How can social media inform pharmaceutical sales strategies and marketing? One North Carolina pharmaceutical company is about to find out.
Pozen (NASDAQ:POZN) has assembled a new digital advisory board whose members include several executives who have never marketed a drug in their lives. But Pozen hopes that the experience they bring from companies such as PepsiCo, Walmart and Living Social can help the Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based company break new ground in digital drug marketing.
“The pharmaceutical industry has only begun to scratch the surface of employing digitally based commercialization approaches,” Pozen Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Liz Cermak said in a prepared statement.
Pozen is among the drug companies abandoning the traditional sales model and employing traveling sales representatives in favor of digital reps who will rely heavily on healthcare social media to make drug sales. Cermak added that as Pozen moves to commercialize its drug pipeline, the advisers will help the company go beyond traditional pharmaceutical industry marketing practices to find “untapped digital strategies.” She said that the board will advise Pozen on how to use digital technology to better engage customers and communicate with them more efficiently.
Even though the board has strong retail and digital experience, it also includes representatives from healthcare social media, including Dr. Daniel Palestrant, CEO and founder of physician social media site Sermo. Other board members are:
- Raj Amin, CEO and co-founder HealthiNation; previously vice president of business development at N2 Broadband
- John Bax, CFO of LivingSocial; previously CFO of RecycleBank and Walmart.com
- Bonin Bough, director of digital and social media at PepsiCo; previously director of Global Interactive, Social and Emerging Media Practice at Weber Shandwick
- Marc Monseau, founder and principal at MDM Communication, LLC; previously director of corporate communication and social media at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
- Meredith Ressi, president at Manhattan Research; previously COO at Integrated Wellness Solutions
Pozen said that any views or opinions expressed by the advisers as part of the digital advisory board are their own and not those of their employers.
Pozen expects to commercialize its first drug in 2014. Although the company already draws revenue from drugs partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), the compound PA32450 will be the first drug that Pozen commercializes on its own. PA32450 is in phase 3 clinical trials as a treatment for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Pozen’s PA drug platform develops drugs in combination with aspirin. PA32450 aims to offer patients the benefits of aspirin in a form that reduces the gastrointestinal risks of the drug.