How Should Pharma Edit Wikipedia Drug Articles?
(Survey started 23 June 2012; N=58 respondents as of 2 August 2012)
In comments submitted to the FDA, PhRMA suggested that manufacturers would welcome correcting misinformation about their products posted to sites like Wikipedia if these corrections were not subject to FDA regulation.
In a June 13, 2012, open letter to pharmaceutical companies, Bertalan Meskó, MD, founder and managing director of Webicina.com, urged them to appoint employees as Wikipedia “spokespeople” who would perform all Wikipedia article edits on behalf of the company (see “An open letter to pharma: please employ a Wikipedian”; see resources).
This survey asks your opinion of various issues related to editing Wikipedia pages by pharmaceutical companies and specifically your opinion of Dr. Meskó’s proposal.
After completing the survey — it takes only 5 minutes — you will be able to see the de-identified results to date. Below is a sampling of results as of 2 August 2012.
Partial results are summarized in charts below. You can view a more detailed, complete and up-to-date online Summary of Responses after taking the survey yourself: here.
Respondents ae asked to indicate how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the following statements regarding the pros and cons of pharma editing Wikipedia articles that include “misinformation” about their drugs. Response choices: Strongly DISAGREE, Somewhat DISAGREE, Somewhat AGREE, Strongly AGREE, No Opinion. Statements:
- Pharma should NOT correct Wikipedia “misinformation” under any circumstances.
- Pharma should appoint employees or hire outside “Wikipedians” (ie, trained specialists) to edit “misinformation” on Wikipedia.
- When pharmaceutical company employees or agents correct “misinformation” on Wikipedia, they must reveal their ties to the company.
- When pharma corrects Wikipedia “misinformation” about Rx products, FDA should NOT consider this promotional labeling subject to regulation.
- If pharma edits Rx information on Wikipedia and this information is later re-edited by others, pharma should not be held responsible for any resulting misinformation.