The communications landscape in pharma and health care has become increasingly more crowded over the past three to five years. With social media, blogs and other online content as well as traditional advertising, how do consumers make health care decisions? How can they distinguish promotional claims from information driven by science and clinical studies?
According to a recent study by Wolters Kluwer, three out of 10 Americans say they “always” or “frequently” turn to the internet to find answers to their medical questions, while nearly 65 percent of Americans who turn to the internet with medical questions say they trust the information they find.
This issue has garnered the attention of the FDA, which is currently developing a study to examine the public’s ability to identify marketing messages from objective medical information. The conundrum is that patients are coming to expect more information from both their doctors and from the drug-makers themselves. In response, many pharmaceutical companies are beginning to use social and online channels to deliver more targeted information to the people who need it. But they are walking a fine line due to the lack of strict guidance. They must work even harder to ensure the content they distribute meets the highest level of regulatory scrutiny. (more…)