Nov 12, 2009

FDA Social Meeting Day 1 Early Morning Summary

The first morning session is over. Lots of repetition, lots of presentations, very little time for FDA to ask questions or process the information. However, the discussion has begun. So what were the big "Ah Ha!" moments this morning? A few nuggets did emerge.

PhRMA offered up an interesting suggestion.
Establish an FDA universal symbol and disclaimer link language that can be used in paid search advertising. This would allow consumers and HCPs to identify credible sites and posts that adhere to new guidelines. Dumbing it down, think of it as a AAA or consumer reports rating. At least consumers and HCPs know the sites are adhering to published guidelines and doing their best to provide credible, valuable information.

John Mack had an incredible idea of FDA-issued hashtags.
Hashtags are used in Twitter and they are unique. FDA could issue unique product-specific hastags that marketers must embed into their Twitter feeds so FDA can easily monitor and evaluate the adherence of these microblog posts. John gets the award for best idea of the morning!

Eli Lilly expressed its reluctance to get into the space without clearer direction from FDA.
Consistent with all of pharma, Eli Lilly expressed concerns about getting into the space without guidelines. FDA dictates what you can't do, but nothing about what you CAN do. With the flurry of FDA warning letters this year around paid search advertising, nobody wants to receive a warning letter.

Conclusion: "We have significantly avoided social media because of a lack of FDA guidance...fear of warning letters". Further, Eli Lilly cited Google's Sidewiki as a perfect example. "If we insert a post at the top, to provide correct information....are we then responsible for all comments in the Sidewiki?"

Goes to the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

"Social media is too important to hide in a cave. It is communication at the speed of life."

Very few questions were asked by FDA. I don't think this is because they are not interested, rather, there are too many speakers with not enough time to think and dialogue.

To see the blow-by-blow of this morning and FDA Q&A visit the Twitter feed

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