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July 30, 2014
The Challenging PR of Drug Trials
The Wall Street Journal has an engrossing story on how some medical patients on drug trials are spooking the scientists by discussing on social media whether they think the medicine is effective, of if they might be on a placebo with no healing value. Some are quite good at guessing and either don’t recognize, or don’t care about, the downside of exchanging notes on a new “drug”.
This is about as challenging a PR situation as you can imagine. After dialoguing with a Pfizer, one posting patient, Jeri Burtchell, finally recognized the downside of what she was doing and “set up Partners in Research, a website that guides patients through the clinical-trials process.”

In all, a fascinating story on how communication is key on drug trials as well as most other effective human interactions, human-scientific, or human-business ones.  

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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