Healthcare News & Insights

FDA looks to regulate Web marketing of medical products

We may soon have clearer guidelines as to what medical vendors can say when promoting their products via new social media outlets.

FDA announced a public meeting to discuss the “promotion of FDA-regulated medical products” via online and social media tools. The meeting will be held in Washington D.C. in November.

In this case, social media is defined broadly, encompassing everything from social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, to blogs and podcasts, online video as well as widgets and wikis.

The meeting will address several issues unique to online communication, including:

  • Appropriate use of links
  • How to handle information on third-party Web sites, and
  • Correct applications of regulatory requirements to new media channels.

Presumably, it will take some time for FDA to come up with final regs. But once it does, it should give both health care providers and patients more confidence to trust information they get from online sources regarding medical devices, drugs, etc.

You can see the full announcement from the FDA in the Federal Register announcement.

Do you think medical vendors are being sufficiently transparent and honest in their current online marketing or does FDA need to tighten the reins? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.

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