QUICK READ: The Federal Drug Administration’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) on Wednesday issued the first warning letter specific to paid-search ads since 2014. The FDA said that the search results did not include any fair balance. This is an example of how out of date the FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) really is.
The idea that someone is going to see an ad for a prescription drug in Google paid search and ask for that drug, without doing more research, is dated and, frankly, stupid. Yet the issued a warning letter based on just that.
The FDA needs to understand how consumers are using the Interner for health information which would clearly show that a paid search result leads to a continued search for more information.
The bigger problem
As the Coronavirus drives people online a bigger problem has been exposed; bad health information. Rather than develop a user-friendly site where people can get updated information as it becomes available it’s pretty much up for people to figure it out for themselves.
The real problem within the FDA lies that they rely too much on scientists and not enough on current research that clearly shows how people are using the Internet for health information.
Pharma companies should be allowed to use social media and paid search to target consumers who need to examine alternatives but, more importantly, who need credible health information. Until they understand how people are using the Internet and making decisions letters for violations of practices are a waste of time.