Pharma goes digital for trials, detailing

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Needing to cut costs as R&D skyrockets and ‘blockbuster drug’ patents expire, pharmaceutical companies are now turning to online and mobile tools to reduce costs–and speed–drug trials and marketing to physicians.  Companies like Mytrus are pioneering the design of clinical trials from home, with participants receiving their meds in the mail and reporting online such as in Pfizer’s post-launch test of Detrol. On detailing–the oldest form of marketing to physicians–AstraZeneca and Sanofi have opened up online sampling, formulary information and patient ed materials. (Are pharma reps ‘trusted collaborators’ or obsolete? What Ed. Donna hears from her contacts is increasingly the latter.) And pharma companies are marching into social media whether or not on their website, despite lack of guidelines from FDA. Reuters: Drug firms go online to test and sell medicines