FDA out of touch with eHealth consumers

tumblr_maxdsj0vxu1r5yyy5o1_400POST SUMMARY: Consumers today are not going to make a healthcare decision based on any one piece of advertising or information. Healthcare decisions are made by collecting information, mostly online, and listening to physicians who patients feel are still the best sources of health recommendations.

Does the FDA really believe that a Tweet saying “Crestor can lower bad cholesterol” is really going to lead to action of asking for an Rx?  If they do perhaps they should look at the calendar to see that it’s 2014 not 1995.  I have been saying for years that the FDA needs to understand how consumers are making health care decisions and bring DTC advertising into the current time rather than think that one Tweet requires fair balance.

Any DTC marketer who looks at product website analytics knows that product safety pages are always among the top 5 pages visited on their websites.  Patients today want to better understand drug side effects before filling or requesting Rx’s because to them a drug with potential nasty side effects might be worse than the health problem they are being treated for.  Yet, for some unknown reason the FDA continues to stick to antiquated online marketing guidelines keeping a lot of pharma marketers afraid of trying new initiatives.

miss shots

The one click rule, one click to fair balance, needs to be reevaluated for both website home pages and for social media.  In addition drug companies need to do a hell of a lot better job in explaining safety information in ways that consumers can understand.  This is where the FDA continually falls short and fails both patients and drug marketers.

Over the last couple of posts I talked about the industry is slowly driving away talented marketers because of an inability to adapt and change marketing and because of conservative managers who are more interested in keeping their social positions within the company than working to to implement change.  I know there are some very hard working people who are trying bring DTC marketing into the present, but we cannot afford to lose any more talented people and have to stop the madness of people going from one pharma company to another without bringing about substantivitive change.