AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

The Politics of Social Media, FDA Cracks Down

Posted by sarahkana10 on August 3, 2014

Be careful what you “Like”, “Retweet” or comment on… the FDA is watching.

After talking with an AAE on Edelman’s Digital Healthcare team this morning and her telling me about all the rules and regulations associated with healthcare social media accounts, particularly pharmaceutical companies’ social media I did a little research on the topic, and found this TIME article:

I thought it was an interesting article, considering that the FDA essentially got upset over Facebook “Likes” and that it is something that, no matter what company or organization we’re working for and communicating on behalf of, is something to consider.

The FDA often sends warning letters to companies for violating FDA regulation on how their products are marketed. For instance, if a company is advertising its product as a treatment for an ailment its not approved for, they’re going to hear from the FDA.  However, recently, the FDA sent a letter to company scolding them for what they were “Liking” on Facebook and their less than 140 character Tweets…

The FDA and many other organizations consider “Liking” something on social media, essentially the same as endorsing whatever has been posted. I have found this also to be true regarding any political candidates as well. Many people, especially on their personal accounts, throw around “Likes” and “Favorites”, but it really shouldn’t be done on professional accounts.  In fact, as a rule, I think its probably best just not to really like anything on social media from professional accounts… thoughts?

“Last month the FDA released two draft guidances for how the pharmaceutical and medical device industry should go about communicating over the Internet and social media. The FDA argues that the Internet has changed the way Americans get information about medical products and therefore manufacturers and their representatives need to know the FDA position on how to communicate about drugs and devices accurately.”

“In today’s world, in addition to traditional sources of medical product information, patients and health care providers regularly get information about FDA-regulated medical products through social media and other Internet sources, and those technologies continue to evolve,” Thomas Abrams, director of FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion.


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