A product manager for Januvia Japan described his experience as follows: “it is probably true that physician-to-physician communication helps the drug to be used widely so quickly. The communication has been done through word of mouth, presentation, publication and the Internet. However, it is not only physician-to-physician but also patient-to-physician communication which had great influence. Also after the launch of Januvia, there was a lot of media coverage on the new diabetes drug.”
However, some people within the pharmaceutical community do have concerns. At the Eye for Pharma Conference in Tokyo 2011, the market research company Creation Healthcare reported that “the changing landscape seems to have raised concerns about doctors’ reputation due to the fact that their patients now have access to information they may not be aware of, or because of new behaviors that affect the doctors’ authority (such as post drug prescription research, ratings on websites, etc.)”
SNS will continue to play an important role in the pharmaceutical industry in Japan through educating and engaging the patient community, as it provides a different channel to educate and engage with the consumers.
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