I’m leading a panel discussion at an upcoming conference that will soon be announced. The panel will feature several people who I met at the first and only FDA public hearing on the issue of how to regulate drug and device promotion via the Internet. It may also include a few newbies, who I invite to contact me if they are interested in being a panel member. You can contact me via email at johnmack@virsci.com

Here’s my synopsis of the panel discussion:

Been There, Done That!
Two quotes come to mind when I think of the current brouhaha over recent FDA enforcement actions regarding search engine drug ads: “Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it” and “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Most new media marketing proponents within drug companies and agencies employed by them were not on the scene in 1996 when the FDA convened a two-day public hearing where it heard testimony from dozens of experts organized into several panels. Panelists included representatives from organizations such as the following:

* Advertising Agencies
* Consumer Advocacy Groups (eg, AARP, Public Citizen, etc.)
* Health Web Sites
* Interactive Media Agencies
* Legal Firms
* Medical Communications Companies
* Medical Journal Publishers
* Medical Journalists
* Pharmaceutical Companies
* Physician Organizations (eg, American College of Cardiology)
* State Attorneys General
* Technology Companies

This session is designed to reproduce on a smaller scale that discussion, but updated to include health and medical bloggers and others engaged in social media.

The panel will include a mixture of “oldsters” who participated in the 1996 hearing plus “newbies” who are experts in today’s technology. Hopefully, the old dogs can teach the new dogs a thing or two and vice versa. Conference attendees will benefit from the dialogue no matter how old the dog!