I found an interesting situation related with the Pharmaceutical Companies and Facebook. In August 15 of 2011, no more than a month ago, these companies started to be legally required to disclose all the information related with benefits, risk and contraindications of their products and if they sponsorship friendly or useful information about diseases in online medias. In offline campaigns they have to do it.
We can figure out that this isn´t a great thing, but these companies have been on Facebook characterized by control and caution, with disingenuous pages and groups, fluffy applications and tightly controlled discussions. But on August, Facebook enabled drug companies to close their walls to comments and in some cases, disallow “likes”, bypassing the issue of having to respond to every complaint or unwanted posts to help and encourage an authentic dialog in their pages.
What are the Pharma Companies concerns: users could attack or harass the company, talk about off-label uses or side effects, report adverse events or provide misinformation about a product on their Facebook branded pages.
But this is the same concerns of all companies or the “health” market is different?, are the customers different?, or they don´t want information, opinions, warnings and recommendations of other customers or advice from the companies, without censorship?
What is happening? Some laboratories are closing or deleting their pages!, but most of them don´t have a decision yet. If they close, would be worst?
Keep watching these pages, the news is in process right now!
Calderón, Sara (2010, February). Big Pharmaceutical Companies Making Cautions Plays for Facebook Users. Inside Facebook. Retrieved on September 21, 2011 from http://www.insidefacebook.com
Torres, Cristian (2011, August). Drug companies lose protections on Facebook, some decide to close pages. The Washington Post. Retrieved on September 22, 2011 from http://www.washingtonpost.com
Maybe there is more of a concern for the pharmaceutical companies to keep the negative comments from being read; considering that the implications of one case where a medicinal product fails could destroy the whole product’s image – along with the companies. Whereas, for example, if the product of a company selling products such as clothing; there would be less of a concern regarding a failed product. In this case, ‘any press is good press’ is not relevant.