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The Importance of Setting Expectations: Pharma on Facebook

Posted by | 2:51pm on Sunday, June 13, 2010

While the Facebook page accepts comments, I couldn’t find any Terms of Use. 

I was on the AstraZeneca Careers Facebook page – not looking for a job – but for some examples of language around Terms of Use. While the Facebook page accepts comments, I couldn’t find any Terms of Use. I was surprised by this based on what recently happened with the sanofi-aventis Voices Facebook page.

While part of the issue with sanofi was a lack of communication with an upset patient, another problem was that they set no clear expectations on the Facebook page. They have since developed guidelines which note what type of comments should be placed on the wall.

I assume that AstraZeneca (AZ) are monitoring all the comments, removing the inappropriate ones and have policies in place for how to handle off label comments about their prescription medications and adverse events.

Interestingly, on AZ’s page there have been comments posted to the wall about their products. The example below mentions the brand and indication without the generic name or safety information. I wonder what DDMAC would think of this, especially since it has a “black box” warning.  I also wonder if AZ would let links to negative brand articles stay?


I’ve just posted the following comment. We’ll see how they respond.


Lessons for Pharma
I think it’s essential for pharma to provide a unique set of expectations for users. As comments are monitored, a clear Terms of Use policy can guide the internal decision making as to what to remove. Organizations should also have a plan for the unexpected and a way to deal with worst-case scenarios.

If you want an example of great expectation-setting by pharma on Facebook, check  out the ADHD Moms page.

Please comment below and let me know what you think.

This post was contributed by Eileen O’Brien, Director of Search & Innovation for Siren Interactive. You can connect with her on Twitter at @eileenobrien.

(Image courtesy of jessiehart on Flickr)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

  • http://twitter.con/eileenobrien Eileen

    Via Twitter, AstraZeneca Jobs was nice enough to let me know that they now have a Terms of Use section on their Facebook page.

    It clearly sets expectations and starts with: “This page is intended as a forum to discuss recruitment considerations and AstraZeneca employment highlights. It is not intended as a forum for discussing AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, other companies products, or the reporting of side effects associated with the use of prescription drugs. Postings may be reviewed by AstraZeneca and may be subject to removal if they are deemed to be inappropriate or inconsistent with the intended use of this site…”

    Upon inspection they’ve also removed the wall post I reference and other comments on prescription drugs.

    Nice work AZ and thanks for responding to me.

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