In early June Novo Nordisk launched a Twitter page @racewithinsulin with race car driver Charlie Kimball, who has diabetes and uses Levemir, a Novo product. Charlie tweets about his day-to-day activities, a little about his diabetes and mentions Levemir/Novo now and again. The posts are pretty benign - Charlie heading to the track, Charlie talking about the weather, Charlie telling us about whatever city he's in. The site is fully branded with Novo's logo and Levemir and Novolog product information.
I have read some negative reviews about Novo's use of Twitter, primarily because there is no two-way dialogue on the site. Charlie follows no one; he only lets people follow him. Twitter, at its core, is about sharing, conversing, engaging. So using Twitter as an outbound tool only is not the way to maximize its utility. On the other hand, no pharma company has tried this before so I'd give Novo a pass. For those who question a spokesman tweeting about a product, have you seen how many patients who have no connection to a company tweet about the specific drugs they take or devices they use? And particularly in diabetes. I see no problem with Charlie tweeting about Levemir since he uses it.
Give Novo Nordisk props for trying Twitter for something other than issuing corporate press releases.