SM & Pharmas: the industry awaits FDA guidance
Consumers increasingly are tapping the Internet and social media sites for health-related information. A recent survey conducted by the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation, which publishes iHealthBeat, found that 80% of Internet users look up medical-related information online. (…)
While online, consumers are likely to view promotions for health care products, but there currently are no federally imposed rules of the road governing pharmaceutical marketing activities (…)
FDA says the earliest it will take action is the first quarter of 2011…
FDA is studying guidelines on several fronts, including:
- How companies can respond to unsolicited consumer requests;
- How companies can comply with regulations in the face of space constraints on sites like Facebook and Twitter;
- How companies can fulfill post-marketing submission requirements;
- What type of communications manufacturers or distributors are accountable for;
- Using links on the Internet; and
- How to correct misinformation.
(…) the industry has to find a harmony between offering information to consumers and health care professionals and making sure that that information is not misleading. In the “best interest of public health,” FDA is urging “the regulated industry to ensure their product promotion is accurate, balanced and non-misleading regardless of the medium.
The opportunities to disseminate and share information across a global, online enterprise are almost incalculable, as is the amount of data at the fingertips of anyone with an Internet connection or smart phone. It remains to be seen how product marketing will co-exist alongside FDA scrutiny and just how detailed FDA guidelines will be.
Pogachar, Mickael. Questions Linger on Social Media Regulations for Pharma. iHealthBeat, Tuesday, March 01, 2011
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