A new report that comes to us this week from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics is taking a hard, first-of-its-kind look into the metrics of social media activities undertaken by the world’s most preeminent pharmaceutical giants.
“We see that pharmaceutical companies recognize that patients increasingly are using some form of social media to obtain information, exchange views and seek advice regarding their healthcare,” says Murray Aitken, the Executive Director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. “They therefore need to be present, active and engaged in these channels to be patient-centered.”
Studying Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, IMS Health ranked the top ten pharmaceutical companies by a Reach Index. Of the pharmaceutical companies active across all channels, Johnson & Johnson emerged as the top name on the list.
Among the top 50 pharmaceutical companies, half do not engage with consumers or patients on healthcare-related topics through social media, and only 10 companies utilized all three assessed channels.
According to the details provided, Twitter is now utilized by 22 of the 50 companies studied, followed by YouTube (17 companies) and Facebook (15 companies).
“The transformation of information gathering and the emergence of the engaged patient has demonstrated the increased importance of social media in the broader healthcare context,” the report summary reads. “For the healthcare industry, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to react quickly and decisively to events on social media.”