Sermo announces alliance with Pfizer

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 5, 2007

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Sermo, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company that runs an online community for physicians, has signed its first pharmaceutical client.

Sermo announced in October that Pfizer has signed a 15-month deal giving its physician staff members access to the site, which has 31,000 doctor members. The deal is not exclusive, and Sermo says it is in talks with other drug companies.

Any posts by Pfizer's physicians would be marked with the company's logo, according to Sermo. Both companies said the deal allows pharmaceutical companies to test how social media can facilitate interactions between doctors and drug companies.

Sermo said it originally had no intention of adding pharmaceutical clients to the hedge-fund clients and others who pay to access the site to get an idea of what doctors are thinking. The company said it had received feedback from its membership -- growing at 1,000 to 2,000 per month -- that it wanted a way to get industry participation in a controlled fashion. But pharmaceutical ads are still barred from the site.

Sermo has struck alliances with various medical organizations to allow access to the site, or enhancement of its content. In May, the American Medical Association and Sermo agreed to develop direct links between Sermo members and AMA leadership, and to place a link to Sermo at the bottom of AMNews stories, so those stories can be discussed there.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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