I think just about anything should be able to be marketed to us, through any commercial medium. That’s not a terribly popular opinion however. The United States is one of the few in the world where direct to consumer marketing of drugs and medical devices is prominent. And you find medication adds all over the television and publications and even sometimes on display media. Increasingly your finding direct to consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals online as well. Like all advertising online advertising is regulated by the FDA. However, some of the online marketing opportunities fall into highly grey areas, as you might imagine as new technologies are utilized to pitch you drugs.
The FDA says its holding the meeting this week to get input on “making policy decisions on the promotion” of drugs and medical devices on “the Internet and social media tools.”
Those schedule to speak at the meeting include people from trade groups (AdvaMed and PhRMA); Internet companies (Yahoo, Google); drug makers (Pfizer, J&J, among others); and assorted ad agencies, consumer advocates and the like.
As you might imagine whenever an internet and social media-saavy group is engaged, the commentary on the meeting has been real time and copious. You can find threads on Twitter or numerous blog posts detailing what went down during day #1 of the public hearing. Eye on FDA has some commentary on the conflicting agendas of various groups who have been given voice at the meeting.
If you missed the first day, the entire thing is on webcast and you can watch it live tomorrow when they pick back up.