The pharmaceutical industry is at a turning point in its adoption of new social media tools and applications for communication with healthcare professionals, consumers, patients, policymakers, and payers. Practically every pharmaceutical company has launched a social media project or application of one sort or another (see the "Pharma and Healthcare Social Media Wiki
" for an up-to-date list). To be sure, not all these efforts take full advantage of social media tools, most notably the ability to have two-way conversations. For that to happen, says the industry, FDA guidance is needed.
Yet, the long-awaited social media guidance from the FDA -- whenever it arrives -- may turn out to be nothing more than a stamp of approval on activities in which the industry is currently engaged. Practically every issue that FDA guidance is expected to address has already been handled independently by a few pioneering pharmaceutical companies. Rather than waiting for FDA's anti climatic guidelines, Pharmaguy decided to publish The Pharmaguy Social Media Timeline
™ now, at a time when the industry already has set precedents in every social media application.
Entries in The Pharmaguy Social Media Timeline were chosen by Pharmaguy (@pharmaguy
on Twitter, aka John Mack, Publisher of Pharma Marketing News and author of this article) to represent what he considers to be important or memorable events that had an impact on the use of social media by the global pharmaceutical industry. The focus is mainly on uses of social media for commercial purposes, ie, sales and marketing and on "first" or precedent-setting events.
Entries include a date, an event category, an event title, a brief description of the event, comments from Pharmaguy and other experts, and links to more information on Pharma Marketing Blog and elsewhere. Of course, no timeline would be complete without images and Pharmaguy included several of the best in his Timeline.
Topic headings include:
- Social Media Defined
- A Little History of Social Media
- What's Included in the Timeline
- The Pharmaguy Social Media Timeline
- Where to find latest version of the Timeline
- Where to submit corrections, additions or comments to the Timeline