Has the health industry co-opted patient engagement? | Reporting on Health

The next frontier of drug marketing through participation and/or sponsoring of patient engagement or other fora, without clear disclosure. One of the reasons I prefer to participate in recognized organization fora like LLS, rather than some of the more commercial fora that have emerged (although I have explored PatientsLikeMe). As always, read the ‘About’ section to have a sense of the background and interests of the particular forum. Quote:

In some unbranded “disease awareness” online communities, drug companies may pay people to moderate patient forums or pay celebrities to give testimonials, but might not prominently display that kind of financial relationship to patient/participants. Other websites collect consumer health data to help companies target marketing to specific kinds of consumers. And because many patient forums don’t have unbiased physician moderation, they may also be vulnerable to influence from corporate partners, drug company marketers, or those pushing unproven therapies. We’re already seeing this in industry-sponsored social media pages (DiscussDiabetes from drug giant Sanofi Aventis has 4,000 Facebook fans and 4,000 Twitter followers, and diabetes juggernaut Novo Nordisk sponsors IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball in exchange for his Tweets – @racewithinsulin – including when he injects with their products.

Has the health industry co-opted patient engagement? | Reporting on Health.


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