Monday, July 09, 2007

J&J launches corporate blog: could show way for drug industry

J&J launches corporate blog: could show way for drug industry

Marketletter via NewsEdge Corporation :

US health care giant Johnson & Johnson has "gone public" with its corporate blog (, after months of internal trialling. The content on J&J BTW (an acronym for "by the way") is controlled by Marc Monseau, a senior corporate communications executive at the firm.

One of the blog's innovations is to express openly the areas the firm will not comment on, explaining the regulatory or commercial pressures involved in particular issues. In a posting titled Speculating, Mr Monseau wrote: "after declining to comment on an acquisition rumor, I'm often asked if I would simply talk about our acquisition philosophy in general - what types of companies or technologies Johnson & Johnson would like to acquire." He added: "again in the context of a question about a specific rumor, how can I discuss our acquisition philosophy and strategy without seemingly tipping our hand or fuelling speculation?"

J&J BTW responds to news events, such as a recent court ruling in Massachusetts, USA, on Medicare drug pricing (Marketletter June 26), which cleared the firm of wrong doing, as well as media comment, eg, a report on the Wall Street Journal Health Blog about the drug industry's future.

Although tentative, for instance it is not clear how the blog will handle a major controversy (such as a product recall), the move "signals greater transparency and more openness to customers," according to the California Healthcare Foundation's iHealthBeat, an electronic magazine. The report predicted that, "given J&J's expertise in consumer health care, it should be able to carry this off in a useful, consumer-friendly way."

810,000 Google hits for "Avandia" and "blog"

The recent concerns over cardiovascular disease related to UK drug major GlaxoSmithKline's popular antidiabetic Avandia (rosiglitazone; Marketletters passim) have had a massive impact on-line. A search using Google for the terms "Avandia" and "blog" identified over 810,000 web site entries, with none of the top 100 coming from GSK. In fact, the first entry was for a trial lawyer in Massachusetts offering to represent any "victims" of the drug, which is unlikely to be the sort of first contact for patients that the drugmaker would prefer.

Among the drug industry commenters, medical professionals, media and advertising experts, are thousands of patients who actually use Avandia. Social media outlets such as YouTube and iTunes carry hundreds of audio and video recordings concerning the diabetes drug. Part of the problem is the low level of credibility given by audiences to drug advertising: 18% trusting them "most of the time," according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. By contrast, a JupiterResearch study found 34% of adult Internet users in the USA, or 54 million people, use and trust Internet-created health care-related content.


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Emma said...

Would be interested to get a full reference for the Jupiter research you are mentioning. Do you think patients would trust/value experience shared by other patients when it comes to healthcare?