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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 Assmasher (456699) on Monday August 15, 2011 @08:18AM (#37092900) Journal

    Surely their commercial advertising budgets (which are freaking astronomical and reedonkulous) could afford an intern for this.

    • There is a problem with Public Communication on Healthcare in general.
      HIPAA
      So if you bust on a drug company unfairly (which often happens on the internet as many makes their opinion of what a friend of a friend said about something) The healthcare company cannot make a rebuttal, because say for example someone says Drug X killed their friend the Drug company who looked into the matter found that they were just prescribed the drug, but an unrelated condition killed them, eg. They took a anti-depressant drug

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        You mean a health care company can't comment on their own data that they should have needed to gather in order to be able to sell a medical product in the first place?

        Preposterious.

        Drug companies own ad are ammunition enough. You just have to bother to pay attention.

      • by sjames (1099)

        The drug company would have no idea who the poster was talking about and they wouldn't likely have any data at all about it.

        Should they decide to do a bit of digging and see what really killed the friend, they will no doubt look at the coroner's report which is NOT covered by HIPAA.

        • Correct. But the whole question is a red herring. These drugs are all dangerous and have side effects which the companies would prefer not to mention. They are routinely promoted by the drug companies to doctors for off label uses. For instance, Seroquel is not an anti depressant as the summary states - it is an antipsychotic which is only proven against schizophrenia - even the use in bipolar disorder is the wrong drug except for fully psychotic episodes. Seroquel causes many nasty neurological effects inc

          • by sjames (1099)

            Agreed, and that is more likely why they want to minimize the spread of information. Evidence suggests that even in the case of psychosis, the so-called anti-psychotics don't actually treat the condition, they just disable the patient until they no longer show the positive symptoms. Sorta like considering a lead pipe to the head a "treatment" for a temper tantrum.

            So far, the only drug known to treat the negative symptoms of schizophrenia is nicotine, but that can't be patented and it's of the devil so we'll

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        Sucks to be them.

        The alternative, in which a company could disclose, or even really know about such things, is far, far, far worse for the public. Imagine going in for a job interview, and the company is able to violate your medical privacy and find out you have an intestinal disorder. Now they've decided that they don't want to hire you because of it. Is a scenario like that worth allowing a drug company to say, "Nuh Uh!" on the internet?

        • It wasn't meant to criticize HIPAA, It was to point out that companies have less of a defense against public opinion. So allowing open forums is not a good idea.

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      They can't moderate the way they'd like. No permanent deletions. FB would keep a record of all posts.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday August 15, 2011 @08:18AM (#37092902) Journal

    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.

    Uh, so whoever did the investigative journalism for this piece needs to go back to Webelos and get their fact checking merit badge. All walls can be restricted to only posts by the owner of the wall on Facebook. In fact, it is so uncommon for the wall to be open to fan postings that I had to turn to Mystery Science Theater 3000 [facebook.com] for an example of open posting. Take the current DVD distributor for MST3K, Shout Factory [facebook.com] as an example of a non-pharmaceutical company restricting me from complaining about the packaging on some of their DVD sets openly on their wall.

    Every company does it, it's not "special protection." I'm happy that big pharma is losing this option but frankly I'm wondering why anyone is allowed to open up a wall and the suppress public comments on their products. They should be proud of their products and they should engage their customers openly. You can block individual trolls but I'm shocked that their concern isn't bad publicity for their products from a few outliers but instead concern from government regulators! What? If you're giving them all your information about your drug's potential side effects, there shouldn't be any concern!

    So looking at the drug they listed, Seroquel [facebook.com] I see the user comments being actually very helpful. People talking about it losing its potency, people talking about switching on or off XR for better results. I'm sure that these comments have been weeded by some corporate automaton but, come on, these are customers helping other customers!

    You know what happens when you don't put up a main page for a product? Tons and tons of hate pages [facebook.com]. Government regulators don't notice these?

    • by alen (225700)

      these things need to be told to your doctor, not a facebook page. your doctor will then report this to the company and the government along with some data about you so that scientists can try to make a theory or find some common elements between people complaining about side effects.

      • these things need to be told to your doctor, not a facebook page

        Tell it to both (and more), unless you really think that telling only your doctor has any chance of getting a dangerous and ineffective drug recalled.

        • by myurr (468709)

          And saying on a Facebook page swamped with baseless accusations and speculation is going to do a whole lot more? What about the problem of safe and effective drugs being recalled due to uninformed public hysteria on a Facebook page?

          • by nog_lorp (896553)
            Hysteria based recalls are usually limited to Intel chips with bugs that couldn't possibly affect anyone, ever. You honestly think a drug would be recalled without actual empirical evidence?
            • by gorzek (647352)

              Hell, it can be hard to get a drug recalled even with empirical evidence that it's harmful!

            • by Toonol (1057698)
              It happened to silicon breast implants. Pure hysteria.

              Or, slightly unrelated, DDT.
            • by Culture20 (968837)
              FDA likes to err on the side of caution. So much so that drug companies aren't allowed to use newly purchased computers for 4 years while they're vetted to make sure they don't have Intel chips with bugs. Because if the data's bad, the bug could cause the drug to have worse side effects than dry mouth and diarrhea.
          • by xnpu (963139)

            Wonder why you're so pessimistic about both the public as well as the pharma's or governments reaction to the public. Do you have any examples of this?

            • There is a recent case that shows the opposite. The FDA wanted to revoke the approval for Avastin for use in metastatic breast cancer threapy due to the severe side effects and almost no measurable benefits, not to mention the expense. But some people went hysterical claiming that the FDA is taking away a valuable drug (lot of name calling and mud slinging there) despite that fact that the drug only made you more miserable while the prognosis did not change. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000 [nih.gov]
          • by hedwards (940851)

            When I saw the headline, I thought that the companies were being ridiculous. Then I thought about all the trouble with unsubstantiated accusations that immunizations can cause autism.

        • by alen (225700)

          don't take the drug, find another doctor. every drug has side effects. some are very serious and need other drugs to treat them

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        your doctor will then report this to the company and the government

        Hahahahahaha. Oh wow, that was funny. You mean the same doctor who gets kickbacks from the same companies he's supposed to report?

        "Hello, Dr. John Doe, we heard you wanted to report unfortunate side-effects caused by one of our drugs. We'd like to talk about it in our new seminar, which will be held in the Bahamas, for two weeks, at a time of your choosing."

        Hilarious :D

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Get a better insurance company. The one I've got doesn't provide coverage for medications that haven't met their approval, which is much harder to get than the FDA approval is. The doctors can still order it up and get coverage, but there has to be some justification as to why the normal ones won't work.

          As a result of that all those nasty medications lately that have been getting yanked haven't been prescribed by their providers.

      • by duguk (589689)

        these things need to be told to your doctor, not a facebook page. your doctor will then report this to the company and the government along with some data about you so that scientists can try to make a theory or find some common elements between people complaining about side effects.

        I've tried this, when I was suffering from side-effects years ago. It doesn't work. Programmes such as this certainly help [bbc.co.uk] when no doctor wants to listen; as do support groups. That's not to say you shouldn't tell your doctor, just often they aren't the most experienced in your problems.

        I think having a support group on the companies' facebook page could be a massive marketing opportunity - if these drugs worked the way they're advertised; but they don't, hence the complaints.

      • Most doctors only report negative side effects if (1) they are reported by a large number of people, and (2) they accord with the doctor's preconceived notions. Most docs make up their own mind whether to believe a patient's report of side-effects. (Crazy, but true.) To be fair, this is mostly a problem during the studies that get the drug approved in the first place, but that's mostly because that's when the side-effects tend to get reported at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617)

      Idealism... what ever happened to that?

      These days, business simply tries to get away with whatever it can rather than take the high road you describe. "Everyone does it" doesn't make it right or good. I really dislike big pharma and it is part of the reason I do all I can to avoid using their products or services.

      Eat right, stay active, seek the causes of problems instead of hiding the symptoms. Sounds simple right? (pretty challenging in practice)

      • by hedwards (940851)

        The problem with free speech is that there's no guarantee that those wishing to exercise it have any idea what they're talking about. Which is normally not much of a problem, but the concerns that the companies are expressing are definitely real, some medications do have legitimate off label use, but there's a tremendous liability to the companies when medications are being used for things they aren't cleared to treat, not to mention their inability to comment on issues about a specific individual who may o

      • by Tsingi (870990)

        I really dislike big pharma and it is part of the reason I do all I can to avoid using their products or services.

        I've extended that boycott to ALL corporations. It's tough to do, but I think about where every dollar I spend goes.

        It can't be done 100%, but if we all did that, it could in time.

        • by s73v3r (963317)

          As much as I hate big companies, simply saying "I boycott corporations!" is pretty meaningless. The corporation is one of the more popular small business organizational structures. And for the most part, a company being shitty or not doesn't depend a whole lot on it's organization, but who's in it.

          Why not just say you boycott shitty companies instead?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:06AM (#37093294)

      Having provided marketing support to a pharmaceutical company, bad publicity is not the main fear. Most prescription drugs these days don't actually "cure" anything. Seroquel does not "cure"depression, it treats symptoms. The pharmaceutical companies and the FDA regulators are both acutely aware of this. All of their marketing materials go through legal review to avoid using words like "cure." Having a post from John Q Public stating that "Thanks Seroquel, this cured my depression" on Seroquel's "Official Facebook Page" would be a significant legal problem.

      Facebook also shared in the concern that legal liability could fall on them. Excerpts of people's medical histories would be posted. In the United States, HIPAA governs "how" medical information may be stored by third parties. Facebook would risk having to modify their infrastructure to maintain compliance.

      Whether you believe "Big corporations" are malevolent or not, them taking preemptive measures to stay within HIPAA is a "Good thing."

      • How would either the FDA or HIPAA be involved with individual customers posting comments about their experiences? The FDA doesn't regulate conversation between patients, and HIPAA only governs what information (and how) a medical provider can share about a patient.

    • by nahdude812 (88157) *

      I'm happy that big pharma is losing this option

      That's silly. DVD manufacturers do not have the same regulatory requirements as a pharmaceutical company. Having worked at big pharma until recently, and having been involved in this very aspect of their operations, I can say that the concern is not as much over "omg your product sux" as it is over things like adverse event reporting. That's not to say they want an open forum for people to bitch about their products - there's a lot of medical misinformation out there and they like to not provide a mouthp

    • 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 comp.sci (557773) on Monday August 15, 2011 @11:07AM (#37094648)
        As a matter of fact, medicine has been trying very hard to stop basing its beliefs in "individual experiences" but rather in statistical proof that meds work or don't work. I think people upvoted you because medicine is increasingly impersonal and that's unfortunate, but equating this to listening to personal experiences when discussing medications is ludicrous. Have we learnt nothing from the big vaccine scare? Some people deducted that it was vaccines that cause autism and were treated as equals by the media. This is actively leading to quite a few children needlessly dying. To make this more applicable to Slashdot readers: replace "doctors" with "IT specialists" or "programmers". Should we really treat everybody as equals when it comes to implementing new policies, what technologies to use or which devices to use? Of course not, expertise is needed, otherwise the new policy will be to install at least 4 toolbars for IE 6 on every Compaq computer.
        • by gsslay (807818) on Monday August 15, 2011 @12:00PM (#37095382)

          otherwise the new policy will be to install at least 4 toolbars for IE 6 on every Compaq computer.

          This is typical of the kind of elitist attitude we're up against. I installed 18 toolbars on my internet and found that it made my printer's ink cartridges last longer. Obviously more internet toolbars means better printer mileage. But when I suggest this to our computer people at work they treated me like an idiot, as if I didn't know what I was talking about.

          I also recently turned off my computer's anti-virus program, because I've found that stops those annoying little windows when you open pdfs off the internet. You'd think they'd be interested in my discovery, but all I got was shouting and them complaining to my boss.

          It's high time the computer industry listened to the experience of people and stop pretending they know everything!

        • But when I complain that the new policy is adding 30 minutes to a regularly performed task and I get the attitude that I just don't know anything about security, then I don't have much sympathy for the "professional" (and in all honestly will probably look for a solution myself.) I don't blame doctors for limiting liability and maximizing profits. Their schooling was expensive, they work in a demanding and time-consuming career. But if I go in with a problem then I need to trust they will exercise the dil
          • by s73v3r (963317)

            But when I complain that the new policy is adding 30 minutes to a regularly performed task and I get the attitude that I just don't know anything about security, then I don't have much sympathy for the "professional"

            Probably because the odds are you, and the others who also perform your task actually don't know anything about security. I'm not trying to say that you personally don't; I don't know you from Adam. Just that many people who make complaints like that think they know better than the person who has devoted several years of their life to study of the topic, when in reality they don't.

        • When I diagnose someone's computer, or a problem they're having, I go out of my way to make sure that they know the knowledge I have doesn't make me more or better than they are. When I hear people complaining that something doesn't work, my reaction isn't "Oh, they just aren't using it right, and if everybody else heard what they said they'd think the software was garbage, and it isn't!", it's to listen to them and try to figure out what their problem is.

          I may have a great deal of specialized knowledge and

      • by hedwards (940851)

        There's already a way of doing that, you report it to the FDA or whatever the equivalent is in your area.

        Individuals reporting these sorts of things to the public is the last thing you want to have. People have a tendency to draw correlations which aren't realistic and as soon as people find out about a possible side effect you have to worry about the placebo effect. Which on a side note is getting stronger at this point making a lot of medications passed by the FDA unable to beat a placebo if they had to g

      • Half of the patients who walk into the doctors office are of below average intelligence, more than half because being smart promotes a healthy lifestyle. I'm assuming you are a programmer by your signature, don't you just hate it when you're talking to a coworker who has an interest in what you're doing and keeps pushing obviously incorrect assumptions and theories and not understanding your answer because they simply do not have enough grounding in the subject to really start forming ideas. Well, a doctor

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      You can block individual trolls but I'm shocked that their concern isn't bad publicity for their products from a few outliers but instead concern from government regulators! What? If you're giving them all your information about your drug's potential side effects, there shouldn't be any concern!

      So looking at the drug they listed, Seroquel [facebook.com] I see the user comments being actually very helpful. People talking about it losing its potency, people talking about switching on or off XR for better results. I'm sure that these comments have been weeded by some corporate automaton but, come on, these are customers helping other customers!

      Because one of those helpful customer will post something about an off label use. Some regulator somewhere will decide that since it was on the company's page and wasn't deleted within 10 seconds that the company is promoting such use. And said company will be fined several hundred million dollars.

      Even if it's moderated, that just increases the liability problem and the moderator wouldn't be cheap because you can't just employ someone with no knowledge of the products and regulatory rules in various jurisdi

    • You are right, all walls can be opened or closed.
      But in my opinion it is not bad if a wall is closed to the public. If you go to some group facebook page you expect to see a neat relevant feed of posts not a bunch of randoms or trolls posting their random shit. There are places you can go to find customer reviews, and facebook is I site I would NOT suggest for this.

    • What about the "Special Protection" of free speech? Yes, Pharma isn't a big fan of that one. "We'd really rather people didn't have the ability to provide honest feedback about our listed side-effects such as rectal bleeding and--uh--death, Mr. Zuckerberg. We definitely don't want them having an actual conversation on our page. They might mistakenly think that the 50,000 people saying Pharma is about profit and not cure, speak for us."

      Poor babies.
    • but frankly I'm wondering why anyone is allowed to open up a wall and the suppress public comments on their products

      This is what's meant by 'social media'. Anything not suppressed is just peer-to-peer conversation.

      I'm not sure what this article really means, but if Facebook is enforcing peer-to-peer conversation, then that's a good thing.

  • I wouldn't be surprised if the lawyers at these drug companies were concerned that they would somehow be violating the medical privacy laws by allowing visibility of (potential) users of their product by other FB users. If you were to post on their wall that you had adverse side effects, and your boss saw that comment and took action because of concern for a medical condition the company had previously not known about, I'm sure some plaintiff's lawyer would try to hold the drug company liable for exposing t
    • by delinear (991444)
      I'm not sure how this is any different to you telling your friends in the local pub about a drug you're being prescriped and having it get back to your boss that way. If it's private, don't share it in public, full stop. People should have (certainly by now, with all the slips in the past) zero expectation of privacy with regards to anything they post on Facebook.
    • by todrules (882424)
      What??? How are they violating laws when the patient is the one posting about their own use? What if I post on my own Wall? Are the drug companies liable then? What if I open a blog and post about my drug use? Can I then sue the drug company for violating my medical privacy?

      Oh yeah, I also take prescription strength Allegra. OK, so now can I sue Slashdot for violating my medical privacy?
    • by sorak (246725)

      I wouldn't be surprised if the lawyers at these drug companies were concerned that they would somehow be violating the medical privacy laws by allowing visibility of (potential) users of their product by other FB users. If you were to post on their wall that you had adverse side effects, and your boss saw that comment and took action because of concern for a medical condition the company had previously not known about, I'm sure some plaintiff's lawyer would try to hold the drug company liable for exposing that fact (even while the boss/employer was also clearly in the wrong).

      Simply liking the page so that you can see their updates may be a problem.

  • Heaven forbid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    anyone say anything negative about drug companies. Think about it, they're NOT in the business of producing CURES... they make all their money on TREATMENTS. And the longer you have to take their treatment, the more money you're throwing at them.

    • They cannot defend themselves because they are regulated under HIPAA unlike the rest of the population who can say whatever they want.

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        Do you really want companies to be able to divulge your personal, private medical information? Cause that's what it sounds like.

  • by TraumaFox (1667643) on Monday August 15, 2011 @08:43AM (#37093052)

    I don't really understand the point of pharmaceutical companies even having Facebook pages. I get enough of their advertising shoved down my throat on TV every day, I certainly don't want to be friends with them on Facebook. As far as government regulations go, it's sad enough that these companies have to disable wall postings to suppress people from talking about things like negative side effects, but I find it even sadder if people think the only place to have these discussions is on Facebook pages in the first place.

    I mean, what's the train of thought supposed to be, here? "Oh good, now that I can openly write on a pharmaceutical company's wall, I can finally let everyone know about these horrible side effects their medication caused for me. There was definitely no outlet for this prior to now, and it comes just in time, because these unreported side effects are so bad it almost certainly warrants a governmental investigation!"

    • I don't really understand the point of pharmaceutical companies even having Facebook pages.

      Because everybody wants one. For the same reason you've got those "share" buttons on every page you visit. Marketing people don't care that they're obnoxious and that nobody pays attention to them.

    • by Zebraheaded (1229302) on Monday August 15, 2011 @10:00AM (#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!"
      • I will buy that and you seem honest enough to report it but I don't think Big Pharma executives are going to rush out and investigate. I think, if anything, they'll want to bury it! And, this has been replete through recent history. Just look at the acne drug acutane that causes permanent damage to people's bodies. Unfortunately, until the importance of ethics and honesty outweigh profits, public forums need to be open for discussion.
  • by Aeiri (713218) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:19AM (#37093436)
    Seroquel is NOT an antidepressant, and doctors need to stop prescribing it as if it were. Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic, used to treat psychosis.

    All of the current atypical antipsychotics have the WORST side effects imaginable (more so than antidepressants), so they need to start using them as they are designed to be used. For instance, I was on Seroquel for 1 month, and the person that took me off of it was the ER doctor that I was taken to after collapsing for no real reason.

    These doctors need to stop messing around with serious medication. In my case, it was necessary, in most other cases, FFS use something else.
    • by Fished (574624)
      While your comment is superficially accurate, it is also grossly misleading. Yes, Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic. However, like all the atypical antipsychotics, it can also be used to treat other disorders, including severe depression (such as bipolar I and II.)
      • by Aeiri (713218)
        That's exactly my point. It may have effects that can tertiarily treat depression and bipolar, there are better medications out there such as antidepressants themselves or mood stabilizers for bipolar. These should be used first, and antipsychotics used second... but thats not how they are prescribed. I was also talking about the specific classification of the drug. The summary makes it sound like it's a SSRI.
        • That's exactly my point. It may have effects that can tertiarily treat depression and bipolar, there are better medications out there such as antidepressants themselves or mood stabilizers for bipolar. These should be used first, and antipsychotics used second... but thats not how they are prescribed. I was also talking about the specific classification of the drug. The summary makes it sound like it's a SSRI.

          Guess what, there are also natural ways to cure depression! You don't need to pop some pill made by Astra Zeneca or Eli Lilly to get better! If *bleep* uncle sam would get it's collective asses in gear and just legalize marijuana, it would help by quite a bit. But, I can't get the one drug (marijuana) that leaves me depression and anxiety free for 3 weeks after just one joint because the gubmint says so!

        • by hedwards (940851)

          I take it you don't have a medical degree. Why on earth are you handing out medical advice on this?

          Psychiatry is a complicated practice, nobody really knows what's going on up there, but to come in and suggest that they shouldn't be prescribing something like this because it's in the wrong classification is completely ignorant. Most doctors genuinely want to help, they're not going to be prescribing Seroquel if the patients aren't getting any better or if there's something else that works better.

      • Correct. I "know someone" who is using it as a sleep aid (under doctor's orders). It knocks "him" out in about 90 minutes.

  • Social networking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by biodata (1981610) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:36AM (#37093658)
    There is currently no obvious way for users of a certain drug to get in contact with each other, other than taking out an ad somewhere, or starting a discussion group or whatever. A facebook page devoted to the drug seems like an obvious way to facilitate this, but I think the drug companies might not want to be the ones to make it easy for consumer groups to form around each of their products.
    • It shouldn't be long until Facebook is rife with:

      Oxy Moron likes Purdue Pharmaceutical [wikipedia.org].

      Horse Head likes Bayer [wikipedia.org].

      I suspect that things like this are at least part of the reason that the Phriendly Pharmers don't want open walls.

      There are a lot of skeletons in the closets of pharmaceutical companies that have been kept from the public eye by virtue of their being sponsors on every ad-supported television network and printed publication. So unless you read books or watch PBS, you might be unaware that, for exampl

  • by jamesh (87723) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:39AM (#37093678)

    most drug company pages will have to have open Walls

    Most drug company pages? I suspect the conversation might have started with Facebook saying something like "Nice pharmaceutical page you have there... it would be a shame if something happened to it..." and some companies just couldn't afford the protection money.

  • Facebook lied to us too about how they would handle our accounts, privacy, etc. You are not alone. :)

  • My respect went up for Facebook by a large margin. When Mark Zuckerberg ranted about the "necessary" end to privacy, I thought he would conveniently exclude corporations. At least this end to privacy effects corporations and individuals alike! This is as it should be.
  • Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Monday August 15, 2011 @10:27AM (#37094232)
    The problem with Big Pharma in America and worldwide is that the industry has no interest in a cure for a disease or condition, only symptom mitigation. Big Pharma is concerned that this true motive will get exposed via Facebook. When you take drugs to counter the side effects of other drugs, the regiment ceases to be a cure and designed to keep you buying their drugs until you die because your condition was NOT cured nor was their any interest in a cure because cures don't make money. I think Big Pharma is concerned that other "sleeping" Americans will wake up to this fact once they read about other people's experiences. Medicines were never meant to be advertised and mass marketed! They should remain solely in the realm of the physician and used at the physician's discretion. Big Pharma and doctors have gotten to cozy. I think social media is the answer to this problem.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      You don't think a pharmaceutical would love to become commonly known as X Corp., inventors of the cure for skin cancer?

      I realize that it's popular to be paranoid of the pharmaceutical corporations, but perhaps it has more to do with the fact that most conditions are complicated and have multiple factors which lead to them.

      Unless of course, you've got evidence that this is actually a conspiracy in which case I recommend that you take that evidence to your local news organization so that they can do an expose

    • You need a Tetris shot [youtube.com].

      The problem with Big Pharma in America and worldwide is that the industry has no interest in a cure for a disease or condition

      If this is true, then please explain vaccines that prevent a disease from happening in the first place. And explain antibiotics that do cure bacterial diseases. It's just that viral and noninfectious diseases don't yet have such an obvious silver bullet.

    • True or false: there are countries in the world that would be more interested in curing citizens than propping up costly, government-owned pharmaceutical labs.

      True or false: if the above is true, at least one of those countries is capable of developing medicines on their own without relying on US and European labs.

      Your conspiracy-driven position requires the belief that there are no pharm researchers in the entire world motivated by the desire to actually cure disease. You sincerely believe that "Red China"

  • "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." -- Well, Facebook is a Web 2.0 application, which means it's a two-way instrument of communication. If those companies only want to advertise their products then they should stick with Web 1.0.
  • >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

    what they mean to say is....they are scared that real info about their products will get out, and that any involvement of a government regulator on said product will now be questioned if everyone else knows that the drug is useless or has too many side effects.....it would lead you to beli

  • Facebook clearly does not know much about the pharmaceutical industry or the current debates going on in the industry about the role social media plays. I do consulting work for the pharmaceutical industry and have done a lot of work specifically with manufacturer sponsored web portals, use of social media, and drug safety in general. I can't say one way or another whether any of these companies should take down their pages, but there is very real risks involved with keeping them open. This has nothing t

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