Monday, October 15, 2007

Pfizer to network with 30,000 US doctors with Sermo, online doctor website

Pfizer to network with 30,000 US doctors with Sermo, online doctor



Pfizer has signed an innovative deal with Sermo, the USA's largest
online physician community, a move which means that the drugs giant may
improve its efficiency when it comes to getting access to doctors.

Sermo, launched in September 2006, is a social-networking site for
licensed physicians and it has 30,000 members (and growing by 2,000
doctors per week. On Sermo, physicians exchange knowledge with each
other and gain potentially life-saving insights directly from
colleagues, the group says, instead of waiting to read about them in
conventional media sources.

The attraction of the deal to Pfizer is pretty clear as it will be in
touch with this vital community in a way other than the traditional
route of sales reps. The company said that the collaboration is designed
to redefine the way physicians in the US and the healthcare industry
work together to improve patient care and the doctors will have access
to Pfizer's clinical content in tangible ways that allow for the
transparent and efficient exchange of knowledge.

Pfizer and Sermo said that the key objectives of the collaboration,
include looking at how best to transform the way medical information is
exchanged in the fast-moving social media environment and creating an
open and transparent discussion with physicians through the innovative
channel offered by online exchange. They also intend to work with the US
Food and Drug Administration to define guidelines for the use of social
media in communications with healthcare professionals.

Pfizer and Sermo, which is funded by financial institutions who can
access information on the site to get information on emerging trends and
market-changing events in healthcare did not reveal the financial
details of the collaboration. Whatever the cost, the New York-based
drugs giant will think it is money well-spent if it goes some way to
improving the relationship between big pharma and physicians, especially
at a time when Pfizer is laying off some 2,200 people from its US

buzz this