Category Archives: Social Media

AZ Launches Metastatic Breast Cancer Photo-Sharing Campaign


Post a photo of yourself on Twitter using #MBCStrength to shine a light on metastatic breast cancer.

More than 173,000 women in the United States are living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), and each has a story to tell. Women with MBC encounter unique challenges, and it is often an important part of their journey to share their stories and connect with others who are living with the disease.

In support of women living with MBC, AstraZeneca recently launched the #MBCStrength photo-sharing campaign. Women with MBC are encouraged to take photos of themselves that highlight their personal journeys and post them on Twitter using #MBCStrength. Photos posted by October 1, 2014 will be considered for a display in Times Square in New York City on October 13, 2014, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

For more information about this photo-sharing campaign, visit This site also houses tools and information tailored for women living with MBC. New to the site are personal MBC accounts from Priscilla and Linda: two inspiring women who draw love and support from their family, friends and community.

AZ Launches Innovative Online Tool in the US, DoctorsNotes

By Bob Allen, Senior Director, Digital Innovation Group (DIG).

From our work within Digital Innovation Group (DIG), we’ve discovered that medical professionals now have less time than ever to keep up-to-date with the most relevant literature in their given field, even though they are required to do so.

Finding new ways to easily and effectively share information with one another also forms a key part of AstraZeneca’s commitment to achieving scientific leadership. So we asked ourselves how we could help medical professionals consume, discover and share online medical literature.

Doctors Notes Square

Launched this month in the US, DoctorsNotes is a new online tool that aims to make online reading accessible, shareable and social. The tool is available first as an extension for the Google Chrome web browser.

With DoctorsNotes medical professionals can annotate and organize their online reading, and if they choose, discuss and compare notes with their peers. In particular, those researching or working in hospitals and institutions can use it to establish communities around specific areas of interest or study.

DoctorsNotes BETA is now open and free to install in the US with other markets expected later this year. You can sign up right now at

Feedback is crucial to help our team improve and iterate DoctorsNotes. So please try it out and let us know what you think.

We hope that the tool will prove useful and enhance scientific exchange in the USA and beyond.

DoctorsNotes is the first product to be launched by DIG, a collaboration between AstraZeneca and global marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi. You can read more about DIG and its innovation model here

AZ Talks Oncology with Social Media Leaders

By Rachel Humphrey, Head of Immuno-Oncology 

Today’s patient is online. Not only are patients searching for information on their personal health conditions, but they are seeking other patients who have shared in their experiences. This is especially true in the oncology space, where patients and advocates have taken to social media, helping each other locate resources and discuss the advancement of cancer research and care.

In June of 2013, through an inaugural oncology summit, we were able to learn firsthand from a diverse group of advocates about the online communities they’ve started, the information they consider most useful, and what AstraZeneca can do to help.

Continuing our efforts to give a voice to patients living with these debilitating diseases, AstraZeneca will be hosting a second oncology summit on June 17 in Gaithersburg, MD expanding to include some of the leading voices in the oncology space.

With a 30-year legacy in oncology, AstraZeneca has been a leader in developing innovative approaches to treat cancer, concentrating on those therapy areas where we believe we can make the greatest difference. It is our primary commitment to patients that is at the heart of everything we do. Join our conversation: #AZoncology.

On June 17, AstraZeneca will host an Oncology Summit with leading voices in the breast, lung, ovarian and thyroid cancer spaces. Join the conversation: #AZoncology

On June 17, AstraZeneca will host an Oncology Summit with leading voices in the breast, lung, ovarian and thyroid cancer spaces. Join the conversation: #AZoncology

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AZ and DigitasLBi present together at Cannes Lions Health Festival

AstraZeneca understands the importance of leveraging new technologies to improve business practices that better serve patients and doctors. This Friday, June 13, AstraZeneca teams up with global strategic partner DigitasLBi to deliver The New Creative Process: Revolutionising the Wellbeing of Patients & Doctors, a digital communication seminar at the Cannes Lions Health Festival.The first ever two-day event, held in Cannes, France as part of the Cannes Lions Festival, unites healthcare communicators and brands to discuss the sector’s current state and collaboratively forge a way to the future.

Advances in digital technology have created challenges for healthcare professionals and their patients. Doctors face ever increasing workloads and the bewildering amount of online information makes keeping up with the industry’s already-swift pace especially difficult. However, by harnessing these digital tools, healthcare professionals have the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with patients and provide more efficient care. John McCarthy, Vice President of Global Commercial Excellence at AZ, and Ewen Sturgeon, Chief Executive of International at DigitasLBi, will reveal how AZ’s unique patient-centric approach is enabled by rapid product prototyping, testing and learning.

To follow the festival or join the conversation on Twitter, check out @Lions_Health, #CreativityInHealth and #LionsHealth.

AstraZeneca Hosts Inaugural Breast Cancer Blogger Summit


Participants from Cancer 101, Stupid Cancer, METAvivor, Awesome Cancer Survivor, and Talk About Health joined AstraZeneca for a robust discussion on breast cancer patient needs

On June 6, 2013, a select group of members in the breast cancer community convened at AstraZeneca’s headquarters in Wilmington, DE.

A first for AstraZeneca, this was a unique opportunity to learn from a diverse group of advocates/bloggers about the evolution of patient and caregiver support in the age of social media, as well as their efforts to advance care and resources for breast cancer patients.

The event also served as a platform for peer-to-peer dialogue and collaboration.The breast cancer community has done amazing work in terms of disease awareness, education and support and we at AstraZeneca were pleased to have hosted a discussion that highlighted where we are today.

AstraZeneca has been at the forefront of oncology treatment for over 30 years and is fully committed to cancer research, treatment and community support. By hosting this summit, we hope to continue the lines of communication with the community to better understand and accommodate the evolving needs of patients, as well as those who are involved in their care.

AstraZeneca launches LabTalk

AstraZeneca introduces an online forum for the scientific community.

AstraZeneca launched a new science blog, LabTalk, providing an online forum where scientists can discuss cutting-edge science and innovation.

LabTalk offers a platform for scientists to share innovative ideas and approaches. From discovery in the lab, to making a meaningful difference in the lives of patients, LabTalk seeks to foster the creativity and innovation shared amongst scientists in an easy-to-use, online forum.

“The value of ‘LabTalk’ is not only to raise the profile of innovative science, but it also gives AstraZeneca the opportunity to hear from our peers,” said Oliver Stohlmann, vice president of R&D Communications. “Over time we hope to build up a rich library of content that will help tell the R&D story, both from AstraZeneca’s and others’ perspectives. This is something we’ve started with the recent ‘Letters from the Lab’ features, but with LabTalk we have the functionality to also engage with readers. What’s more, it will create a platform to showcase the great work of our scientists, making our work more transparent to potential collaborators.”

Head over to and let us know what you think.

AstraZeneca Careers launches Pinterest page

AstraZeneca Careers has recently launched a profile on Pinterest as an opportunity to leverage one of the fastest-growing social media platforms on the internet.

The profile has 18 boards such as Applications and Interviews, Community Involvement, Internships and Students, and US Military Veterans. The page boards include information about AZ’s culture, employee activities, tips for interviewing and applications, etc.

In other social media efforts, AZ Careers recently launched a microsite designed for US military veterans transitioning from military life to the work force. You can also follow AZ Careers on Facebook and Twitter.

AZ Careers recognizes the importance of social media as a recruitment tool for job-seekers and we are excited about the opportunity to interact with potential candidates.

Visit the AZ Careers Pinterest page at

How AstraZeneca uses social media in the US

Patients are increasingly turning to social media for answers to health questions – and those conversations are held on community sites significantly more frequently than on sites run by health industry organizations, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report found that community sites – such as those run by patient groups – had 24 times more social media activity on average than any of the health companies studied over a one-week period. It also found that health businesses are more likely to listen via social media than fully engage.

This appears to be a fairly accurate reflection of the state of heathcare social media, as we seek to use new communication channels while respecting patient privacy and adhere to laws and regulations governing our industry.

With the release of this report, it would seem to be a useful time to remind our readers about our presence on social media in the United States – along with how we approach it as a business.

AstraZeneca and Social Media

First, there is this blog, of course. We use AZ Health Connections for four primary purposes:

  • Shed light on how we do business, such as through question and answer stories with company leaders.
  • Comment and engage on external issues, such as public policy or industry trends.
  • Share corporate news and information.
  • Amplify stories in the media about AstraZeneca.

Second, AstraZeneca US is on Twitter. Click here to visit our page.

Third, Facebook, where people can share, like and comment on our posts. We explained why we are on Facebook here.

And, finally, our YouTube channel, which we largely use to host videos for this blog.

Social Media Principles

AstraZeneca seeks to follow five principles that should be at the core of any company engagement in social media:

1. Truth and Accuracy: Content must be created, developed, or made available that is truthful, balanced, accurate, and not misleading.

2. Be Respectful: Encourage product sponsor participation that respects the interests of patients, caregivers, and health care providers, particularly related to matters of privacy and the primacy of the patient/physician relationship.

3. Protect and Advance Patient Health: Facilitate patient access to quality information for use with their physician to improve their health and protect patients through encouraging accurate and timely reporting on medicine safety.

4. Transparency: Any product sponsor participation should be accomplished in a manner that, at all times, is entirely transparent to other participants as to the role of product sponsors as participants in online discussion.

5. Respect the Views of Others: Acknowledge that patients, caregivers, clinicians and others who participate in social media have their own opinions and that, when they differ from those of the product sponsor, it is not the role of a product sponsor to censor or limit these views but to add the product sponsor’s own views to the discussion.

We look forward to improving our capabilities in the social media space – and hearing from you on how we can most appropriately and effectively engage and communicate with those who are impacted by our business.

Survey: How our scientists use social media

When not in the lab, our scientists also use social media to engage.

We recently surveyed our scientists and some of their partners around the world: How are you using social media for science-related activities?

The results show that respondents believe there is a place for social media in science, especially in the areas of information sharing, collaboration, knowledge building and networking. So far, our scientists and their external partners are particularly active in professional networks, wikis and blogs but less so on online forums and microblogging outlets such as Twitter.

“Social media are like any medium of communications,” one respondent wrote in the comments. “Saying that social media are not important is isolating you as a scientist … (which) rarely leads to new science.”

Here are some of the highlights of the survey, based on 372 responses*:

How much value does social media deliver to scientists?

  • Absolutely essential: 6 percent
  • Very valuable: 18 percent
  • Valuable: 33 percent
  • Somewhat valuable: 35 percent
  • Minimum value: 8 percent

What is the value in social media?

  • Information sharing/collaboration: 62 percent
  • Knowledge building: 61 percent
  • Networking: 61 percent
  • Participating in discussion: 33 percent
  • Getting the message out/thought leadership: 10 percent

Do you participate in social media? And why?

  • Yes: 71 percent
  • Science-related activity: 71 percent
  • Personal activity: 69 percent

How do you use social media?

  • Read/watch online content: 61 percent
  • Post comments: 18 percent
  • Join conversations: 17 percent
  • Update status online: 10 percent
  • Generate content: 7 percent

What kinds of channels do you participate in (among those using social media)?

  • Professional networks: 79 percent
  • Wikis: 53 percent
  • Blogs: 50 percent
  • Yammer: 48 percent
  • Social networks: 25 percent
  • Video sharing sites: 23 percent
  • Online forums/roundtables: 21 percent
  • Presentation sharing sites: 17 percent
  • Photo sharing sites: 14 percent
  • Microblogging: 9 percent

We will use these results to help inform our R&D social media communications strategies for 2012 and beyond.

In the meantime, how do you think social media can be used to promote research and development in the pharmaceutical industry?

*95 percent of the results came from AZ scientists, with the rest from their external network of scientists. 37 percent of the respondents were from the UK, followed by 31 percent from Sweden and 25 percent from the United States. The additional 7 percent were from India, Canada and other western European nations.

AstraZeneca recognized for engagement through social media

AstraZeneca uses social media to engage stakeholders in conversations about important healthcare issues

How are healthcare organizations using social media to engage their stakeholders in conversations about those issues most important to them?

Creation Healthcare’s 2012 Healthcare Engagement Strategy awards show how organizations are using a variety of social media tools to build new avenues of important dialogue and how they are measuring the outcomes of these efforts.

AstraZeneca is proud to be among the organizations recognized this year. To learn more about our #rxsave Twitter chat on patient assistance programs, please visit the Open Dialogue Award page here.

Jennifer McGovern, director of AstraZeneca’s prescription savings programs, shared the team’s rationale for hosting the Twitter chat. “We’ve been engaging with advocates for many years talking about strategies for reaching eligible patients. Using Twitter was really just a way to expand this ongoing conversation and the response was overwhelmingly positive.”

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