SERMO: 'Yelp' for Drugs

SERMO’s drug-rating system for doctors by doctors has garnered over 655,000 ratings on over 4,000 medications in the last year.  SERMO is now the number one social network for doctors in the US and globally providing a safe space to solve and discuss medical cases and issues and to rate treatments.  Additionally, it offers honoraria for doctors who share their opinions. The popularity of SERMO and the transformation it represents highlights the importance of developing a multi-faceted strategy across communication touchpoints in a rapidly changing digital landscape.  Healthcare marketers must stay up to date with this on-going digital transformation in order to maximise the effectiveness of their marketing spend and to better serve the needs of doctors across the globe.

The SERMO online platform has enhanced communication and links between individual clinics and doctors allowing them to see how they stack up to their colleagues locally and internationally and challenging existing social norms.  SERMO has also challenged traditional vehicles of communication or ‘messengers’ by shifting attention away from KOLs and pharma med reps. By doing so, it has empowered your average doctor to be an influencer in in much broader networks.  Although not intended for pharma or healthcare marketers, SERMO is a powerful tool for real-time feedback about how doctors think, feel, and act in regard to a particular drug. 

Over 70,000 doctors have used the database in the last year and that has massively dialled up ‘herd instinct’ among clinicians!  According to SERMO’s own research, “Half of doctors changed their perceptions or opinions about a drug after reading the ratings.” Additionally, “83% said they believe the ratings will help improve outcomes and 74% said they’ll use the ratings again when doing research for treatment.”

Considering its scope, SERMO has be a powerful lever for healthcare marketers to look to better understand current clinician behaviour.