I’ve often wondered if FDA reads Pharma Marketing Blog. FDA has sometimes sent warning letters to pharma companies after I’ve blogged about violative DTC (direct-to-consumer) ads. The most famous case involved the “one-click rule” and FDA’s subsequent 14 warning letters.

And Recently, my blog posts haven’t been too kind to the FDA. I’ve even called for the resignation of Tom Abrams!

Recently, I learned that beginning July 1, 2011, the FDA may be using sophisticated monitoring tools to mine the Internet — including “any website/blog/microblog, social media or online publication” — that “mentions … the FDA and special topics of interest to the FDA.”

The FDA does not say why it needs to monitor sites that merely “mention” the FDA nor what “special topics” it is interested in. Could it be the agency is getting nervous about all the criticism it is getting for not being very productive in issuing social media guidance?

To do this monitoring, FDA sought the services of “small businesses (including certified 8(a), Small Disadvantaged, and HUBZone firms; veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and women-owned small businesses) to provide Social Media Monitoring Services” (see “FDA Seeks Social Media Monitoring Service“).

Somehow this seems creepy to me. What agency is doing the monitoring? It may be someone I know or one of my Twitter pals!