Pharma’s interest in social media is a global phenomenon. I’ve traveled to the UK and Germany in the past year to present at conferences about what’s happening on the pharmaceutical social media front here in the U.S. and its impact on pharmaceutical marketing elsewhere in the world.

My next trip to Europe will be to Milan, Italy, where I will speak at the 6th Annual Pharma Marketing & Branding Excellence conference on January 26. I thank the conference producers — Jacob Fleming Conferences — for inviting me to speak and paying my travel expenses.

The title of my presentation is “A Social Media Strategy: Deal with Regulations, Develop Best Practices.” Here’s the synopsis:

While the benefits of using social media tools as part of your marketing strategy may be clear to your team, the risks are unknown. That’s because there is no bright line that defines what is acceptable to regulators, consumers, and healthcare professionals. Add to this the fact that new tools are being developed at a raid rate, which makes it that much harder to find the line. Each company must access its regulatory risks and develop best practices that not only address those risks, but also instill trust in the audience. This presentation will cover the following:

  • An overview of the regulatory issues pharma companies are facing when they engage in social media
  • How to overcome the barriers and risks of having insufficient regulatory guidance on Social Media in Pharma
  • Regardless of the regulations, what are some social media best practices that companies should consider?
  • What internal and external social media policies & procedures should companies adopt before engaging in social media?

I’m looking forward to meeting new people, especially new Pharma Social Media Pioneers to whom I give a lapel pin!

Frankly, I’m hoping that the FDA will release some draft guidance before I leave for Italy so that I can really have something new to talk about. But we’re now well in to the holiday season and there has been some concern amongst my Twitter pals that the FDA will not release guidelines by the end of 2010 as we all expected and as the FDA “promised.”

But one other issue has arisen that I will incorporate into my presentation: New Media Privacy Issues & Online Health Marketing

I’ll also check with locals about my Osso Bucco recipe, which at least one commenter on YouTube claimed was not authentic (“please for the sake and the respect for the italian cuisine never say that what you cooked is ossobucco”; see “Osso Whaaaat? Mack’s Osso Bucco recipe!“).