Harte-Hanks Launches Rich Media Pharmaceutical Site

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Interactive and direct marketing services company Harte-Hanks announced a Web site last week that allows pharmaceutical companies to support online continuing education for doctors using streaming audio and video clips.

Because of Food and Drug Administration guidelines, pharmaceutical firms are hesitant to feature continuing medical education materials on their sites, said Chet Dalzell, spokesman at Harte-Hanks, San Antonio.

By registering at the site, thecmechannel.com, doctors gain access to a menu of educational courses sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. The course materials come in a variety of formats, including slides and prerecorded videos of lectures.

Companies that wish to sponsor educational materials will pay the site through unrestricted grants, which is required by the FDA, said Julian Parreño, Harte-Hanks pharmaceutical vice president. The site also will collect marketing data from doctors who register, although doctors can request that their identifying information be withheld from third parties.

The main focus of the site will be customer relationship management, Parreño said. By supporting continuing education, pharmaceuticals can maintain their relationships with doctors without having to travel to conferences and conventions.

"[There are] definitely ways to get people from all over the world together without getting them together in one spot," he said.

Harte-Hanks will promote the site at medical conventions, including the ePharma Summit Nov. 8-10 in Washington.

Harte-Hanks is promoting the site as an added service for current and prospective clients. So far, the company has yet to attract any pharmaceutical firms to the site.
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