AstraZeneca Boldly Goes Into The Twitterverse 
Posted by Carlos on Feb 16, 2011

This evening, @AstraZenecaUS held a fascinating Twitter chat (hashtag #RxSave). The focus of the discussion was on pharma-sponsored prescription savings plans. AZ was also looking for advice on how to best communicate with patients and caregivers about these programs, such as AZandMe.com

We found this to be a fascinating discussion, for several reasons:

  • Communicating about prescription assistance programs requires segmentation along key variables. For example, can social media tools like Twitter be used to educate senior citizens about these programs? How do you communicate to non-English speaking folks?
  • Social media sounds cool, but old fashioned tactics such as brochures, tv/radio, and even newspaper can be more effective for a given segment.
  • The thought of using mobile was raised, but exactly how to use mobile remains unclear. When we say mobile, do we mean mobile-enabled web sites for smartphones? Opt-in text messages?
  • How would the FDA feel about this? At what point would this be considered promotional?
  • Would increased “promotion” of patient prescription assistance programs merely add to pharma’s poor reputation? As one participant suggested, “why not simply drop Rx prices?”

We’re interested to see if other pharma companies will follow suit and “expose” themselves in this way.

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