NEW YORK Sermo and Pfizer have agreed on a collaboration whereby the pharmaceutical manufacturer will have its medical staff post on an online forum that had been used by doctors to swap medical observations without interference by the pharmaceutical industry, the Associated Press reported.
The forum started last September and has been used by 30,000 doctors. Pfizer’s medical staff will most likely be clearly identified when on the forum. Now, it seems as though the doctors want to have participation with pharmaceutical companies in a controlled fashion. Sermo took an online poll and received information from focus groups, which showed the desire to have the pharmaceutical industry take part, but still without the ads that accompany most websites.
“These doctors are saying, ‘We want to have a different type of relationship with the industry,”‘ said Daniel Palestrant, Sermo's chief executive officer, a former surgical resident at a Boston hospital. “Doctors in our focus groups would say, ‘In many cases, the most timely and interesting information on drugs comes from the industry. But I want that information on my terms.’“