In Why Drug Companies Prefer Twitter Over Blogs BNET Pharma points out that there are only four big pharma blogs, including GSK’s brand new site.
Drug companies thus far have been far more interested in Twitter than blogging. Check out AstraZeneca’s Twitter stream: 420 updates! They’re addicted! There’s a reason for that … which I’ll get to below.
I agree that there’s not much blog activity from big pharma. But the Twitter presence is even more pathetic. Let’s have a quick look at the top 10 pharma companies and their presence on Twitter.
- Pfizer: http://twitter.com/pfizer is about Pfizer but maintained by someone else who doesn’t seem to be affiliated with the company
- J&J: http://twitter.com/jandj appears to be two friends or sisters, http://twitter.com/j&J has not been registered (until someone reads this and does it), and neither has http://twitter.com/johnson&johnson
- Bayer: http://twitter.com/bayer exists and is maintained in German
- GSK: http://twitter.com/gsk is maintained by Mark, http://twitter.com/glaxo is maintained by Tinus, http://twitter.com/glaxosmithkline looks to be held by a squatter who’s made no updates. (Update: As of May 18, GSK is using http://twitter.com/GSKUS to point people to posts on its new blog.)
- Novartis: http://twitter.com/novartis is used to pump out press releases by Novartis. This is probably the top of the heap for big pharma
- Sanofi-Aventis: http://twitter.com/sanofi-aventis is not registered, http://twitter.com/sanofi is owned by a person named Sanofi, http://twitter.com/sanofiaventis is just like http://twitter.com/glaxosmithkline, i.e., blank
- Roche: http://twitter.com/roche appears to be run by someone in Japan, http://twitter.com/hoffman-laroche is not registered, and http://twitter.com/hoffmanlaroche looks like http://twitter.com/sanofiaventis and http://twitter.com/glaxosmithkline
- AstraZeneca: This is BNET’s big example. I could be wrong but it doesn’t look like the site they cite http://twitter.com/AstraZenecaUS is actually run by the company. http://twitter.com/AstraZeneca looks a lot like the US site, and the bio refers to the company as “they,” so I think it’s just a hobbyist like the Pfizer site.
- Merck: http://twitter.com/merck is like the other blank, squatted sites
- Abbott: http://twitter.com/abbott is run by Bruce
Twittersquatting isn’t exactly like the old cybersquatting. It should be easy for these companies to at least claim their Twitter URLs, so why haven’t they even done that? It doesn’t seem like much to expect.
PS –I’ve posted a new entry showing the status of the top 10 branded drugs and the story is similar.May 22, 2009