Building on a series of polling and surveying capabilities included in its social media network, Sermo is now enabling a Drug Ratings platform. According to the company, physicians have been able to crowdsource patient cases and seek advice from each other. Now, doctors can search for drugs by brand or generic name and compare different drugs. In the case of newly launched drugs, real world performance with early adopters can be reviewed, disseminated and adopted more broadly. “Drug Ratings gives physicians a clinical decision support tool where they can research, rate, and share their direct experience on the efficacy, safety, tolerability, accessibility, and adherence of specific drugs in real time,” according to the company.
“Drug Ratings is transparent and democratized medical knowledge from and for doctors around the world,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of Sermo. “Manufacturers and insurers have been calling the shots when it comes to the evaluation and adoption of drugs in recent decades; Drug Ratings levels the playing field. It gives doctors back their voice in this important discussion. Consumers have Amazon, Yelp or Trip Advisor. Now physicians have peer-to-peer Drug Ratings.”
According to recent polling done within its network, Sermo finds that physicians want more and better information than what is currently available:
• 52% feel they do not have all the information they would want about a drug before prescribing
• 77% rely on Amazon reviews to help inform buying choices (!)
• 91% think that pharmaceutical marketing ‘spins’ – misrepresents, omits, or otherwise adjusts – information about drugs to show them in a more positive light at least some of the time
• 69% feel that doctors have a better understanding of how a drug works in the real world than pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, or patients.
Sermo, a subsidiary of a market research firm, World One, since 2012, provides access for manufacturers to sponsored research and market studies; it also has a Sermo Pages component where pharma marketers can post information about their products. At over 650,000 physicians across 30 countries, it is running neck and neck with a newer physician community, Doximity. Doximity claims 600,000 US physicians (and hundreds of thousands more nurses and other HCPs); Doxmity relies on funding from hospitals and recruitment firms, as well as sponsored research.