Medical marketers seeking new ways to reach physician audiences have been borrowing ideas from the world of video games in growing numbers over the last few months.

This marketing trend consists of the use of specially designed video games called medgames, which combine the entertainment thrills of a 3-D video game with the needs of promoting brand or disease awareness.

“Medgames, in essentially three minutes, describe a mechanism of action in a beautiful, sexy way that’s going to get pharma marketers’ message out and give sales reps something to play off of,” said Jeff Hazelton, founder and president of gaming firm BioLucid Productions.

During the 2006 Digestive Disease Week conference in Los Angeles approximately five medgames made their debut.

They included efforts behind AstraZeneca’s Prilosec and a Crohn’s disease awareness medgame created for Elan Pharmaceuticals by BioLucid.

Nearly 2,000 physicians, over the three days, waited in line to play the game, Hazelton said.
“The best thing from a marketing standpoint was that the game offered an opportunity to collect important information on doctors and the patients they treat, and to log how many physicians played,” Hazelton said.

The sky’s the limit for med-gaming, Hazelton added.