How social media and AI are a gamechanger for the drug lifecycle

Pharma’s move to DTC shows that social analysis is more important than ever

The pharmaceutical and consumer health industries face complex challenges throughout the drug lifecycle, from development to post-launch and maturity. At Buzz Radar, we've found that leveraging actionable insights at each stage is crucial for making informed commercial decisions. This blog explores how our solutions inform and optimise key stages of drug development, launch, and post-launch activities.

Understanding the patient journey

Social media insights can reveal pivotal intervention opportunities during drug development, especially during the clinical trial phase. Patients discuss their experiences openly online, and by tapping into these conversations, Life Sciences can refine their strategies to cater to specific needs and ultimately improve patient outcomes. As Rajesh Kari from Forbes highlights, “There is real intelligence hidden in these social media conversations, which should not be unaccounted for—decisions on ways to monitor changing needs of patients and HCPs, understanding their perception and opinions about treatments and drugs and monitoring therapeutic segment developments.”

Monitoring social media and digital platforms also provides real-time feedback on patient recruitment and trial design. This data helps optimise trial protocols, ensuring they meet patient needs and regulatory requirements. Social media is invaluable for tracking adverse events and side effects, crucial for clinical trial adjustments and safety monitoring.

Insights from conferences, including physician and patient comments, offer anticipatory guidance for the pre-launch phase. Understanding these perspectives helps shape messaging and positioning, ensuring alignment with market expectations and needs. Pre-launch strategies benefit from a comprehensive understanding of the digital landscape. Monitoring web and social media engagement informs companies about emerging trends, competitor activities, and patient sentiments. This intelligence guides engagement strategies to build anticipation and interest ahead of the launch.

Social listening and product launches

Segmenting, targeting, and positioning are critical for a successful launch and patient insights are a way into creating messaging and outreach to resonate with different patient groups, ensuring a more personalised and effective launch strategy.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and influencers play a vital role during the launch phase. Engaging with these individuals helps empower Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) and sales representatives to effectively communicate with physicians, enhancing credibility and trust in the new drug. The KOL/digital opinion leaders (DOL) identification process using social media not only identifies influential individuals but also quantifies their impact.

Post-launch, monitoring brand sentiment and perception provides real-time feedback on market response. This includes tracking drug adoption, identifying barriers, and conducting post-marketing surveillance to ensure the drug meets patient and market needs. Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as launch awareness, sentiment, virality, and reaction helps gauge the success of the launch, offering insights into the effectiveness of marketing efforts and guiding adjustments to maximise impact. Early detection of risk signals is crucial to mitigate potential threats to brand reputation and corporate standing. By monitoring digital conversations and sentiment, companies can identify and address issues promptly, ensuring a smooth launch and sustained brand health.

As the drug reaches maturity, understanding patient needs and disease management challenges becomes even more critical. Informing digital patient support programs with these insights helps enhance patient care and adherence. Monitoring threats from generics or biosimilars is crucial in the maturity phase. Signal detection allows companies to anticipate and address competitive threats, ensuring sustained market presence and patient loyalty.

AI's Role in Enhancing Drug Lifecycle Management

While AI can be an invaluable development and marketing tool, the success of AI applications depends on the quality of the data used. Good data governance practices, understanding data provenance, and continuously checking models for bias are essential. Transparency around AI/ML (Machine Learning) outputs can shift perceptions and instil greater confidence. Providing context around decision-making processes and collaborating closely with data scientists and therapeutic area experts enhances the reliability of AI models.

AI/ML tools create efficiencies and accelerate decision-making but do not replace conventional methods. A partnership between AI and human expertise ensures the highest quality outputs. Combining domain expertise with technical know-how allows for the rapid implementation of AI tools that solve real problems for customers.

Bridging Gaps with Social Media and Competitive Intelligence

Pharmacovigilance (PV), the practice of monitoring the effects of medical drugs after they have been licensed for use, has significantly evolved with the rise of social media. Social media platforms provide a ton of real-time information about drug use and adverse reactions from real patients. A robust social analysis plan can turn this online data into actionable business insights, enhancing PV activities by identifying and assessing adverse drug reactions (ADRs).

Competitive Intelligence (CI) refers to the process of gathering and analysing information about competitors. This includes understanding their strategies, products, and market behaviour. When combined with social media insights, CI can provide a comprehensive view of market dynamics and patient needs. As patients share their personal experiences online, pharmaceutical companies can use these discussions to gain a deeper understanding of drug safety and efficacy. Aligning these insights with the drug lifecycle—from development to post-release—ensures thorough monitoring and strategic decision-making.

Using digital networks and CI for PV can significantly enhance patient safety by providing timely and accurate information. Automating the dissemination of information through chatbots and monitoring social media for emerging ADRs can greatly improve crisis management. These methods help gather relevant information in real-time, increasing responsiveness to potential safety issues.

At Buzz Radar, we provide the tools and expertise to harness these insights, enabling our clients to make informed decisions, optimise strategies, and drive success across the drug lifecycle. By staying attuned to patient needs, market trends, and competitive dynamics, we help our clients navigate the complexities of the healthcare landscape and achieve their commercial objectives.

Published on 2024-05-22 16:18:02