Social Media: Going Where Many Have Gone Before


When it comes to promotion of marketed products via Web 2.0 and social media, the pharmaceutical and device industries seem compelled (at least until regulatory guidance becomes public) to continue finding their way by trial and error. But the current state of affairs should not dissuade life sciences companies from engaging in one of the most promising and mutually beneficial online marketing activities: leveraging social media networks to drive clinical trial patient recruitment. Read more »

Bringing Online Pharmacies Into Line

Peter HoustonLate last month, MEPs on the European Parliament committee responsible for health voted to include sales of pharmaceuticals over the internet in the European Commission’s draft directive on falsified medicines. With some surveys suggesting that more than 60% of drugs purchased online are fake, bringing internet sales under new mandatory safety rules for pharmaceuticals is aimed at reducing the supply of ‘potentially lethal’ fake medicines in the European Union. Read more »

Do You Have A Head of Social Media?

Julian Upton Pharm Exec EuropeIf anyone had any lingering doubts about an unprecedented era of inclusion and transparency promised by pharma’s newfound, if tentative, embrace of online social media, then last month’s Digital Pharma Europe conference must have gone some way to soothing them. Here, Novartis companionably took the stage with Boehringer-Ingelheim, Roche sat happily alongside AstraZeneca, and they all — along with representatives from other rival companies — were warmly welcomed into the Bayer-Schering headquarters in Berlin to swap stories, explain strategies and generally offer each other support and advice with regard to the latest phenomenon in pharma communications. Indeed, if I was less cynical a person, such a display of harmony and co-operation might have brought a tear to my eye. Read more »

Putting the “FDA Stamp” on Web-based Communication

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor The proliferation of online health information and media vehicles such as blogs and social-networking sites create a new problem for the consumer—how to judge the reliability of such information. To address that problem, the US Food and Drug Administration is holding hearings this week, Nov. 12–13, in Washington DC, regarding the promotion of FDA-regulated medical products using the Internet and social-media tools. The hearings, which will include participation from pharmaceutical trade associations, drug companies, consumer groups, and media representatives, is the first step in a public dialogue that FDA is having as it evaluates how the statutory provisions, regulations, and policies concerning advertising and promotional labeling should be applied to product-related information on the Internet and newer media technologies. Read more »

Widget Wonderland at FDA–Who Knew?

Angie Drakulich PharmTech editorIn just a few weeks, FDA will hold its public meeting to discuss the use of social media tools in marketing pharmaceutical drug products. (See back story.) The last time the agency held a meeting to discuss these types of items was in 1996 when the Internet’s popularity was growing by leaps and bounds.   Read more »

All Aboard the Twitter Bandwagon

Fedra Pavlou PharmTech Europe editorResistance to the social networking revolution has been particularly high amongst pharmaceutical industry professionals, though now it seems that more and more are coming round to the idea. Interestingly, it’s not only the pharma elite that are jumping on the bandwagon; so too are government agencies and, most notably, the FDA. Read more »

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