Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, August 12

J&J CEO Alex Gorsky
J&J CEO Alex Gorsky

Johnson & Johnson is increasingly turning to digital marketing in China, touting its philanthropic efforts as well as offering free Wi-Fi in Chinese hospitals where expectant mothers spend time waiting for checkups, reported Advertising Age. J&J is also using product placement in a movie version of a popular Chinese TV show that sends celebrity dads and their kids into the wilderness. The efforts primarily stem from the company's consumer brand division. J&J CEO Alex Gorsky reaffirmed the company's commitment to China in March, telling a Chinese media outlet that the drugmaker takes a long-term approach to its presence. 


GlaxoSmithKline temporarily closed a North Carolina facility after finding bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease in a cooling tower, Reuters reported. The move isn't expected to impact supplies of medicines made at the plant. Advair, a $7-billion-a-year inhaled respiratory drug, is produced at the facility but is also produced at two other locations. Other drugs made at the facility include malaria drug Malarone, HIV-therapy Combivir and Requip for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The discovery comes a week after New York ordered stepped-up inspections of water towers because a recent outbreak of Legionnaires' disease caused the deaths of 12 people there.


Kim Kardashian West's promotion of morning-sickness drug Diclegis in social-media posts may have triggered an FDA warning letter but it also boosted online conversations about the brand by more 500% in July, according to a Treato analysis. About 30% of all online conversations about Diclegis in July mentioned Kardashian and the drug was mentioned three times more often than competing treatment Phenergan that month.

 

A new study published in JAMA raises questions about the connection between testosterone drugs for men and the increased risk of heart disease, reported Time. The study contends that men taking such drugs are not at an increased risk of getting atherosclerosis although past studies have shown such a risk.


AbbVie said it will seek FDA approval of an experimental leukemia treatment by the end of the year after the therapy met its primary goal in a mid-stage trial, Reuters reported. The drugmaker is developing venetoclax with Roche and plans to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who have a 17p gene deletion.