This letter does not provide FDA guidance on Facebook
The FDA sent a letter to Novartis dated July 29, 2010, regarding a Facebook widget on their brand website, Tasigna.com. The key part of the letter notes that: “The shared content is misleading because it makes representations about the efficacy of Tasigna but fails to communicate any risk information associated with the use of this drug. In addition, the shared content inadequately communicates Tasigna’s FDA-approved indication and implies superiority over other products.”
In addition to Facebook, the site offered a way to share the content on Twitter, Delicious and Digg. This type of “Share This” functionality is increasingly common on websites. Novartis took the widgets down quickly, because when I looked yesterday they were no longer there. The screen shot below, showing the Facebook icon on the top right, is from a Google cached version of the site.
The FDA must have clicked on the widget for every page and reviewed each resulting Facebook message or reviewed the page source and meta description that is pulled. Below is an example, although not one of the ones cited in the letter.
It’s the Message NOT the Medium
This letter does not provide FDA guidance on Facebook. The important thing to remember is that this content did not follow existing FDA guidelines. So if you are using Share This on your site, carefully review the resulting text that will be shared. The FDA is paying attention.
This post was contributed by Eileen O’Brien, Director of Search & Innovation for Siren Interactive. You can connect with her on Twitter at @eileenobrien.
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