ELITE Disrupter Melissa Mackey of Novartis

Melissa Mackey

U.S. Digital Medicines Social Media CoE and Founder of Together in HF




Blazing the Path for Social Media

Since Melissa Mackey, better known as MACK, joined Novartis in 2012—fiercely determined to embrace innovation and unlock meaningful potential from emerging channels—she has set, and subsequently re-set, the bar when it comes to social media marketing. The creative ways she has worked cross functionally across Novartis to leverage social media have not only received recognition from PwC, TGaS, Twitter, and the Digital Health Coalition, but have also helped pave the way for increased use of social media within the pharma industry.

Take, for instance, the groundbreaking social media strategy Melissa led behind the “HEY MS, Take This!” campaign for Gilenya. In partnership with the brand and Digital Medicines teams, she led the creation of an ecosystem that embraced the MS community and encouraged them to show off their independent and audacious attitudes across several social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. MS patients share empowering messages and the brand features real patients in content that extends far beyond the focus of the product—fashion, travel, pets, and food, all of which are relevant to the patient community. Melissa has strategically driven many first-in-pharma initiatives including branded product near real-time two-way communication and social care via Twitter, where she’s seen the offering make a difference in new script generation and adherence lifts.

Melissa isn’t just limiting herself, or Novartis, to disruption through social media. She is also interested in finding ways to integrate startups into the marketing mix and involve the company with new kinds of technology. The recent launch of a new—and highly unorthodox—proprietary patient engagement platform, called Together in HF, is an example. Founded by her and incubated by Novartis, the platform is dedicated to the heart failure community and is currently in beta with patients, caregivers, and cardiovascular advocacy organizations.

“I admire Melissa for her tenacity and unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries,” says Mike Marett, Founder, Confideo Labs. “I know she will continue to advocate for further transformation through adoption and execution of bleeding-edge marketing strategies and tactics, plus design and development of groundbreaking products that better communicate, engage, inform, and ultimately improve care.”


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