The big news this week was that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold public hearings on social-media use at pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Reactions have ranged from "it's about time" to "astounding" to "stunning". And even though the meeting is two months away, industry and stakeholders are already jockeying for position.
For years, industry has treated lightly around social media. Sure, some companies are using Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. But most were wary of attracting FDA's ire or having lawyers troll FDA's adverse-event databases for complaints about injuries caused by drugs' side effects that could be turned into class-action law suits.
As industry gets ready for the November hearing, it is interesting to see how many groups have a vested interested in the outcome. Of course, there are the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. But the ad industry has a vested outcome in the debate as well. And so do the PR industry, the search engines that sell ad space, physicians, and consumer groups.
Even translators have a stake in this. What little social media use that has taken place to date has been in English. Translation service providers are giddy imagining a world where drug and device companies want blog posts translated into dozens of languages, will invest in multilingual SEO, and multi-cultural marketing away from the fringes.
Ahhh, the possibilities...
Want to dig deeper? Check out these links:
- A few short months ago, we wrote about pharma's fears of social networking
- Pharma social-media guru Steve Woodruff gave a positive assessment of industry use of social-networking platforms
- Tips on harnessing the marketing potential of social networking sites
Speaking of social media... be sure to follow us at @fxtrans and subscribe to our blog.