Do you use Twitter? Millions of people do! Television, sports’events and various other social events can be followed, keeping you up to date and in the know! Now another organisation is hoping to join the tweeting ranks: the FDA. They are hoping drug and pharmaceutical companies will tweet the negative side effects of their various medications for all people to view.
The FDA’s new social media guide is currently in its first stages but there are hopes that it will be finished and approved within a month. The above is just one guideline they are hoping to pass. The guidelines encompass different social media promotions including Wikipedia and its use.
The main purpose designed by the FDA, is to make sure a balanced picture is shown of prescription and over-the-counter medication. Rather than just showing the benefits of medical drugs, the side effects must also be tweeted about. If this cannot be done in 140 characters, “then the firm should reconsider using Twitter for the intended promotional message.”
Television commercials already have these restrictions as well as Wikipedia. Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for creating a balanced view of their drugs and they must revise and correct their own advertisements.
In 2009, the FDA held a public hearing on issues relation to the internet; a first for them. A lot of the pharmaceutical companies were afraid to use social media just in case they approached it wrong. The FDA’s new approach will bridge these fears and help drug firms understand where they stand. Mark Senak, partner of FleishmanHillard, relates: “We’ve needed clarity because pharma is unsure of the parameters. People need to know the guideposts.”
Not all people are happy with the FDA’s proposals. Healthcare Policy Analyst, Brittany La Couture said, “This proposed guidance is incredibly limiting, and the continued use of the ban on the one-click rule presupposes an unrealistic lack of tech-savvy among Twitter users. The result is a restriction on free speech intended to protect consumers from a phantom danger.”
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[Image via uamodna]