I recently wrote about social media and prescription drug marketing for Nature Biotechnology. The policy issues balance precariously on a number of fulcrum points: free speech, public health and safety, and the sense of online community that can grow out of social media interactions. How do you regulate how companies can talk about prescription drugs in these settings? Space is often limited, so companies can’t include the fine print that discusses the risks and benefits of particular products. At the same time, if a company can’t participate, it also isn’t in a position to correct misinformation that might be circulating among consumers. The FDA held hearings in November to discuss the issues and will be advising pharmaceutical companies about how they can interact with the public in the world of Web 2.0.
If you’re interested in following this topic, check out the following links
- FDASM.com, the web-based FDA and social media discussion zone.
- The Dose of Digital wiki that updates the involvement of pharma and healthcare companies in social media
- And the FDA’s site with links to presentations.