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#fakedrugs: Scammers using Twitter to peddle fake medicines

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Viagra is a top target for scammers


Scammers are exploiting Twitter to entice people into buying fake medicines, according to a new report.

The report, published by the department of computer science at the University of Alkron in Ohio, says that Twitter is creating an ideal environment for those peddling counterfeit drugs.

The vast majority of pharmaceutical spam still comes via email - with 65% of all email spam related to counterfeit drugs - but the authors say that the 175 million users tweeting around 95 million times a day is making Twitter more attractive to spammers.

Digital Pharma: It's not about the brand website

Published on 19/10/11 at 07:14am
Dominic Tyer
iPad graphic

The last few years have seen an explosion of interest in digital marketing in the pharma sector, reflecting the wider revolution brought about by sites like Facebook and Twitter, and mobile devices in the shape of smartphones and iPads.

But has marketing to pharma’s core audience of healthcare professionals really been revolutionised by digital media?

Digital Pharma: NHS-backed health social network launches

NHS social network How Are You?

A new NHS-backed social network has launched to provide support to patients with long-term conditions through ‘personal health planning’.

How Are You? was created through a partnership between the NHS East of England and Cambridge Healthcare, a startup formed last year.

Cambridge Healthcare says the new site will be free for patients to use, but that revenue from third party application developers would allow it to be self-sustaining.

Digital Pharma: Lilly plans social media expansion

One year after launching its corporate blog Lilly is ramping up its use of social media.

Last week the company launched a new YouTube channel and tomorrow Lilly will make its official corporate debut on Facebook.

The company is obviously undeterred by August's Facebook changes, which forced pharma companies to allow their pages to host user comments, something the industry had previously been allowed to block.

Digital Pharma: Twitter slip-up shouldn't silence pharma

Bayer UK was recently ruled to have breached the ABPI Code of Practice by promoting prescription-only medicines to the general public via Twitter.

This was an embarrassing and unfortunate incident for the company, but I don’t believe it needs to scare UK pharma away from digital media.

Digital Pharma: Mobile marketing

Published on 01/09/11 at 12:13pm

“This, is not a phone,” said Mark Blayney Stuart holding up his BlackBerry. “It’s a very powerful computer that happens to make phone calls.”

The head of research at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Mark has been pondering the future of smart phones and marketing for a new CIM report on the subject.

He was speaking at the PM Society’s Digital Showcase meeting in London in June and presented some of the latest ideas and trends from the consumer world of mobile marketing.

Digital Pharma: Bayer reprimanded over social media use

Bayer will be named in the medical press after being found guilty of the first social media breach of the ABPI’s Code of Practice.

At issue was the company’s use of Twitter, which it used to promote prescription-only medicines to the public by sending two product-related tweets – a clear breach of the Code.

Digital Pharma: Pharma adapts to new era on Facebook

Pfizer Facebook comments policy

Pharma companies must adapt to a new level of engagement on Facebook after new rules from the social network forcing them to host user comments came into effect today.

But in an unexpected twist the policy has yet to be upheld, so visitors to Pfizer’s corporate Facebook page can read the company’s post announcing “you can respond to our posts”, but can’t actually do so.

The industry had previously been granted the option of preventing comments to be made to its Facebook Walls, a necessary move for a sector still cautious about how it uses social media.

Digital Pharma: Pfizer's Facebook page hacked

Pfizer's hacked Facebook page

Pfizer has regained control of its corporate Facebook page after hackers temporarily defaced it earlier this week.

A UK group calling themselves The Script Kiddies added unflattering profile images to the page and posted links to news articles critical of the firm.

The company acknowledged its Facebook page had been “compromised” and said: “We have been working with Facebook to understand what happened so we can guard against it in the future.”

Digital Pharma: iPhone and iPad app update

Novartis Kick Smoking iPhone app
Mobile app trends: Launched in March, Novartis' Kick Smoking is pharma's first non-European language iPhone app

How many iPads has Boehringer Ingelheim ordered for its sales force in Turkey? Do Novartis’ investors really want their annual reports in iPad app form? And does Abbott think QR codes are the future?

Those are some of the questions posed by pharma’s latest batch of mobile apps, as the industry’s Apple-focused interest in mobile devices continues apace.

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