Twitter and its partners are launching a new content product that marries in-person conference news with new digital realities.

Twit­ter aims to bring med­ical con­fer­ences — and ad spon­sors — from ‘in­side 4 walls and 3 days’ to dig­i­tal fu­ture

Med­ical con­fer­ences’ new hy­brid vir­tu­al mod­els are chang­ing the news cy­cle for health­care pro­fes­sion­als. Now Twit­ter wants to make it eas­i­er for physi­cians to stay up on med­ical con­ven­tion news — and give phar­ma mar­keters an­oth­er way to reach them.

Lisa Book­wal­ter

The so­cial me­dia gi­ant, along with Med­scape and Pub­li­cis Health Me­dia, is de­but­ing “Con­fer­ence Con­ver­sa­tions” to run around big med­ical con­ven­tions like AS­CO and ASH.

Twit­ter serves as the me­dia plat­form, while Med­scape will pro­vide the con­tent and Pub­li­cis Health Me­dia is the ad strate­giz­er in the co­or­di­nat­ed ef­fort.

“Con­fer­ences used to ba­si­cal­ly be in­side four walls and around three days. But that’s not how con­fer­ences are any­more. Peo­ple are fol­low­ing them vir­tu­al­ly, they’re fol­low­ing the Twit­ter hash­tag. Peo­ple fol­low AS­CO con­ver­sa­tions all year round,” Lisa Book­wal­ter, Twit­ter’s di­rec­tor of client so­lu­tions in health, said. “Yes, there’s a heavy up dur­ing the con­fer­ence, but guess what? Peo­ple are talk­ing about AS­CO long af­ter the con­fer­ence is over.”

Med­scape will cre­ate a se­ries of videos of ed­i­to­r­i­al cov­er­age for each con­ven­tion for Con­fer­ence Con­ver­sa­tions, Vin­cent Mue­hter, Med­scape’s group gen­er­al man­ag­er and SVP, ex­plained. The pack­age in­cludes four videos: a pre­view of what to ex­pect at the con­fer­ence, a clin­i­cal take­away, an­oth­er on what the study news out of the con­fer­ence means for HCPs and a fi­nal re­cap.

The first video will launch about a week be­fore the con­fer­ence and then roll out in suc­ces­sion dur­ing the event and up to about three weeks af­ter it ends. Each two-to-three-minute video will fea­ture sub­ject mat­ter ex­pert physi­cians cho­sen by Med­scape’s ed­i­to­r­i­al staff. Drug­mak­ers will not be in­volved in any con­tent de­vel­op­ment.

Pat­ty Ryan

How­ev­er, there will be ad­ver­tis­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for phar­ma com­pa­nies. That comes from Pub­li­cis Health Me­dia whose clients will be able to in­sert pre-roll ads be­fore the Med­scape video con­tent. While the spe­cif­ic con­tent of the short video ads will vary by con­fer­ence and drug­mak­er, Pat­ty Ryan, group VP, paid so­cial me­dia at Pub­li­cis Health Me­dia, said she ex­pects the ad mes­sages will be cus­tomized for each event.

When the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic struck, phar­ma mar­keters with now lim­it­ed in-per­son ac­cess to HCPs were left won­der­ing how to best reach them.

Ryan said that’s how the part­ners came up with the idea “where we can not on­ly sur­round con­fer­ences that we know are high­ly en­gag­ing for HCPs through­out the year, but al­so have these ever­green, al­ways-on ac­ti­va­tions tar­get­ing HCPs in a dig­i­tal world on Twit­ter where we al­ready know they are spend­ing time and are al­ready hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions.”

“Con­fer­ence Con­ver­sa­tions” is launch­ing with AS­CO, ASH and two oth­er an­nu­al meet­ings – the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Al­ler­gy, Asth­ma and Im­munol­o­gy (AAAAI) and the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (APA) con­ven­tions, Mue­hter said, but oth­ers will be con­sid­ered for cov­er­age.

While the pan­dem­ic forced con­ven­tions to go vir­tu­al – ac­cel­er­at­ed the move to dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing – the med­ical con­fer­ence of­fer­ing on Twit­ter re­flects broad­er shifts, the co-cre­ators said.

“You have a new de­mo­graph­ic of doc­tors com­ing in and they lever­age so­cial and dig­i­tal in dif­fer­ent ways,” Book­wal­ter said. “Mar­keters are hav­ing to add to their toolk­it be­yond what they’re used to do­ing. It’s def­i­nite­ly an evo­lu­tion of dig­i­tal but it’s al­so an evo­lu­tion of the ide­ol­o­gy in DTC that you have to find pa­tients where they are. Now you have to find HCPs where they are.”

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: Pfiz­er de­buts Pre­vnar 20 TV ads; Lil­ly gets first FDA 2022 pro­mo slap down let­ter

Pfizer debuted its first TV ad for its Prevnar 20 next-generation pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. In the 60-second spot, several people (actor portrayals) with their ages listed as 65 or older are shown walking into a clinic as they turn to say they’re getting vaccinated with Prevnar 20 because they’re at risk.

The update to Pfizer’s blockbuster Prevnar 13 vaccine was approved in June, and as its name suggests is a vaccine for 20 serotypes — the original 13 plus seven more that cause pneumococcal disease. Pfizer used to spend heavily on TV ads to promote Prevnar 13 in 2018 and 2019 but cut back its TV budgets in the past two fall and winter seasonal spending cycles. Prevnar had been Pfizer’s top-selling drug, notching sales of just under $6 billion in 2020, and was the world’s top-selling vaccine before the Covid-19 vaccines came to market last year.

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Graphic: Alexander Lefterov for Endpoints News

Small biotechs with big drug am­bi­tions threat­en to up­end the tra­di­tion­al drug launch play­book

Of the countless decisions Vlad Coric had to make as Biohaven’s CEO over the past seven years, there was one that felt particularly nerve-wracking: Instead of selling to a Big Pharma, the company decided it would commercialize its migraine drug itself.

“I remember some investors yelling and pounding on the table like, you can’t do this. What are you thinking? You’re going to get crushed by AbbVie,” he recalled.

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Amgen's Twitter campaign #DearAsthma inspired thousands of people to express struggles and frustrations with the disease

Am­gen’s #Dear­Asth­ma spon­sored tweet lands big on game day, spark­ing thou­sands to re­spond

Amgen wanted to know how people with asthma really felt about daily life with the disease. So it bought a promoted tweet on Twitter noting the not-so-simple realities of life with asthma and ended the post with a #DearAsthma hashtag, a megaphone emoji and a re-tweet button.

That was just over one week ago and the responses haven’t stopped. More than 7,000 posts so far on Twitter replied to #DearAsthma to detail struggles of daily life, expressing humor, frustration and sometimes anger. More than a few f-bombs have been typed or gif-ed in reply to communicate just how much many people “hate” the disease.

Albert Bourla (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Pfiz­er fields a CRL for a $295M rare dis­ease play, giv­ing ri­val a big head start

Pfizer won’t be adding a new rare disease drug to the franchise club — for now, anyway.

The pharma giant put out word that their FDA application for the growth hormone therapy somatrogon got the regulatory heave-ho, though they didn’t even hint at a reason for the CRL. Following standard operating procedure, Pfizer said in a terse missive that they would be working with regulators on a followup.

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Not cheap­er by the dozen: Bris­tol My­ers be­comes the 12th phar­ma com­pa­ny to re­strict 340B sales

Bristol Myers Squibb recently joined 11 of its peer pharma companies in limiting how many contract pharmacies can access certain drugs discounted by a federal program known as 340B.

Bristol Myers is just the latest in a series of high-profile pharma companies moving in their own direction as the Biden administration’s Health Resources and Services Administration struggles to rein in the drug discount program for the neediest Americans.

Joaquin Duato, J&J CEO (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

New J&J CEO Joaquin Du­a­to promis­es an ag­gres­sive M&A hunt in quest to grow phar­ma sales

Joaquin Duato stepped away from the sideline and directly into the spotlight on Tuesday, delivering his first quarterly review for J&J as its newly-tapped CEO after an 11-year run in senior posts. And he had some mixed financial news to deliver today while laying claim to a string of blockbuster drugs in the making and outlining an appetite for small and medium-sized M&A deals.

Duato also didn’t exactly shun large buyouts when asked about the future of the company’s medtech business — where they look to be in either the top or number 2 position in every segment they’re in — even though the bar for getting those deals done is so much higher.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Opin­ion: Flori­da is so mAb crazy, Ron De­San­tis wants to use mAbs that don't work

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying so hard to politicize the FDA and demonize the federal government that he entered into an alternate universe on Monday evening in describing a recent FDA action to restrict the use of two monoclonal antibody, or mAb, treatments for Covid-19 that don’t work against Omicron.

Without further ado, let’s break down his statement from last night, line by line, adjective by adjective.

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A new can­cer im­munother­a­py brings cau­tious hope for a field long await­ing the next big break­through

Bob Seibert sat silent across from his daughter at their favorite Spanish restaurant near his home in Charleston County, SC, their paella growing cold as he read through all the places in his body doctors found tumors.

He had texted his wife, a pediatric intensive care nurse, when he got the alert that his online chart was ready. Although he saw immediately it was bad, many of the terms — peritoneal, right iliac — were inscrutable. But she was five hours downstate, at a loud group dinner the night before another daughter’s cheer competition.

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Phar­ma reps need to bone up on sci­en­tif­ic da­ta and re­al-world ev­i­dence for on­col­o­gy dis­cus­sions: study

Oncologists would like a word with pharma companies. More than a word, actually – they’d like entire in-depth conversations with drug experts and more real-world data, please.

That’s according to Accenture’s new study looking at oncologists’ needs through a pharma lens. The study comes as FDA approved 16 novel cancer drugs in 2021 – including the first KRAS inhibitor – along with more than 40 new indications in oncology and hematology. Meanwhile, oncology trials are at record levels, up 60% from just five years ago, Accenture noted in its report.