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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19488

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Electronic Source

Silverman E
Should Social Media Shackles Come Off Pharma?
Pharmalot 2011 Apr 7

Full text:

The so-called power users of online health info favor less regulation of healthcare companies – including drugmakers – on the Internet than in the past, according to a new survey. The results suggest that people who run influential healthcare blogs and chat rooms, for instance, are gradually growing more comfortable with the online role played drugmakers and other healthcare entities.
For instance, 66 percent favor regulation when bloggers are paid to create content, but that’s down from 73 percent in 2009 (perhaps more power users are being paid?) Similarly, 55 percent prefer more regs when social networking sites are sponsored for a particular health condition, down from 67 percent. And 59 percent endorse more regs when a social networking site is created for a particular health problem, down from 67 percent.
As for leaving comments on third-party sites, 60 percent favor regs, down from 60 percent two years ago. At the same time, regs are favored among 59 percent when it comes to creating company accounts on social networking sites, such as Facebook, down from 60 percent. Nonethless, 63 percent continue to value interactions with healthcare companies versus 64 percent two years ago.
Meanwhile, 69 percent believe social media is being used to engage healthcare consumers online, up from 58 percent in 2009. The survey queried 200 power users was done by WEGO Health, an online health community, and updates another survey that was undertaken and presented at the FDA meeting that was held two years ago to review social media issues (here is the latest survey).


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You are going to have many difficulties. The smokers will not like your message. The tobacco interests will be vigorously opposed. The media and the government will be loath to support these findings. But you have one factor in your favour. What you have going for you is that you are right.
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When truth is unwelcome: the first reports on smoking and lung cancer.