Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pharma marketing guidelines for the use of social media

Should pharma marketing guidelines be different when they're using social media (such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, forums, etc.)? The world of social media is so new and different. In this world, we get two-way interaction and although you can moderate certain elements, people can (and will often) say whatever they want to say.
  • How well do the folks at the FDA understand the use of social media? 
  • When (if ever) will the FDA release guidelines on how pharma/biotech should use social media to communicate with consumers vs. healthcare professionals?
  • Will the PhRMA Code come out with some type of guideline first?
I have no idea if (or when) such guidelines will ever emerge. Part of the complexity of social media is that it evolves so rapidly. Twitter launched as a micro blogging platform, but now it's used more as a broadcast medium. YouTube isn't simply a site for silly videos anymore. How will pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies leverage social media to communicate with consumers and healthcare professionals? (they're already using Sermo to communicate with U.S. physicians)

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