Current Edition

Ground-breaking Approach to Support Evidence for Healthcare Brands

Set to Save the Industry Millions of Pounds
Real World Data Collection using Social Media becomes the first solution to generate contemporary, low-cost evidence for OTC indications without clinical trials
Healthcare brands are increasingly under pressure to provide up to date credible evidence to support their product licensed indications and claims, as well as general product safety, throughout a product’s lifecycle. This is backed by the Association of The British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) in its white paper citing the growing number of examples where Real World Evidence (RWE) has been ‘essential for the market access of a product’¹. Until now there has been no systematic collection of data from non-prescription healthcare interventions, leaving these brands with the only option of repeating expensive and time consuming randomised clinical trials (RCTs).
In response to this increasing demand on healthcare brands and the current lack of solutions, a pioneering solution – Real World Data Collection using Social Media – has been launched, enabling brands to collect data in a pertinent, low cost manner to support their licensed indications, pattern of use and outcomes in the real world. The data collection solution has been developed by social and digital specialists, Orbital Media, while independent Medical Officer, Dr. Martin Goldman, pioneered the concept and process. This unique approach delivers a number of benefits to healthcare brands:

  • It is a low cost solution in comparison to RCTs; often up to a tenth of the cost with the potential to save the industry hundreds of millions of pounds
  • It collects data on a large scale with high levels of detail;
  • It has the ability to conduct studies into areas where conventional healthcare research is not possible or difficult such as the use of healthcare products in babies, and the societal impact of conditions which might not generate a doctor visit e.g. nappy rash, other minor skin ailments;
  • The data collection is not governed by clinical trial regulations, giving brands greater control;
  • It provides evidence that can be used to strengthen product claims for marketing purposes and generate extra value propositions for products;
  • There is the ability to repeat the data collection to confirm validity and add to the baseline information.

Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream, a UK superbrand, is the first product to have conducted this Real World Data Collection using Social Media. The resulting, published, peer-reviewed study has been successfully used to support Sudocrem’s claim for treating infantile nappy rash, by showing rapid skin healing and reduction in signs of inflammation. The study now allows, amongst many other things, Sudocrem’s to claim that 99.3% of users see nappy rash improve and that over half of users see an improvement to nappy rash the same day. These were findings that had previously not been demonstrated since the launch of the product many years ago.
Peter Brady, CEO of Orbital Media said: “Having worked with healthcare brands for over 10 years we became increasingly aware of the cost effective capabilities of user generated data harvested from digital and social media. These online data capture methodologies and technologies developed by Orbital Media, are now being used to enhance old or weak evidence for OTC product licensed indications. Our specialism in social and digital innovation and collaboration with medical officer, Dr. Goldman, has resulted in a timely and efficient solution to strengthening OTC product claims. The combined cost savings and long term sales growth benefits to established OTC brands could run into the many hundreds of millions of pounds.”
Real World Data Collection using Social Media utilises a collaborative approach between Orbital Media’s system for collecting and collating data via social media channels, with an experienced medical research team. This provides high grade data and analysis that can be formulated into a final study for publication. [see editor’s notes for full process]
Dr Goldman, Chief Medical Officer, Iatros Consulting, comments: “Collecting RWE via social media enables healthcare brands like Sudocrem to overcome many of the limitations of clinical trials which do not represent the real world, and social media represented a breakthrough method of RWE data collection.  Previous routes of collecting RWE required extracting information from pre-existing large scale health records or disease registers, which are not available in the cases of self-treatment by users of OTC medicines or alternative healthcare interventions. The introduction of Real World Data Collection using Social Media gives brands the ability to obtain current and large scale data that the industry recognises as suitable for the support of key product indications and credible promotional claims. This is what the OTC industry has needed for a long time.”
Real World Data Collection using Social Media is available via Orbital Media. For more information, visit
For further information, quotes and images please contact Helen Maddin at
Maddin PR on 07545 342 737 or