IMS Institute Report Finds Nearly Half of Top 50 Manufacturers
Have Active Social Media Engagement – Industry Standouts are Leading the
WayTwenty-three of the top 50 global pharmaceutical manufacturers have
some level of healthcare-related social media engagement. Of the
companies reviewed by the IMS Institute, the top-ranked organization
based on the IMS Health Social Media Engagement Index is
Johnson & Johnson, with an overall score of 70. Other companies
included in the top ten Index ranking have scores ranging from 25 to
nine. Mid-sized organizations, including Novo Nordisk, Boehringer
Ingelheim and UCB, are utilizing social media as effectively, or more
effectively, than the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers. The
overall level of engagement between pharmaceutical companies and
patients has steadily increased during the past year as more
organizations become active in this area.
Regulatory agencies are active in social media even as
manufacturers await final guidance on requirements. Regulators
increasingly are utilizing social media channels to connect to a wider
healthcare audience. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which
has a particularly strong Facebook presence, ranks highly on social
media engagement and has a higher relationship score on the IMS Health
Index than any pharmaceutical company. The European Medicines Agency
operates its Twitter feed with one of the highest reach index scores,
second only to the FDA. The direct involvement of regulators into
healthcare discussions online indicates their understanding of the
value of a strong social media presence. The FDA has committed by the
middle of 2014 to deliver its final regulatory guidance on social
media usage, which is expected to provide the industry with more
confidence in its social media participation.
Wikipedia is the single leading source of medical information for
patients and healthcare professionals. Thetop 100 English
Wikipedia pages for healthcare topics were accessed, on average, 1.9
million times during the past year. Rarer diseases, which often have
fewer available information sources and are less understood by
patients and clinicians, show a higher frequency of visits than many
more common diseases. In an assessment of 50 major disease-specific
Wikipedia articles, the Institute found a strong correlation between
page views and medicine use, with online information-gathering
occurring throughout the patient journey. Content incorporated or
updated on healthcare-related Wikipedia pages is subject to constant
change, often overseen by informal or formal working groups. An
assessment of Wikipedia disease articles indicates that at least half
of the changes made are related to patient-relevant information.
Social media engagement lags significantly within the population
segment that uses healthcare services the most. Age is one of a
few differentiating factors in the use of social networking sites,
where utilization is less dependent on gender, education, income or
other forms of social advantage. Younger people tend to conduct online
investigations before the start of therapy, as measured by
prescriptions or sales of medications. By contrast, patients age 50 or
older tend to begin their treatments prior to seeking information
online. The difference of utilization by age groups will diminish as
“digital natives” increase their involvement and influence
professionally and privately within their networks.
PARSIPPANY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
With the role of social media rapidly expanding, nearly half of
pharmaceutical manufacturers are now actively using this channel to
engage with patients on healthcare-related topics, according to a new
report released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
While regulatory uncertainty remains a factor limiting social media use,
some drug companies are establishing an active digital presence to
contribute to the overall healthcare discussion. Advancing social media
to a more central position in healthcare – particularly in the
appropriate use of medicines – requires improved quality of information,
a more proactive embrace of technology tools by pharmaceutical
manufacturers, and greater recognition by healthcare professionals of
the positive role social media interactions can play in wellness,
prevention and treatment.
The study – Engaging Patients through Social Media – found that
among the top 50 pharmaceutical companies worldwide, nearly half
actively participate in social media on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
However, only ten companies utilize all three of these major social
networking services for healthcare topics. Many companies are using
social media primarily as a unilateral broadcasting channel to
physicians and patients, with limited interaction or fostering of
discussion. Smaller manufacturers with narrower therapeutic focuses and
consumer health companies typically have the highest levels of social
media patient engagement.
To examine the current state of consumer behaviors on Facebook, Twitter
and YouTube, researchers developed the IMS Health Social Media
Engagement Index. The proprietary Index assesses reach, based
on the total number of individuals exposed to a message via likes,
shares or re-tweets; relevance, the degree that content is found
useful and shared across social networks; and relationship, the
level of direct interaction around specific content.
“Increasingly, patients are turning to social media as an essential
forum for obtaining and sharing information related to their health,”
said Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute for
Healthcare Informatics. “This trend only heightens the need for
relevant, accurate content that can be accessed and used throughout the
patient journey. Healthcare professionals, regulators and pharmaceutical
manufacturers all need to overcome their reticence and acknowledge the
vital role that they can and should play as participants in the
The report’s key findings include the following:
The full version of the report, including a detailed description of the
methodology, is available at www.theimsinstitute.org.
It can also be downloaded as an app via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/app/ims-institute/id625347542.
The study was produced independently as a public service, without
industry or government funding.
About the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics
The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics provides key policy setters
and decision makers in the global health sector with unique and
transformational insights into healthcare dynamics derived from granular
analysis of information. It is a research-driven entity with a worldwide
reach that collaborates with external healthcare experts from across
academia and the public and private sectors to objectively apply IMS
Health’s proprietary global information and analytical assets. More
information about the IMS Institute can be found at: http://www.theimsinstitute.org.
About IMS Health
IMS Health is a leading global information and technology services
company providing clients in the healthcare industry with comprehensive
solutions to measure and improve their performance. By applying
sophisticated analytics and proprietary application suites hosted on the IMS
One intelligent cloud, the company connects more than 10 petabytes
of complex healthcare data on diseases, treatments, costs and outcomes
to help its clients run their operations more efficiently. Drawing on
information from 100,000 suppliers, and on insights from more than 45
billion healthcare transactions processed annually, IMS Health’s 9,300
professionals drive results for over 5,000 healthcare clients globally.
Customers include pharmaceutical, consumer health and medical device
manufacturers and distributors, providers, payers, government agencies,
policymakers, researchers and the financial community.
As a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy, IMS Health
uses anonymous healthcare data to deliver critical, real-world disease
and treatment insights. These insights help biotech and pharmaceutical
companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other
healthcare stakeholders to identify unmet treatment needs and understand
the effectiveness and value of pharmaceutical products in improving
overall health outcomes.
Tor Constantino, +1 484-567-6732
Source: IMS Health