December 14th, 2011
Social Media and the Targeting of Influentials in Drug Marketing
By Yuwen Yang
In January 2009, new voluntary pharmaceutical industry guidelines on marketing to physicians went into effect (David 2010), which emphasize disclosure and transparency regarding the relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical companies. They also require changes in how pharmaceutical companies market products to physicians.
New marketing strategies enabled by social media, however, are raising additional issues regarding guidelines and government oversight. In today’s technology driven age, pharmaceutical companies are finding themselves in an era of seismic change. Power is shifting from the advertiser’s voice to the voice of the empowered consumer. Social networking offers an effective—if not also potentially uncertain—two-way communication opportunity for pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and patients.
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