VICTORY FOR DATA-MINING

By a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the data-mining companies in Sorrell v. IMS Health. This decision strikes down a Vermont law that prohibited the sale and use of a physician’s prescribing history for marketing purposes unless the physician consented to the release of information. The justices ruled that the law violated the free-speech rights protected under the First Amendment. IMS Health was joined by SDI, Source Healthcare Analytics (a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions), and the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers Association in challenging the measure.

MOBILE SALES TOOL

TargetRx and Skura Corporation released a new pre-call planning software tool that combines TargetRx’s TargetAdvantage with Skura’s comprehensive SFX Sales Enablement Solution. TargetRx has identified 11 attributes, or Y-Factors, that motivate physicians to prescribe through its AdvantageBuilder database of more than 300 million questions answered by over 80,000 physicians. Sales teams can now view this TargetAdvantage information, from among 19 therapeutic categories, through the user-friendly SFX interface on their mobile devices.

NEW ACCOUNTS

Allergan awarded Pacific Communications the account for Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion), the only prescription eye drop available believed to treat an underlying cause of chronic dry eye. The Restasis account was previously handled by Abelson-Taylor. Kun Yang Kim, Vice President, Management Supervisor, will be handling the account on behalf of Pacific Communications. Centron added OraPharma to its growing client roster. The agency was assigned medical communications responsibilities for Arestin, a localized antibiotic used in periodontics.

TIME-SAVER

Vendormate Mobile, developed by Atlanta-based Vendormate, is the first smartphone app that allows hospital vendor representatives to sign out of hospital appointments with a simple click. This allows them to bypass the sign-out kiosk and save 15 minutes or more during a typical hospital appointment, while also helping hospitals maintain accurate records. The app was downloaded 3,500 times in the 48 hours after its launch on June 16.

PHARMA FACEBOOK HELP

Intouch Solutions released PharmaWall, a Facebook monitoring and moderation tool that helps pharma companies deal with the unique challenges of using Facebook (such as the users’ comments that may violate FDA guidelines). While branded pages can block users from making posts, on August 15, pharma-sponsored unbranded pages will no longer be able to prevent comments or posts from Facebook users. PharmaWall allows for behind-the-scenes control by storing new posts in a queue for review by the page administrator, who decides whether to approve, revise, or decline them. Copies of all content are kept for review, and Facebook members are informed that their post may be altered before being posted.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT UPGRADE

Avant Healthcare Marketing, an affiliate of DWA Healthcare Communications Group, released the latest version of its content management system, Avant Media Manager. This presentation management solution supports version control and enhances security of proprietary content. The latest version adds time-stamped export functionality, which provides a new level of security beyond “locked slides” and increases portability and compatibility of multiple platforms and devices. For example, users can now facilitate presentations directly from iPads and other tablets.

FIRST LOOK AT THE FUTURE

Last Month during Internet Week, Digitas held its fourth annual digital upfront, The NewFront 2011. More than 800 attended as clients got a first look at the latest digital projects and insights, which resulted in more than 60 meetings between brands and content creators to foster ideas and forge deals, according to the official NewFront website (thenewfront.com). This year’s theme, “Pipe Dreams/Pipe Reality,” focused on the fortunate challenges for marketers resulting from the proliferation of media opportunity. Segments from the event will be posted on the website.

AWARD WINNING

Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide together with Ogilvy & Mather’s Mexico-based agency won seven Sol Awards at El Sol, the Spanish and Latin American Festival of Advertising Communication. Ogilvy & Mather (Mexico), along with Ogilvy Healthworld’s Mexico City office, won one gold, one silver and one bronze, while Ogilvy CommonHealth’s Madrid-based agency received two silver and two bronze awards. This was the first year that the 26th annual multimedia festival, organized by the Spanish Association of Advertising Agencies, added healthcare categories to the competition.

DEVELOPER CHALLENGES

Health 2.0, IMPAQ International, and NORC at the University of Chicago are launching the Medicare Claims Data Developer Challenge. Entrants need to develop a system that can identify meaningful connections between the newly released Basic Stand Alone (BSA) Medicare Claims Public Use Files (PUFs). Submissions are due August 15, 2011. Health 2.0 also has other ongoing developer challenges that you can learn more about at www.health2challenge.org.

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