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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16979

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Electronic Source

Mack J
Shire Implements First Ever Integrated Phone-Assisted Social Network Marketing Campaign for ADHD!
Pharma Marketing Blog 2009 Dec 22

Full text:

In what has to be a truly innovative use of Twitter, Shire Pharmaceuticals launched a phone-assisted ADHD Support Twitter account (adhdsupport). Instead of following other Twitter users and building up a community where followers can "direct message" the account, adhdsupport suggests that people call the Shire Customer Service Center if they want to provide comments. The reason given: “At this time we aren’t able to follow other users” (see screen shot below).

I decided to call the 1-800 number listed and ask why @ADHDSupport is “not able” to follow other Twitter uses “at this time” and when it will be able to do so. LISTEN TO THE PHONE CALL.

Phone-assisted social networking may not work for all pharmaceutical products, but it is well-suited for ADHD products because — according to this Shire “ADHD: Not Just a Child’s Disorder” fact sheet — ADHD sufferers:
“Often take action before they consider the possible consequences.” Consequently, adhdsupport would enable this behavior if it allowed ADHD sufferers to willy-nilly click the Twitter DM button to ask a question. "In conversation, [ADHD sufferers] interrupt others [and] blurt out inappropriate comments." Again, a good reason to disable conversation with ADHD sufferers on Twitter. It's not likely to lead to any meaningful discussion if adhdsupport gets “inappropriate comments” such as complaints about ADHD treatment!
“[ADHD sufferers] experience difficulty waiting in line or for [their] turn.” There’s no such thing as “your turn” in a Twitter dialog. You just type something and press a button whenever you want to say something. I should think Twitter is a good environment for ADHD sufferers. So this is really an argument against blocking DMs.
[I rephrased these as statements rather than questions as originally posed in Shire’s fact sheet.]

Well, I’ll wait for Shire to call me back and then see if I get more information.


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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909