Shire turns to Twitter to drive ADHD content

WAYNE, PA: Shire launched an unbranded Twitter feed in December and, to ensure compliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the company turned off Twitter's direct messaging capability.

WAYNE, PA: Shire launched an unbranded Twitter feed in December and, to ensure compliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the company turned off Twitter's direct messaging capability.

The Twitter feed is being used as a supporting tool for the biopharmaceutical company's ADHD support Web site, said Matt Cabrey, director of corporate communications for Shire. The company markets ADHD drugs like Vyvanse, Adderall XR, and Daytrana in the US. IMC2 helped the company build out its site.

“It's an unbranded tool that we offer to really provide access and information about ADHD,” he said. “It's really another resource tool for patients and caregivers and physicians and key opinion leaders and advocacy organizations.”

Shire also added a telephone number for customer service and posted to the page that it does not plan to follow other users.  

While many FDA-regulated companies are using Twitter to tell a corporate story or as a media relations tool, less have chosen to launch disease awareness or product-specific programs because of the possibility of adverse events reporting or off-label discussions.

Cabrey said that the company is using Twitter to drive users back to the company's ADHD Web site through links that provide tips and news about dealing with ADHD in relationships, the workplace and schools, and organization. The site was relaunched in fall 2009.

“It's designed to be a push tool and provide information to people who actually sign up to receive the tweets,” he said. “It's really part of our ongoing and overarching philosophy of creating awareness about the disease state and providing resources for people.

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