How Should Pharma Engage in Social Networks? Thoughts on Best Practices

ShoutingThe pharmaceutical industry is currently experimenting with social media as a channel for promoting products and/or enhancing disease awareness. Some of these efforts have been less than stellar, while others have been exemplary (see “Pharma Marketers Dive Deeper Into Social Media“).

Each pharmaceutical company should have its own guidelines for best practices in the social media space.

Pharma companies can either develop best social media practices by learning from mistakes and public criticism (eg, see “Novo Nordisk’s Branded (Levemir) Tweet is Sleazy Twitter Spam!”; or through discussion and analysis of specific issues. To assist in that discussion, Pharma Marketing News provided two forums:

  1. An ePharma Pioneer Club members-only discussion of the first-ever pharma branded Tweet (see “Pharma Twitter Best Practices“), and
  2. The “How Should Pharma Engage in Patient/Physician Social Networks?” survey, which explores issues relating to pharma advertising and engagement in social networks.

This article focuses on presenting a summary of the above-mentioned survey, including comments from respondents. The results are not meant to offer a scientifically significant analysis, but to suggest ideas that may be helpful to pharmaceutical marketers who are currently working on developing their own guidelines.

Topics, survey results, charts include:

  • Need for Internal Guidelines
  • Branded Ad Best Practice
  • FDA Guidance Needed
  • Rules for Engaging in Social Networks
  • A Question of Transparency
  • Clearance by Legal/Regulatory a Barrier
  • Protected Peer-to-Peer Conversations
  • Public Guidelines/Policies

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Issue: Vol. 8, No. 6: June/July 2009
Word Count: 4017

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