Pfizer says we want Twitter and Google too!  That is just one example of course on the debated issue.  The FDA has their hands full with technology issues today I must say.  As everyone knows the FDA keeps a watch over pharma advertising, and many times it is after the fact that admonishments or restrictions are applied. 

There are 2 sides that come under this area too, over the counter consumer products, and those that are by prescription, so that stands to be a heated area too.  We have seen some different types of advertising of late and what may seem to be some strange classifications by the FDA as well.

Cheerios Classified as a “Drug” by the FDA

And one from Bayer that stated it could help prevent prostate cancer:

Bayer Threatened with Lawsuit – Vitamin Product Does not Help ...

And my somewhat out of the blue favorite with promoting sex toys as being healthy for you, is this a medical device now?

Philips Pushes Sex-toys line for Health ...

Advertising aligned with Social Networks and Web 2.0 is a big thing and task to regulate.  As consumers we can get on Twitter and say whatever we want, again knowing that all your @ responses are public for anyone to read.  There’s also the other side of the coin too where companies mine and audit these responses, so let’s say you post an issue with Bayer Aspirin as an example.  Does Bayer have the right to mine and audit all the information on Twitter and contact you?  This is a form of both marketing and it can be customer service too.  Blue Cross Insurance in Illinois does this for customer service purposes, so all you have to do is make sure it is in your text and you may get a response with someone to contact.

When you think about this, could it get out of hand?  Sure it could, and their competitors could mark you for advertising as well, so one tweet and you are inundated not only with help, but you get marketed too.  So how do we go from here “Tweet Patrol”, maybe?  I don’t know the exact answer there and neither does the FDA or anyone else it sounds like.  If you are just using Twitter as a company to post the equivalent of RSS posts, which are public announcements, that portion would not seem to pose an issue, but you can see how involved this can get with adding a little interaction to the game.  

Something else to keep in mind, could the FDA be responsible for approving your cell phone in the future, ponder this one with blue tooth devices that report data…maybe????

FDA may regulate certain mobile phones and ...

During the Bush administration it was revealed that everyone at the FDA didn’t even have a computer, and I made a lash out to Intel to at least get some “Classmates” over there to help out. 

The FDA is also busy in the data department with the development of their new Sentinel System too, to mine and accumulate data, even some use of a private cloud here too.  This is perhaps an area where the former Commish might steer clear of, but can add some helpful history. 

So will the FDA and the companies be social?  More to follow after the public hearings.  The FDA does a good job itself though with using Twitter on recall and drug alerts though and if you are interested there, follow on Twitter, I do.

There’s a lot of work in the algorithm department coming to the FDA for sure, today and tomorrow.  BD 

NEW YORK ( -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day public hearing in November on how pharmaceutical companies use the web and social-media tools to market their products, the first step in a long overdue process that will finally establish guidelines for how drug makers proceed in a Web 2.0 world.

The industry is embracing the news, despite the newfound regulatory heavy hand the FDA has shown under the Obama administration. "It's about time," said an executive for one top-five pharmaceutical company who asked not to be identified. "Any guidance at all is better than having no guidance, which is what we have right now."

Digital: FDA to Hold Public Hearings on Social-Media Use - Advertising Age - Digital

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