About Richard Tsai

Richard is a marketing strategist and digital technologist with specialization in the life sciences, biotech/ biopharmaceutical, and healthcare industries. He has over 10 years of experience in marketing strategy, analysis, product development and management. As the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Richard is responsible for developing the brand and accelerating the growth for Inspire as the leading social network for health. Prior to Inspire, Richard held various commercial roles in the life sciences, and most recently was the Area Director of Marketing at Thermo Fisher Scientific, where he focused on the development and execution of their marketing and digital strategy.
Senior Vice President of Marketing, Inspire

COVID-19 vaccines and vulnerable populations: Over 26K participate in ongoing study

COVID-19 vaccine and vulnerable populations: Over 26K participate in ongoing longitudinal study  By Richard Tsai Crowd-sourcing info for a friend: have any of you who have lupus SLE and/or discoid taken the vaccine? Which one? What were your side effects? Thanks for sharing. — Brittney Cooper (@ProfessorCrunk) March 9, 2021 COVID-19 vaccines have been released. Are people hesitant about getting vaccinated? How are people responding? How do people with comorbidities, like cancer, psoriasis, asthma or sarcoidosis feel about getting vaccinated? If they have received the vaccines, how have they responded? It is now possible to find out [...]

Where Do You Start When Searching for Exceptional Responders?

Where Do You Start When Searching for Exceptional Responders? By Richard Tsai Before 2012, if a cancer clinical trial had only one successful remission amid a field of failures, the drug under trial was thought to be unsuccessful. We weren’t asking a key question: What made it work for that one participant? The one remission was an exceptional responder. Exceptional responders are in every clinical trial, but until whole genome sequencing (WGS) became available, it was impossible to scrutinize them. In 2012, researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering used WGS to learn what caused the remarkable and durable [...]

Portraits of resilience: How patients and caregivers cope through the COVID pandemic

Portraits of Resilience: How Patients and Caregivers Cope through the COVID Pandemic By Richard Tsai The word “storytelling” invokes a pleasant image of listeners around a campfire, listeners from any era and any culture. It could, however, just as accurately evoke an image of brain chemistry that creates direct experience and even changes behavior: I originally discussed this concept in an earlier post, “Why Storytelling Builds Brands.”1 Research shows that people remember stories better than mere facts and that the brain can store more information and retrieve it more easily when it is in story form.2 Storytelling [...]

Next Generation Online Health Communities

Next Generation Online Health Communities: Data empowering patients and caregivers improves care and accelerates research By Richard Tsai The World Orphan Drug Congress USA 2020 (WODC 2020) provided four days of powerful panels and keynotes about collaborations, successes and failures in creating what rare disease patients and families need and desire most – effective treatments for their conditions. In one failure turned to success, Kim Stephens shared her story involving inappropriate clinical trial endpoints. Stephen’s son has Hunter Syndrome, an extremely rare inherited condition where children lack an essential enzyme in their cells that eliminates waste . [...]

Accelerating Rare Disease Research

Accelerating Rare Disease Research By Richard Tsai COVID-19 has challenged the non-profit arena’s fundraising arm, which is largely based on face-to-face events like galas, runs and walk-a-thons. This limit on the number and amount of donations has occurred just as rare disease patient organizations have reached a tipping point in their influence on government and industry. According to Malcolm Gladwell, the “tipping point” is “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point,” where “ideas...spread like viruses do.” 1In this case, the tipping point refers to the efforts made by rare disease patient organizations to provide [...]

Why Limit Awareness Trial Usage Surveys (ATUs) to HCPs? Patients and Caregivers Provide Needed Insights

Why Limit Awareness Trial Usage Surveys (ATUs) to HCPs? Patients and Caregivers Provide Needed Insights By Richard Tsai One online glossary defining ATUs (Awareness, Trial, and Usage studies) described them, in part, as “survey[s] to measure consumer awareness, trial, and product usage for a product category and/or brand...” But in a pharma marketing context, it seems as if the participant in the study is almost always presumed to be the prescriber. More than one source researched for this article was written with that assumption. For example, an article on current updates on how ATUs are implemented [...]

Involve Pharma Marketing Early in Drug Development

Involve Pharma Marketing Early in Drug Development By Richard Tsai In 2009, PricewaterhouseCooper published a paper predicting the landscape of pharma marketing in the decade to come titled “Pharma 2020: Marketing the Future - Which Path Will You Take?” What were they expecting then, and how does it compare with today’s remarkable and fluid pharma reality? One of the predictions was, “By 2020, pay-for-performance will be the norm in many countries.”1 In 2009, it was a simple matter; if the patient received a prescription, there would be payment. The authors anticipated that health outcomes would become the [...]

Continuing Critical Patient-Centric Research Virtually during COVID19

Continuing Critical Patient-Centric Research Virtually during COVID19 By Richard Tsai The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all kinds of businesses and research institutions to find ways of working that provide results similar to what we’re used to gaining from human social interaction. For example, being mindful of the time healthcare professionals need to dedicate to the pandemic has resulted in tremendous delays in HCP-based market research programs. Many clinical trial sites have temporarily suspended work that not only impacts existing enrolled patients but also greatly reduces recruitment. How can we continue critical research programs amidst these challenges? As [...]

Genetic testing: What patients and caregivers understand and value

Genetic testing: What patients and caregivers understand and value By Richard Tsai There’s been an explosion of information about genes, genetics and genomics since completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003. Stories about remissions achieved through pharmacogenomics and immunotherapy and disease risk factors identified through genetic testing fill both online and offline media. Today, direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies--which make kits available at between $100 and $200-- have huge databases of genetic information. In fact, even if you have never used a kit, you may be able to be identified through these databases if [...]

Wearable Devices Revolutionize Clinical Trials… But when?

Wearable Devices Revolutionize Clinical Trials...But when? By Richard Tsai Here is the vision: Wearable devices open the floodgates to clinical trial participation. Patient-centric and portable, they’ll free the participants from multiple visits to the clinical site. Technology collects millions of data points per user per day, and then transmits it directly to researchers. High participation and rich real-world data and evidence (RWD/RWE) streamline clinical trials, satisfy 21st Century Cures Act requirements, and yield what everyone wants – a faster track to drug approval. 1 That time is coming – the Apple Watch 4 won FDA approval as [...]