepsy.com expands diary app to Android, eyes pharma sponsorship

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Epilepsy.com launched “My Epilepsy Diary” for Android mobile phone users, an extension of its Epilepsy Therapy Project Clinical Organizer suite of health tools for consumers. The non-profit group hopes to enlist new pharmaceutical sponsors, and advertisers, for the diary and other programs.

Kim Macher, executive director, Epilepsy Therapy Project (and epilepsy.com), said the diary was created to “help consumers manage their disease, and treatment.” The diary can be synched with Microsoft's HealthVault and Google Health, and patients' user data is “aggregated anonymously” for use by researchers, “which fits our mission,” said Macher.

Macher said roughly 8,000-10,000 consumers are currently using the diary – 3,000 of those via iPhone download, which was launched last April. Advertisers can run drug ads throughout the Epilepsy.com site, and on the professional site (professionals.epilepsy.com), and Macher said the two websites have a combined membership of 70,000 users.

“We're always a little perplexed as to why pharmaceutical companies don't advertise throughout the year, it seems like they don't pick up their advertising budgets until the second quarter…our audience would love to hear about their products all year long,” said Macher.

The company has developed sales aids for reps – Abbott participated in a program with the organization for Depakote, before it lost patent protection – and UCB is currently advertising its Vimpat seizure treatment to professionals on the site, Macher said.

Educational grant providers listed on the site include UCB, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Novartis, Ovation, Sepracor and others, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals provided funding for a seizure preparedness section on the website, according to Macher.

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