Pharma and Social Media – Oil and Water?

Pharma communications is an industry regulated by law and steeped in caution. Social Media is is often referred to as “the Wild West.” Can Pharma and Social Media ever coexist and not be cross-purposes? Get Social Health spoke with Dr. Betsy Bennett, a clinical health psychologist who works with pharma to learn more about the complicated world of pharma communications.

Dr. Betsy BennettDr. Bennett works with Pharma companies to help them craft their patient communications on medical conditions and drug relationships. She brings to the table a unique and critical expertise that encompasses not just the medical implications of a disease or disorder but the cognitive, behavioral and emotional impact of the condition on the patient.

To drop in on specific parts of our conversation, refer to the time stamp below:

00:00 Introduction
00:46 Meet Dr. Betsy Bennett
01:38 Clinical Health Psychologist
02:40 Emotional – Behaviorial – Cognitive
03:06 What do you mean “emotional” support?
04:57 Stoic New Englanders
05:18 The punitive internal voice – “The Judge”
06:21 Chronic Vs Long-Term condition communications
07:01 Adherance compliance
07:30 Who do you write for?
07:52 It’s a team effort
08:46 What is the process for creating communications?
10:40 Do you provide cultural content?
12:14 Information is about living with a condition or disease
14:10 How specific do you have to be in communications?
16:11 Patient Self-Advocacy: What are pharma companies talking about?
19:00 Biogen idec
20:40 Who is a “credible source”?
22:30 Pharma and Social Media
26:09 What social media platforms do you use?
28:45 So about that blog…
31:55 Be a content contributor
33:00 Social Media Tip: Dr. Mike Sevilla – Get a website

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health:

Contact Betsy Bennett:

Betsy Bennett Website

Betsy Bennett LinkedIn



Pharmacists and Social Media – Brian McDonald

Who should be at the table when discussing healthcare in social media? Ideally, everyone who impacts patient health from the patient themselves to the caregivers, caretakers, hospitals, insurance companies, wellness practitioners, and more. One of the integral members of the discussion is, and should be, the pharmacist. That may not always be the case as pharma companies and pharmacists are extremely cautious when engaging (or not) in social media.

Get Social Health invited Brian McDonald, Digital Marketing Manager of Parata Systems to talk to us about some of the issues that may be holding back pharmacists from fully engaging online.

To follow key points in our discussion, here is a time stamp of the interview:

00:45 Introduction
03:00 The pharmacist’s role
04:50 Pharmacist’s contact with patients
06:00 What is pharmacy automation?
07:05 “The Pill Ritual”
11:00 How the Parata pill automation system works
14:50 Thought Leadership for pharmacists
19:38 What is the state of social media use among pharmacists?
22:53 How can pharmacists participate in social media in regard to privacy and HIPAA compliance?
25:00 Do pharmacists have a preference for long form (blog) or short form (Twitter) communication?
27:55 What about drug misinformation in social media?
32:30 Are there pharmacy related tweet chats?
35:29 Next Generation Pharmacist Awards
37:48 Social Media Tip from Kimberly Wessel from Valassis Communications

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health

Parata Systems: Pharmacy automation company

White board video that explains how recent changes, including Affordable Care Act raise the need for the discussion about how to reduce unnecessary cost such as readmittance to hospital due to medication non-adherence.

Infographic that presents research data points to support the ACA discussion.

Parata ebookeBook that allowed us to dive deeper into where pharmacists will play vital role in healthcare and use technology to get them there faster.

Next Generation Pharmacist Awards are being held in Boston on August 24, 2014.  Co-founded by Parata and Pharmacy Times, this national awards program honors pharmacists, technicians, students and industry advocates who are defining the future of pharmacy. Since 2010, more than 100 pharmacy leaders have been named finalists or winners.

Twitter Chat: #RXChat

Pharmacy Podcast

Patient Recruitment – Scott Vaughan Episode 11

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Patient recruitment for clinical trials is challenging work. The advent of a fractured media market in the 1980’s and 1990’s complicated an already complicated patient recruitment process. With the arrival of multiple social media channels the choices for media buying is split even more and budgets for patient recruitment are decreasing. Clinical Trials are something that the general public does not know very much about so it was a great opportunity to get a peek inside the process from Scott Vaughan of Merge LLC.

Scott VaughanListen to the whole episode or drop in at some of the major discussion topics.

How does clinical trial recruitment work? 3:50

How do you market a study to potential  participants? 7:05

Is there a place patients can go to to identify their condition/illness?  11:00

Technology limitations in clinical trials 15:00

Pharma’s exodus from Facebook 17:30

Data privacy & HIPAA 18:30

Recommendations for healthcare not in social media 21:45

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health

Scott Vaughan on LinkedIn

Merge LLC on LinkedIn and website

Social Media Tip from April Culver of Johnston Health on LinkedIn and website