3What Does Pharma Want? |PORTER NOVELLI | AMPLIFY
and user-generated content. It’s where therubber meets the road.What pharma wants (or should want) isspecific areas of clarification from the FDAon this new and exciting zone of opportunity.What of the empowered digital health careconsumer we hear so much about? Well –there were a few of them in attendance atthe AZ confab and they had some interestingthings to say.What struck a chord for me was when one ofthe civilians in the room (by which I mean apatient) said that she really had no idea whypharmaceutical companies chose to absentthemselves from disease-related socialmedia conversations. She assumed it wasbecause Big Pharma is afraid of mixing it upwith real people in real time dialogue.And she’s right, of course – but for reasonsshe didn’t suspect. The ensuing explanationsof adverse event reporting and othercompliance-related issues didn’t cause herto nod her head, but rather to say (indeed,almost insist) that “pharma should explain topeople why they’re not there.”
Blame the FDA!
was the knee-jerk reaction.But that’s not fair and it’s not true. Howcan the agency be blamed for industry’sreluctance to push the boundaries – evena little? Fear of warning letters? Fear ofunearthing adverse events? I say, wherethere’s a will, there’s a way. If you won’tblaze the path – even a little – then don’texpect anyone to know where you want to go.Unfortunately, blazing new territory throughreal-time learning is not, shall we say,historically a tradition of the pharmaceuticalindustry. Everyone wants to do new andexciting things – second.Here’s an even more basic question – what’sthe right thing to do? I submit that it’sirresponsible to actively avoid participatingin the social media health care conversation.It is, to directly quote Center for DrugEvaluation and Research Director Dr. JanetWoodcock, “where the people are.” Healthcare begins at search.But, someone pushed back, that’s why weneed more directive regulation from theFDA. I fundamentally disagree that (1), that’swhat’s needed and (2), that’s what’s coming.Let me explain.
“PHARMA SHOULD EXPLAIN TOPEOPLE WHY THEY’RE NOT THERE.”