Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How Medical Devices can go Direct to customers through Social Media

Traditionally, direct-to-consumer marketing strategies have not been a part of medical device organizations artillery. Now medical device companies can directly inform patients about treatment options as they are searching on their symptoms and conditions through blogs and portals.

Sermo: Social Network for Physicians.
Image Source: www.sermo.com
CafePharma. Sermo. Pharmaphorum, Pharma Marketing Blog are few of the examples. However, the major challenge being faced is from the inadequate and antiquated rules created by FDA to ensure that the information provided is not false or misleading. FDA rejects internet advertising that provides risk information via hyperlinks and has forced companies to implement costly corrosive actions and incur monetary fines. Novartis Pharmaceuticals have been the latest victims of FDA as they failed to provide the complete risk information on one page.

Despite the vagueness of current regulatory guidance, it is possible for medical device industry to conduct effective social media campaigns that maintain compliance:

a) Policies should be developed for employee use of social media to ensure that only company-approved statements are used.

b) Social media should be used for promotional claims when risk information can be provided in close proximity to the claims without a hyperlink.

c) Organizations should present balanced risk and benefit information, and back safety and efficacy statements with labeling and clinical data.

d) Social media can be used for reminder advertisements without mentioning the indication for use.

e) More transparency should be generated with FDA to distinguish between third party and company controlled website content.

It’s time for medical device companies to leverage these new opportunities and should be prepared to take advantage of social media avenues to create better products and benefit patients.

About the author

Dr. Sumeet Kad is a Marketing and Business Strategy professional with over 4 years of experience in Healthcare/Life Sciences & FMCG sector. He is an avid reader, irregular blogger and a gadget freak. He blogs at www.newagemarketing.wordpress.com and has co-authored a book based on it. He can also be followed on Twitter @sumeetkad.

2 comments:

  1. Brilliant! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this all out. Fantastic advice.
    Medical Devices Report

    ReplyDelete