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Digital Pharma: Byte-sized roundup

Published on 13/11/09 at 11:40am
Solvay's Russian Twitter account

Solvay Pharma has joined the ranks of pharma companies using Twitter, setting up a Russian language account for its Moscow-based subsidiary.

The company tweets in Cyrillic script and the biography they've put on the micro-blogging platform simply reads: "Solvay Pharma is a leader in the development and manufacture of drugs."

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Google and the UK Advertising Standards Authority have reached a deal that will see the search engine giant help fund a new self-regulatory system for online marketing.

The ASA's new extended remit for digital media advertising, which is still to be ratified, is expected to be introduced in the second half of next year, according to The Guardian.

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EMD Serono, the US and Canadian arm of Merck Serono, has launched a disease awareness website for US multiple sclerosis patients and their families.

How I Fight MS is packaged as the online journal of "five people, [with] 1 goal: to live victoriously with MS", it includes the patients' blogs, video diaries, photos and music playlists.

There is also a quiz (sample question: "Which do more people with MS say would be likely to motivate them to switch their medication?") and, of course, information about multiple sclerosis.

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The UK held its first 'get online day' in the UK at the end of last month. It aimed to raise awareness of the government-back Race Online 2012 project, which wants to help the four million people in the UK who are the most socially and economically disadvantages to get online by 2012.

It says the economic benefits of doing this could run to £1 billion a year and is run by Digital Inclusion, a not-for-profit, government-funded organisation headed up by the founder of lastminute.com Martha Lane-Fox.

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Microsoft's new search engine Bing inked a deal with Twitter that will see 'Tweets' on the microblogging platform incorporated into its search results. You have to set your location in Bing to the US for this to work (which you can do via this link) and then you can search Tweets in real-time and post what you find on your own Twitter account via a 're-tweet'.

Not be out done, Google quickly followed the announcement with news with a Twitter deal of its own that's in the pipeline. In the meantime Google has Social Search in its developmental Google Labs area. This allows you can search your own social networking circle, which Google is hoping will provide users with more personal - and therefore more worthwhile - search results.

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Finally, the two-day FDA hearing into pharma's use of social media and the internet began yesterday.

Amongst the multitude of agencies, patient organisations, consultants and other interested parties, a handful of pharma companies will be presenting.

First up was Lilly, whose US director of regulatory affairs Michele Sharp said she wanted to industry and regulator to adopt a more collaborative approach to social media.

So far Lilly has shied away from making any significant moves in the arena because of a lack of clarity from the FDA about its expectations, she added.

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Dominic Tyer is web editor for Pharmafocus and InPharm.com and the author of the Digital Pharma blog. He can be contacted via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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