Make Your First Step into Social the Right One

Social media and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are not known to be comfortable bed fellows.
According to a report released by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, only half of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies worldwide actively participate in social media on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. And only 10 of these companies utilize all three of these major social networking services for healthcare topics, and then mainly as a unilateral broadcasting channel to physicians and patients, rather than fostering interactions or discussions.
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Complying With and Using New FDA Social Media Guidance — Will More Pharmaceutical Companies Jump on the Bandwagon?

With more than 1.2 million Facebook and 230 million Twitter users, most companies know that social media is an absolute necessity for their consumer engagement campaigns. However, pharmaceutical marketers, compared to their counterparts in other industries, must navigate the additional obstacles of strict Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advertising guidelines, making it even more challenging to utilize social media channels. Currently, the FDA requires companies to submit every promotion document to the agency, including print, television and website ads. Clearly, this requirement would not be feasible in the real-time functionality of social media, leaving many companies wondering if use of this medium would ever be possible. However, after much anticipation among industry insiders, in January the FDA released its first draft of social media guidance for pharmaceutical and biologic manufacturers, which is a start to clearing up some of the confusion. [Read more…]

New Rules for Navigating the Blogosphere and Twitterverse: FDA’s Draft Guidance on Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media

On Tuesday, 14 January, the FDA issued a long-awaited guidance addressing use of social media and other “interactive promotional media” in the marketing of medical products. Although the focus of the guidance relates to when such activity constitutes “labeling” under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and how pharmaceutical and biotech companies can meet regulatory requirements for submission of these communications to the agency, the guidance also provides important insight into the agency’s view of these marketing avenues generally.
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