No Social Networking for Big Pharma

No social networking for Big Pharma, probably because they are worried that people might realize that the latest and greatest new pharmaceutical has some nasty side effects, or worse, is just ineffective.

Although a majority of marketers have embraced online social media and user-generated content efforts, one industry is conspicuously not taking advantage of the gold rush: pharmaceuticals.

Drug brand Web sites almost never carry the features that marketers usually are desperate to give their customers: bulletin boards, chat rooms, blogs and Web-page hosting.

The reason: Marketers fear that user-generated content will include complaints about injuries caused by their drugs’ side effects. The law requires these “adverse events” to be reported to the FDA. The FDA’s adverse-event databases are regularly combed by lawyers looking for potential class-action suits

[From Why Pharma Fears Social Networking]

and this just boggles the mind:

On the other side are brand managers, whose every published word must survive a thicket of in-house lawyers, some of whom aren’t Internet savvy.

Dori Stowe, chief digital strategist at Grey Healthcare Group, New York, recalls speaking with a pharma company’s legal team about a campaign, “and somebody raised their hand and asked, ‘What’s Google?

Anecdotal, sure, but how McCain-esque to you have to be to have avoided learning the name of Google? I’ve been using Google as my web search tool since 1998, so that’s ten years, plus Google is a hugely successful publicly traded company.

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