MCOL, the Modesto, Calif.-based business-to-business health management and managed care resource company, hosted a 17-day Web-based meeting, called the Defined Care 2002 Web Summit, April 29 through May 15, 2002. As of April 5, more than 600 people had registered to participate. (In defined care — as opposed to managed care — insured people get a specific amount of money to spend on their health care.)

The Web Summit was designed to give attendees access to expert advice, market intelligence, and news from employers, benefit consultants, health plans, consumer-directed plans, and national thought leaders. No presentations were scheduled “live,” allowing attendees to participate on their own schedules. They had access to summit summaries via e-mail; searchable databases of faculty, presentations, and hundreds of previously presented defined-care articles; e-networking facilities to communicate with faculty as well as other attendees; and a Defined Care Forum to post inquiries and messages.

Marketing lures included a free Adobe Acrobat version of the 2002 Who's Who in Defined Care Directory, opportunities to enter prize drawings, and a chance to receive a free three-month MCOL membership. Attendees also have use of the Summit site through July 31, 2002. For more, visit www.mcol.com/about.htm.

New Tool Measures Web Sites' Value

A pharmaceutical business research agency based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., Johnston, Zabor, McManus Inc. (JZM), is now making available its Standardized Web Site Measure, claimed to be an effective tool for comparing the performance of pharmaceutical firm Web sites. The Standardized Web Site Measure results in a single numerical score that reflects the values of all visitors, called the Visitor Value Index (VVI). The VVI encompasses all visitors, including patients, caregivers, and health care providers. It is similar to an IQ scale; 100 represents average Web site value compared to other pharmaceutical Web sites.

Reports generated from VVI scores help companies know how their Web sites compare to other pharmaceutical Web sites and which Web site aspects need the most improvement (and the impact each improvement will have on future visitors).

Analysis of JZM's 6,709 respondents to the National Drug Web Site Benchmark Study, a national survey of pharmaceutical brand Web sites, found that:

  • 37 percent of visitor value is driven by the qualitative aspects of Web site content;

  • 31 percent of value is driven by visitors' perceptions of how quickly they can navigate the Web site;

  • At 19 percent, a Web site's layout and design is the third strongest driver; and

  • Navigational ease drives the remaining 13 percent.

For more info, contact Dean Sanpei, senior project manager, at (800) 735-5448 or dsanpei@jzm.com, or visit www.jzm.com.

Detailing in Cyberspace

Why should e-CME providers care about the efficacy of commercial pharmaceutical sites? Because more than 9 out of 10 physicians say they will likely participate in online pharmaceutical drug-detailing presentations in the next few months and rate the Internet as an “extremely positive” tool for receiving CME programs, according to a survey of doctors conducted by RxCentric. Perhaps there are opportunities here either for CME links accessed from commercial sites, or even for counter-detailing.

The findings, which were presented in March at the SG Cowen Health Care Conference in Boston, underscore an increasing physician preference for e-sales presentations and point out a significant cost-savings opportunity for pharmaceutical companies in how they market new drugs.

Dave's Picks

www.docent.com: These are the folks who are building GlaxoSmithKline's internal distance-learning program. They offer sophisticated back-end tools for online learning.

www.medepass.com: If you're concerned about the authenticity of the identities of physicians who access your site, this is a place to find potential solutions.