PBMs and Social Media

I always get pulled into the discussions about what PBMs are doing, should be doing, or could be doing in social media. For now, let’s just look at the current state – i.e., who is doing what.

I’m going to focus on the big channels – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogging.

 

Twitter

Other (Facebook, YouTube, Blogs)

CVS Caremark @CVS_Extra

@CVS_Health

@CVSCaremarkFYI

http://www.youtube.com/user/CVSPharmacyVideos

http://www.facebook.com/CVS

Medco @DrObviousPhD

@LibertyMedical

@Medco

http://www.youtube.com/DrObviousPhd

http://www.facebook.com/DrObviousPhD

Walgreens @Walgreens

@WalgreensNews

@WalgreensHealth

http://www.facebook.com/Walgreens
Express Scripts @BobNease

@EScripts

http://www.consumerology.com/blog
MedImpact @MedImpact  

 

To make it easy, I created a Twitter list on my profile of the PBMs, pharmacies, and several other key resources in this area – http://twitter.com/#!/gvanantwerp/pharmacy-pbm.

I welcome your links to other PBM or pharmacy social media assets. I looked under CatalystRx, Prime Therapeutics, and SXC also. I also checked Cigna Pharmacy, Humana Pharmacy, Prescription Solutions, and Kaiser Pharmacy. I couldn’t find more, but I’m sure there’s a few I missed.

The question of course is how to judge if these are successful. Is it the number of followers or fans? I would argue no. The goal of social media is to create a dialogue and engage the patients or consumers. Given the traditional focus on the PBM on the business-to-business relationship and the pharmacy on the business-to-consumer relationship, there is an interesting question of how the mail order pharmacies (owned by the PBMs) make that leap. Can social media create a forum for discussion about plan design, drug trends, and other things in straightforward language that engages consumers? Will consumers be willing to use these channels to interact with the PBMs or only with their pharmacist? This could be an area where companies like Walgreens or CVS Caremark who have a large physical footprint can leverage a real-world connection with consumers to a virtual one easier than others.

As you can see, there are not a lot of people doing a lot yet. This area will change a lot in the next 5 years.

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One Response to “PBMs and Social Media”

  1. I was wondering the same thing. How much of an opinion does the public have on their healthcare? I think they have a strong opinion, healthcare is one of the most important issues in politics. CVS Caremark facebook has a single post on it, and many other companies like Cigna, Humana, and Prime Therapeutics either don’t have a facebook page or their faceboook page was created and has not been touched since. I believe the healthcare industry will be forced to focus more on social media if individuals take the initiative to share their opinion.

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