Melissa Mackey
Associate director, social media strategy

One of the brightest and most articulate voices in pharma social media, Mackey was the brains behind Novartis's award-winning "Hey MS! Take This!" campaign for Gilenya. Just as important, her success (not to mention the success of the products she has shepherded in the online/digital sphere) has opened the eyes of any number of social-media holdouts. The challenge in crafting effective social media, she says, is communicating with patients and caregivers in a responsible way and with the same attentive level of service they've come to expect from CPG companies. "It's important to try and meet those needs," she explains. "It's about them. That's why we're here."
Mackey was also one of the biggest boosters of the company's acclaimed two-day hackathon: the Novartis mHealth challenge, which assembled more than 200 companies and developers in San Francisco to develop mobile and Web solutions for caregivers looking after loved ones with heart failure. The winning prototype was a medical assistant avatar that lets users remotely monitor a patient. —Kevin McCaffrey