Roche helps corral diabetes chitchat from Twitter

Swiss drug giant Roche ($RHHBY) is famous for its targeted approach to attacking diseases with drugs. Now part of its Twitter strategy appears to be zeroing in on the diabetes community, with the recent launch of a page on the social networking site called Diabetes Nest.

The site, sponsored by Roche Diabetes Care and created by Ignite Health, funnels in Twitter comments from a handpicked group of diabetes commentators. The site's so-called "caretakers," who help curate the content on the Twitter page, are pocketing money for their efforts. InPharm is among the outlets that pointed out the potential conflicts of interest here. Basically, this is pharma-sponsored site that pays people to help carry messages to a target audience. 

One paid hand, Gina Capone, who founded and, stated: "If you want to find out what people touched by diabetes are talking about, the best place to find it is at the Diabetes Nest. Thought leaders, parents, healthcare professionals all in one place communicating with each other—it really is a no brainer."

Roche Diabetes Care sells glucose meters and test strips and insulin pumps under its Accu-Chek brand. The company developed a widget to feed content from its site called "ACCU-CHEK Diabetes Link" onto the new Twitter Page, which as of Thursday morning said it had four likes from Facebook and was shared on Twitter 16 times.

Dominic Tyer, who writes the Digital Intelligence Blog, wrote that the Twitter page builds on the company's program in its fourth year that brings together healthcare bloggers who influence online dialogues. With Diabetes Nest, it appears that Roche is having its own influence on the discussion about diabetes.

- here's the release
- check out Tyer's blog
- and the InPharm piece