The FDA is Cracking Down on Big Pharma Social Media
The FDA sent one company a warning letter for Facebook “likes”
The FDA often sends warning letters to companies for violating FDA regulation on how their products are marketed. For instance, if a company is advertising its product as a treatment for an ailment its not approved for, they’re going to hear from the FDA.
So is the case with a recent FDA warning letter to Zarbee’s Naturals, which the FDA scolded for not only claiming to treat conditions like coughs (supplements cannot make these claims, otherwise they would drugs and regulated as such), but for the company’s Facebook “likes” and tweets.
Of course, some pharmaceutical companies find the FDA guidance overbearing. “If the FDA is going to require the same type of fine print that you see in a magazine ad to be in a tweet, then the FDA is essentially taking that tool away from patients who may want to hear from companies as well as healthcare professionals,” Jeffrey K. Francer, vice president and senior counsel with Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America told the publication GEN in an interview. “I assume that the FDA believes that its own tweets are truthful and not misleading. If they believe that, then why couldn’t a company use Twitter in the same way that the FDA is using Twitter?” Francer thinks the guidelines interfere with the First Amendment.