New ISI Field on Facebook Pages

Posted by: in Healthcare Insights, Marketing Insights, Medical Communications, Social Media Insights & Trends on August 15, 2011

In the wake of today’s change for pharma Facebook Pages, Facebook has announced a new feature for brand Pages for pharmaceutical companies. They have added a new field to the Page called “Safety Information.” It is intended to house the typically very long ISI or Important Safety Information that is associated with prescription drugs.

We created a Page to test out this feature for the fake drug, Testaquel. Click here to view it. Here is a summary of what’s new.

  • New “Safety Information” field added to any Page whose category is “Health/Medical/Pharmaceutical” (within Companies & Organizations) or “Drugs” (within Brands & Products).
  • The first (approximately) 340 characters will display at the bottom of the Page with a “See More” link to show the remaining text.
  • The remaining text does not seem to have a character limitation of consequence. We previously reported the ISI character lengths of the top U.S. drugs, the largest of which was 5,779 characters. For Testaquel, we tried a character length of 8,000, and all of the text displayed on the Page after hitting “See More.”
  • This safety information, shown on the Page as “More Information” will be displayed at the bottom of the Page, after the Wall posts.
  • This change is live now, so you can add in your drug’s ISI to this new field.

What does this mean to you? Two things, mainly.

  • You can now have your ISI displayed right on your Wall. The fact that it is text (and not an image) is also important. For those Page visitors who are visually impaired, they can have the ISI read to them by their browser software.
  • You will still need to consult your regulatory department to see if having a partial ISI on the Wall satisfies FDA requirements for fair balance. The fact that the user will need to click “See More” to see the full ISI may present a challenge. The fact that it will almost always be ‘below the fold’ of a Page may present another.

I do applaud Facebook for listening to the pharma industry and responding with a solution. Like much of Facebook, the Safety Information addition is simple and elegant. Whether it satisfies FDA requirements for fair balance remains to be seen.

By: Matthew Snodgrass

Group Director of Digital Strategy at NextWorks, partner of The W2O Group.

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7 Responses

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  1. mikael said

    Baby steps… Baby steps.

  2. Pharmaguy said

    I foresee two problems with this:

    (1) “More information” may not suffice for FDA, which prefers (and may require) the standard “IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION BELOW.”

    (2) When publishing ISI’s on web site, pharma companies prefer to use PDF or graphic files that can’t be edited and republished by users.

  3. @pharmaguy Good call. I think you’re right. The first could be fixed by merely renaming the “More Information” to “Important Safety Information Below.” Your second point would take more work, but the Juvéderm Page does have some safety information in their Info tab.

  4. Jenna said

    How will this effect other regulated industries (Orthopaedic Manufacturing)??

  5. @Jenna, your Page will now be afforded the opportunity to add text to this “Safety Information” field to display at the bottom of the Wall. However, if your Page is solely about a prescribed medical device, then you can still petition Facebook to disable commenting altogether.

  6. Heidi G said

    Great post! Have you seen any companies using this yet? I’m looking for any precedents to be able to share with my reg team.

  7. @Heidi I actually just did a check through many pharma FB Pages but haven’t seen anyone using this yet. I’m sure discussion of this will be going through regulatory over the next few weeks.

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