Are Sermo members ready for Pfizer?

Sermo, the online physician community, announced it will be collaborating with Pfizer to

Discover, with physicians, how best to transform the way medical information is exchanged in the fast-moving social media environment

Create an open and transparent discussion with physicians through the innovative channel offered by online exchange

Engage with the FDA to define guidelines for the use of social media in communications with healthcare professionals

Work with physicians to develop a productive exchange between pharmaceutical professionals and the Sermo community

After I heard of Pfizer’s involvement with Sermo, I was thinking the same thing as everybody else: “Did anyone ask the doctors about this?”

According to John Mack , Sermo did — kind of:

[Sermo founder Daniel] Palestrant said that over 50% of Sermo members consistently said that Sermo should invite pharma companies to be clients. He based this partly at least on a poll of Sermo members conducted between May 19, 2007 and June 2, 2007 that showed 54% favored pharma clients, 18% were against it, and 28% were not sure.

The problem is, there were only 89 responses — a self-selected group of less than 0.3% of all Sermo members! Hardly a scientific poll as many of my Pharma BlogosphereTM colleagues would say. In fact, most of the poll data that I saw in Palestrant’s slides had fewer than 100 responses.

I am going to agree with Mack on this one. With a community of over 35,000 physicians, a more substantial poll than just 89 responses is a must.

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