Selling Sickness 2013

pinterest – the latest social media tool being used by pharma

Why am I not surprised to see that pharma is increasingly using Pinterest, the social photo-sharing website to reach millions of monthly online visitors.
Drug companies are marketers.  Plain and simple.  They are using all the same tools that other consumer product advertisers use to reach existing and new customers.

Despite a lack of clarity from the FDA on social media marketing guidelines, pharma has discovered Pinterest and other ways to use social media to promote their products indirectly. In fact, later this week Boehringer is expected to launch their own version of Facebook’s Farmville game called Syrum, which challenges players to collect new “treatments” for various health ailments in a competitive online gaming atmosphere.

It will be important to watch the role of social media contributing to the increased use of prescriptions and other treatments without sufficient medical cause.   I am sure Jeff Chester from the Center of Digital Democracy will have plenty to say on this subject next February at the conference.


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