Blog » Social Media » Facebook and Pharma: Some Continue to Love the One You’re With

August 26, 2011 » Facebook and Pharma: Some Continue to Love the One You’re With

Facebook recently implemented changes for pharma pages, forcing companies that have an unbranded disease or corporate page to allow users to comment on posts. Facebook did this to encourage an “authentic, engaging, two-way dialogue” for people and the companies they interact with on the social-networking site.

This new policy came into effect last week (Aug. 15), so companies that could previously disable posts were faced with three options:

  1. Keep their Facebook page and moderate comments
  2. Keep their Facebook page but do not moderate comments (risk adverse event reports and off-label discussions)
  3. Remove their page
Some pharma companies find Facebook’s reach to patients and caregivers worth it and commit to staying on Facebook, moderating comments.

A few companies have remained on Facebook and are committed to moderating comments. Pfizer has done a respectable job establishing parameters for comments; they don’t allow the mentioning of products, side effects, or being vulgar or “off topic.” (Pharma Facebook page owners still have the right to remove comments on a case-by-case basis.) They have also responded timely to posts, proving that pharma can interact with patients in a safe way.

Other examples of companies that have maintained their Facebook pages include:

These are in addition to a disease page that has always allowed comments—Janssen’s (an ex-U.S. page) [link to Psoriasis 360. Crohn’s & Me, a UCB page that previously allowed comments, was removed recently, perhaps in a review of Facebook pages.

Other disease education/awareness pages sponsored by pharma have gone by the wayside, proving that for some, Facebook is not worth the commitment to moderate comments. Here are a few examples:

  • Drive for COPD (Boehringer Ingelheim)
  • ADHD Moms (J&J)
  • Epilepsy Advocate (UCB)

The comment disabling policy does not impact branded pages or disease pages where there is only one FDA-approved treatment. An example can be found at the sparsely populated Lunesta Facebook page.


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