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Drug Companies Lose Special Protection On Facebook 181

Posted by timothy
from the now-available-in-rectal-suppositories dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Christian Torres writes that Facebook and the pharmaceutical industry have had an uneasy partnership in recent years and many drug companies didn't join the site until Facebook gave them a privilege that others do not have — blocking the public's ability to openly comment on a page Wall. But that's about to change when, starting Monday, most drug company pages will have to have open Walls. 'We think these policy changes support consistency for the Facebook Pages product and encourage an authentic dialogue between people and businesses on Facebook,' wrote Facebook in an email. AstraZeneca, which sells the antidepressant Seroquel, already shut down a page devoted to depression, Johnson & Johnson says it will close four of its pages, and other companies say they will monitor their pages more closely once the changes take effect. The industry is concerned that users might write about bad side effects, promote off-label use or make inappropriate statements about a product, and that the comments could raise concerns from government regulators."
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Drug Companies Lose Special Protection On Facebook

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  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash@omnifar i o u s.org> on Monday August 15, 2011 @08:34AM (#37093624) Homepage Journal

    What's going on here is that the medical industry absolutely detests the idea that people might have a better idea about things than doctors. I'm not saying that a doctor's training and knowledge are useless. What I am saying is that people's individual experiences are also very important.

    It's high time, in my opinion, that doctors and the medical industry in general got off its high horse and started dealing with people as equals.

  • by Zebraheaded (1229302) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:00AM (#37093932)
    The problem isnt suppressing people from talking about negative side effects, it's that they need to be suppressed from doing it "like this". Legally, as an employee of a pharmaceutically company, I am required to report when I hear by any means of a side-effect, defect, or off-label use of one of the products manufactured by my company. The company would prefer these complaints to be filtered by doctors, not come directly from consumers. We need to spend our time investigating "My patient used drug X while taking acetominophen, and experienced heart murmurs." not "I took drug drug X and now my leg hurts real bad. (but I didnt tell you about when I fucked my leg up playing softball last weekend)." I can easily imagine many people going "My doctor told me it was all the hamburgers I eat causing my heart pain...but I think it's the anti-excema meds I take...Im going to complain on Facebook because people need to know!" Then the company ends up having to investigate a baseless claim, and improper information gets disseminated via the internet because people wil believe anyone that says "Big Pharma doesnt want you to know!"

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