In Big Pharma and Twitter = Big joke! I demonstrated that big pharma’s presence on Twitter is pathetic. Few of the top 10 companies even maintain the Twitter address with their company’s name. If anything, the situation is even worse when it comes to the top-selling drugs. Big pharma expends considerable effort and dollars to produce and promote slick product-specific websites for its brands. Look at Lipitor.com for example. All the big drugs have sites like that.
By contrast the Twitter presence is a real horror show. Let’s have a look at the top 10 drugs by sales and their presence on Twitter:
- Lipitor: http://www.twitter.com/Lipitor “has been suspended due to strange activity.” In other words, the same characters who sell fake Lipitor via Spam had probably also registered the Lipitor site on Twitter until Twitter put a stop to it. (The Twitter Viagra site http://twitter.com/Viagra is suspended, too.)
- Advair: http://twitter.com/advair The name on this one is “CUSTOMER CARE,” following no one, and with two followers. “This person has protected their updates” –not sure why.
- Plavix: http://twitter.com/plavix has two followers and a single one-word update: “Eating” from October.
- Nexium: http://twitter.com/nexium is maintained by Rui Manuel Fonseca, who describes himself as “Newly graduated photographer looking fo his way…”
- Norvasc: http://twitter.com/norvasc is maintained by Jason Lovett, whose bio reads “Viva La Revolucion”
- Remicade: http://twitter.com/remicade is maintained by someone you know who decided to babysit until the owner wakes up
- Enbrel: http://twitter.com/enbrel is registered to someone named Dave Allingham who hasn’t posted any updates. He is following one person: Consumer Reports.
- Zyprexa: http://twitter.com/zyprexa is registered to MaryAnn Hutchinson who’s posted one update, “Listening to KTAR and getting pissed regarding imigration and cigarette prices.”
- Diovan: http://twitter.com/diovan has one update from way back in 2007, a classic piece of spam, “Buy Diovan Purchase Diovan (Valsartan) Online Diovan, Order Diovan at Canadian pharmacy.” It links to 1canadameds.com, which seems to have been shuttered.
- Risperdal: http://twitter.com/risperdal is held by Benjamin Blevins. His one update, from April, is an offer to sell this name. He lists his gmail address.
I understand that it’s not totally obvious what pharma companies should do with product sites on Twitter. But I find it pretty lame that not a single one of these top 10 drugs –each with marketing budgets in the millions or more– has paid any attention to this element of brand identity.May 26, 2009