Friday, May 08, 2009

GfK Healthcare Introduces Treatment Tracker for Market Trends and Patient Algorithms

GfK Healthcare Introduces Treatment Tracker: Syndicated Studies on Market Trends and Patient Treatment Algorithms with Flexible Analysis and Tailored Reporting

GfK Healthcare, the largest provider of fully integrated custom health care marketing research in the United States, announced today the introduction of Treatment Tracker™, a flexible and tailored syndicated research service offering physicians’ brand preferences, current and anticipated future prescribing practices, patient treatment algorithms, unmet market needs and other in-depth insights across more than 30 disease states. Treatment Tracker’s tailored delivery options enable clients to receive the specific data and insights that are most relevant to their pressing business issues.

With almost 50 years of experience as an industry-leading provider of multi-client and syndicated therapeutic class marketing research studies, covering physicians, patients and managed markets, GfK Healthcare developed the more streamlined and customer-centric syndicated offering in response to the evolving needs of pharmaceutical companies seeking more integrated insights, efficiencies and a better return on research spend. Whereas in the past, all study participants received essentially the same comprehensive report, Treatment Tracker allows clients to tailor their report to focus on drawing out only the specific data that is most relevant and critical to their particular information needs.

For example, clients who are managing an in-line brand can turn to Treatment Tracker for treatment algorithms to understand switching dynamics or to assess opportunities for second- or third-line therapies, monitor changes in brand attribute ratings of their own and competitive brands and incorporate key findings into situational analyses and brand plans. Those responsible for pipeline agents can glean patient-sizing information to enhance a forecast model, gain an understanding of unmet needs and potential white space and monitor physicians’ awareness and perception of agents in development.

Treatment Tracker studies are similar to GfK Healthcare’s former multi-client Therapeutic Class studies in that they are used to address a variety of critical business decisions/issues, including competitive market assessment, physician intent to prescribe, usage patterns and physician treatment algorithms. Clients use Treatment Tracker insights to focus and validate custom marketing research, obtain product/market overviews, assess specific product attributes, educate new people on the product team, provide input to situational analyses and feed forecasts.

GfK Healthcare anticipates Treatment Tracker studies will be particularly valuable in terms of the information that can be gleaned to populate information needs within the various segments/nodes of patient flow maps (also known as the buying process).

“In today’s constrained environment, clients are seeking more efficient ways to get the information they need on smaller budgets. Treatment Tracker is just one example of how GfK Healthcare is responding to clients’ challenges by innovating and evolving research staples that have long provided great value to clients but need to be refined and made more relevant,” said Maureen McLaughlin, chief marketing officer of GfK Healthcare. “Treatment Tracker studies do just this, providing the cost-efficiency of high quality, comprehensive syndicated research – which has long offered the value of a large respondent sample for a lower cost than custom studies, together with trends and consistency over time – but now, with the ability to completely tailor the information according to the exact information that meets each client’s unique needs.”

A number of augmentations are planned to further enhance the value of GfK’s Treatment Tracker offering. These will include more frequent data collection and reporting and an expansion into global syndicated studies, an undertaking for which GfK Healthcare is well-poised, given its significant experience in conducting global custom marketing research and its ability to leverage the local market knowledge of GfK’s network of more than 500 health care research staff around the world.

About GfK Healthcare

GfK Healthcare ( : .. ) is the largest provider of fully integrated custom health care marketing research in the United States. With the broadest range of custom, syndicated and proprietary research offerings, paired with expertise in managed markets and sales force effectiveness, GfK Healthcare is equipped to meet a product’s needs across its life cycle, through flexible marketing research resources, responsive to clients’ evolving challenges. GfK Healthcare is part of the GfK Group, the No. 4 market research organization worldwide. Its activities cover the three business sectors of custom research, retail and technology, and media. The group has 115 companies covering more than 100 countries and about 10,000 employees (as of Dec. 31, 2008). For GfK Healthcare inquiries, contact Jessica Makovsky, vice president of communications, at 215.283.3200 x372 / : .

GfK HealthcareJessica MakovskyVP Communications215-283-3200
x372Fax: 215-283-3201 :

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Shire launches facebook application, "Virtual Walk", in partnership with Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

And so the race to facebook application domination is on. A few weeks ago the news spread about another major pharmaceutical company launching a facebook application "MS Champtions", and now Shire has announced their own facebook appplication, "The Virtual IBD March on the Hill", where they have partnered with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and are using Facebook to help raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) while also raising money for research (for each "step", Shire apparently will donate $1 to the CCFA, up to $30,000).

In this application, Facebook users are brought into a virtual environment where they can march around the National Mall in Washington, DC., and by placing a shoe on the road they can see how their single step has affected the total number of steps taken towards the "hill", which I assume is a symbolic milestone or finish line (not sure what happens once they reach 30,000 -- will they yank the application? Probably not).

For each of the first 30,000 steps taken, Shire will donate $1 per footstep to CCFA. What does Shire get out of it? Well, they make the ulcerative colitis treatment Lialda. So that means they have an important stake in the category, and even if they're not directly mentioning the brand in this effort, audiences are not stupid and I am certain more than a few will want to learn WHY Shire is donating all this money to this cause. Not to mention, the media will help connect the dots (like I just did).Finding the Application Is a Journey Itself

Tricky part might be finding the application. You will not see it when you search for "Shire", nor "virtual walk", "ibd", "ibd march", etc... The only way you'll find it is if you look for the "CCFA". But when you actually land on the application's homepage, you will neither see a description of what the application does or a mention of Shire -- but fear not, you need to install it first before you can really understand what is unique and interesting about the app. But I will make it easy for you, go to: and you will be on the app's landing page where you can easily install it.

As usual, my hat's off to Shire for taking its own step in the right direction. For now, it appears the application is quite active and I'm sure the $30,000 will be donated in short order. It's possible too that Shire is simply sponsoring the application, and that they actually played little or no role in the idea or its developement. I am sure folks "in the know" will eventually help us understand.

The most disappointing part of all of this is that the application itself, while providing some unique and interactive features, falls a little short when it actually comes time to participate in the "virtual walk". In essence, you pick a shoe and then watch it bounce its way across the screen as the Washington D.C. landscape scrolls by in the background. That said, there are a few other features (e.g., "share your story", leaderboard of "invites" and "recruits") that make the site much more interesting, dynamic, and useful.
Now I am not an official "health facebook app critic", but I will say this: the "MS Champions" application by EMD Serono/Pfizer launched a few weeks ago was certainly a more unique, visually appealing, and interactive application -- primarily due to its unique Google mashup interface. But where MSC wins points for creativity, Shire's virtual walk wins points for the partnership with CCFA and the donations being made on their behalf. Selfishly, they also win major points for helping this entire industry take yet another step forward when it comes to the social media arena. There is certainly an increasing focus and understanding that by leveraging social media technologies a company can genuinely help meet the needs of customers, and perhaps even educate about their brands (OK, fine, I lied. We're not there yet on the brand part).

Just keep repeating to yourself: crawl, walk, run... crawl, walk, run ... and I think we'll be OK.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Survey analyzes average time needed to schedule a doctor appointment

source: ePharm5
It could take some patients two months to schedule a doctor appointment, according to a survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins & Associates (  of 1,162 medical offices tracks. It tracked the average time needed to schedule a doctor appointment in 15 large metropolitan areas and reports the average doctor appointment wait times in cardiology, dermatology, OB/GYN, orthopedic surgery, and family practice.
The survey shows Boston has the longest average doctor appointment wait times of the 15 metro markets examined in the survey. In Boston, it takes patient an average of :
  • 70 days to see an OB/GYN
  • 63 days to see a family physician
  • 54 days to see a dermatologist
  • 40 days to see an orthopedic surgeon
  • 21 days to see a cardiologist
Philadelphia and Los Angeles are next on the list, followed by Houston; Washington, DC,; San Diego; Minneapolis; Dallas; Miami; New York City; Denver; Portland, OR; Seattle; Detroit; and Atlanta. 
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Medication adherence solution transmits Rx pictures to caregivers

Source: ePharm 5

A new medication adherence solution aims to use "direct visualization technology" to improve adherence. The SentiCare Medication Adherence Solution from SentiCare targets patients with complex, changing medication regimens. It includes PillStation, a device that looks like a day-by-time medication organizer but actually uses a digital system to transmit images of patients' medications via telephone, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi to the SentiCare Advisor Center.
The center is supervised by doctors of pharmacy, physicians, and nurses who monitor the images to confirm that medications are loaded correctly and daily doses are taken properly. Advisors contact patients if there are problems. A Web portal also allows professional and family caregivers access to up-to-date information about patients' medications and their adherence profile. 
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Video: Latina Moms Cite Family's Health as a Top Concern

Yet Time Pressures Are Their Number One Challenge, a New SPLENDA(R) Brand Survey Reveals

Latina Mom and Author, Carolina Buia, Offers Solutions for Improving Health and Work-Life Balance

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey released today by the SPLENDA® Brand reveals that health and well-being is a top concern for three out of four Latina Moms, with 86 percent recognizing they should do more to improve their family's health and happiness outlook. In fact, improving health ranks significantly higher than education and saving for college (50 percent). However, almost three out of five Latina moms cite time pressures as the number one challenge to keeping their family on a healthy track. Therefore, the SPLENDA® Brand and author, entertaining expert, and full-time mom Carolina Buia have partnered together to provide Latina moms with simple, everyday solutions to help improve the health and well-being of themselves and their families, while maintaining a good work-life balance.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

"The SPLENDA® Brand's survey highlights some of the key struggles we Latina moms face when trying to balance our career and home life and keep both top of mind," said Buia. "As a busy full-time mom of twin girls as well as a working woman, I know first hand how difficult it can be to ensure you're the making the right health choices for your family. Yet, by incorporating some simple changes to our lifestyles, we can stay on the right track for a healthy future."

Buia offers Latina moms the following simple, everyday solutions to help improve the health and well-being of their families, while maintaining a good work-life balance:

  • 67 percent of Latina Moms say the kitchen is a family gathering place. Take advantage of meal times together and institute and teach your kids about the tradition of sobremesa. That time spent gathered around a table talking after a meal is a good way to exchange that day's happenings. It's of course a good time to savor and digest the delicious meal, but can also be used as a time to energize the family dynamic with a short game of loteria or dominos.
  • When preparing Latino dishes, cut calories without sacrificing taste by using low calorie sweeteners, such as SPLENDA® Sweetener Products instead of sugar in traditional recipes like arroz con leche and beverages like licuados. It's easy to still enjoy those tempting foods that may not be a healthy choice. Simply adapt the recipes and look for ways to cut fat, carbohydrates and calories from some of your family's favorite foods.
  • Plan ahead! A busy work week can lead to unhealthy eating if you're unprepared. Set aside some time on days off to think about easy meals to prepare for you and your family during the work week. Put up the family's meal plan on the refrigerator to encourage everyone to stick to the plan and help you better manage what everyone is eating.
  • Encourage your family to become more physically active indoors and outdoors. After family meals, have a dance night in your living room, where you teach your kids how to salsa or merengue, and they teach you the latest dance moves. Or commit to taking a walk or going for 1/2 hour bike ride as a family. Engage your children by allowing them to help plan the physical activity. Also, make sure your children are enjoying the outdoors afterschool as opposed to just staying indoors.
  • While spending time with family is valuable, remember to schedule some time in the day for yourself. Start an early morning exercise routine, take a dancing class, or find a book, CD or DVD that can help improve your English-language skills.

The SPLENDA® Brand recently had the survey conducted to understand the worries and challenges Hispanic moms face -- from demanding schedules to health and nutrition to how moms make their families happy. Other insight from the survey reveals that despite challenges in keeping their families on a healthy track, Latina Moms are committed to living a healthy lifestyle that ensures family traditions remain intact. The two top health goals include ensuring physical activity (77 percent), while focusing on setting a healthier, yet still traditional diet (69 percent).

For more information or additional recipes using SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, visit

About the Survey

The SPLENDA® Brand's survey was conducted by Richard Day Research of Evanston, Ill. between March 3-11, 2009 from on online panel of 507 U.S. women who were born before 1991, of Hispanic origin, mothers of children under the age of 18 in their household, and Spanish-dominant or bilingual.

About Carolina Buia

Carolina Buia is the co-author with Isabel Gonzalez of Latin Chic: Entertaining with Style and Sass (Rayo), which captures the best pan-Latin flavors and the unique spirit of Latin entertaining. In Latin Chic, Buia, with Gonzalez, present the perfect primer for entertaining with flair. They combine party tips, enticing recipes, and cultural history to create a guide that is stylishly practical and sassily informative. From decor and drinks, to the most delectable and savory dishes, Latin Chic offer a one-of-a-kind guide to entertaining that will give food enthusiasts a Latin twist to their get-togethers the likes of which will leave them the envy of all of their friends.

About SPLENDA® Sweetener Products

SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener is the nation's #1 selling no calorie sweetener. It is a delicious alternative to sugar that can contribute to a healthier lifestyle by helping to reduce calories, added sugar and carbohydrates. SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener can be used almost anywhere sugar is used, including cooking and baking, and is suitable for the whole family. SPLENDA® Sweeteners are marketed by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. For more information on SPLENDA® Sweeteners or to obtain recipes and tips on cooking and baking with the brand, visit or or call 1-800-7-SPLENDA (1-800-777-5363). Or, for a sweet shopping experience, visit

About McNeil Nutritionals

McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, is a global marketer of innovative nutritional products. The company's mission is to give people the ability to actively manage their own health. McNeil Nutritionals, LLC markets SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, VIACTIV® Dietary Supplements, LACTAID® Milk and Dietary Supplements, and BENECOL® Products. McNeil Nutritionals, LLC is headquartered in Fort Washington, PA.

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Web site enables collaboration among cardiovascular worldwide

Source: epharm5
A new educational Web site aims to facilitate worldwide collaboration among doctors who treat cardiovascular disease. The site, from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and the Endovascular Forum, provides an interactive platform for interventional cardiologists and their colleagues to share knowledge, experience, and perspective. The free site includes slide decks, "Have You Ever Seen This?" postings, and a forum where physicians can post their own cases or participate in case discussions posted by others. 
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009 top-paid search advertiser for week ending April 26

Source: epharm5

The number of online searches related to swine flu jumped 1,900% during the week ending April 26 versus the previous week, according to comScore. The online measurement found that 501,000 people conducted 929,000 searches related to the swine flu during that week, representing a nearly twentyfold increase versus the previous week for both metrics. comScore included in its measurement the search terms "flu," "swine," "Tamiflu," and "influenza." Marketers didn't miss the boat. comScore observed 271 advertisers with paid search inventory against these terms, up from 73 the previous week and 33 the week before that. The number of clicks on paid search ads also increased considerably to 42,000 during the week ending April 26, up from fewer than 100 the previous week. The top-paid search advertiser for the week ending April 26 was, a site from the American Lung Association and sanofi pasteur, which delivered nearly 200,000 paid search ads during the week.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Eyeforpharma Emarketing Summit - Day 2 Opening - Ressi

Overview of European physician and consumer technology adoption trends. Presented by Meredith Ressi at the Eyeforpharma Emarketing Summit in Munich, April 28-29, 2009

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