Twitter is surrounded by big numbers: 175m registered users; 190m visitors each month; 65m messages, also know as tweets, a day. Biopharm contract service providers are among these users but adoption of Twitter and approaches to the service varies between companies.
Below Outsourcing-Pharma presents a widget collating messages sent by 50 of the leading contract research and manufacturing organisations (CRO, CMO) on Twitter. Monitoring updates to the list, which you can follow here, gives an idea of how CROs and CMOs are using Twitter.
Trade shows, day to day
For some, such as PRA, Twitter has primarily been used at trade shows. At AAPS 2010, also known as PSWC 2010, PRA used Twitter to announce news, link followers to relevant articles and attract people to its booth.
Updates from companies and individuals make Twitter a useful tool for tracking developments at trade shows. Trade show related tweets will have an associated hash tag, such as #infx11 for the upcoming Informex, that users can search for in Twitter and follow to keep updated on news.
Other companies, such as Quintiles, post messages to Twitter several times a week or more. Types of content posted to Twitter by Quintiles include links to: business announcements; articles mentioning the company; and news of interest to the clinical research and biopharm community.
Twitter and social media in general have been proposed as a tool for patient recruitment. Covance is among the CROs to use Twitter for patient recruitment. Each of its clinical research sites, such as Covance Madison, has a Twitter account that is updated with trial enrolment needs.
Social media can, in theory, provide cheap, direct access to a large pool of potential clinical trial participants and provide a channel for communicating with physicians. Few CROs use Twitter in this way but other social forums, such as PatientsLikeMe, are also used for patient recruitment.
In upcoming articles Outsourcing-Pharma will delve deeper into the use of Twitter by CROs and CMOs, as well as look at how individuals in the contract services sector are using the site. Also, those interested in staying up to date on breaking developments can follow Outsourcing-Pharma.
The list is far from comprehensive, with some accounts excluded for inactivity, but provides an overview of how CROs and CMOs are using Twitter. If we have missed a key Twitter user, you think the service is a fad or you have any questions get in touch using our comment section.