Does FTC Social Media Guidance Provide Clues for Pharma?

March 15, 2013
101 Views

healthcare social media

healthcare social media

The pharmaceutical industry has yet to receive specific guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on social media. People are wondering if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule on social media, “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising,” on March 12, 2013 will have any impact on the FDA.

I suspect it will not, but it is still worthwhile to review the FTC guidance.

The FTC on social media
“When practical, advertisers should incorporate relevant limitations and qualifying information into the underlying claim, rather than having a separate disclosure qualifying the claim.” The FTC also appears to revive the mythical “one-click rule” that allows important information to be a hyperlink click away. “However, when it is not possible to make a disclosure in a space-constrained ad, it may, under some circumstances, be acceptable to make the disclosure clearly and conspicuously on the page to which the ad links.”

It would be wonderful if the FDA follows the “one-click rule” but I highly doubt this will happen. In an example the FTC notes, “Hyperlinks should not be used to communicate disclosures that are an integral part of a claim or inseparable from it, including important health and safety information.” This makes it clear that for health and safety products even the FTC won’t allow a hyperlink. I agree with Arnie Friede in this Pharmalot post that this may be what the FDA chooses to emulate.

One area where the FTC does agree with the FDA is that it all comes down to intent. The intent has to be to provide complete and accurate information to consumers, and this is what’s important to pharma marketers.

Image courtesy of John Taylor on Flickr (CC BY).

You may be interested

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech
eHealth
3 views
eHealth
3 views

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech

Larry Alton - August 18, 2017

When Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz glibly remarked that Americans struggling to afford insurance should choose between that and their smartphones,…

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software
eHealth
365 views
eHealth
365 views

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software

Robert Cordray - August 17, 2017

The medical sector is one area where technology has had a significant impact, largely by providing tools that simplify many…

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?
Wellness
2 views
Wellness
2 views

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?

Ryan Kh - August 16, 2017

According to research from the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the…