While the FDA and DDMAC are still on the drawing board setting regulations for social media healthcare marketing, we are left shrugging our shoulders. What can we do?
Social media regulations have been delayed by the FDA to a Q1 2011 draft date, so unfortunately all we can do is sit back and wait, right? Well, not exactly.
Many pharmaceutical companies are making the push now. Instead of giving in to fear, companies like Johnson & Johnson are taking small steps to embrace the social media phenomenon. Thus finding ways it can be done.
Just about a year ago, J&J started a blog on their website called “JNJ BTW.” The blog hits on a very personal level with staff anecdotes and follower feedback. Although they aren’t talking about any products or FDA regulated issues, they are successful in promoting their brand and making “friends.”
In this intimate community, Johnson & Johnson makes each of their 5,000+ followers feel like an individual instead of a number — something that is often neglected in healthcare.
Of course the fear of adverse event reports is always present in a social media venue, but J&J is looking for new ways to combat this. In a separate community called Children With Diabetes, J&J actively combs over and monitors the bulletins for inaccurate reports. This seems a little taboo but, nonetheless, necessary to penetrate the social media world.
As this develops further, there are a few events to keep an eye out for. The Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies event will be held on April 4th-6th in Boston. This event focuses solely on brand promotion strategies by means of social media. There was also just recently the ePharma Summit on February 7-9 in New York City. The ePharma Summit included FDA and DDMAC updates on the regulations.
With these two events and a Q1 draft date (fingers crossed) just around the corner, 2011 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for pharmaceutical marketing. Until then, tread cautiously with your social media endeavors. Just remember that practical solutions can be made today!
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