After a very long blogging absence, I decided that it was time for me to begin to write posts on things that continue to pique my interest. The recent announcement that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally released its long awaited guidance on the use of social media in the life sciences industry including pharma, biotech and med. devices.
While words like long awaited have been used to describe this monumental announcement, I think nobody really cares anymore about what the agency thinks about social media! Put simply, despite some interested starts and stops, social media is not an integral part of the life sciences industry and likely will never be. In the beginning (about a decade ago) social media transformed a number of industries by introducing transparency and engaging stakeholders to improve their bottom lines. Unfortunately, the modus operandi in the life sciences industry, by virtue of it business model, is opaqueness not transparency. Further, life scientists and life science employees are not the most social individuals and their use of social media for business purposes is almost non-existent. Consequently, social media and the life science industry are not a good fit!!!! Finally, early players in the life science social media space including Novo Nordisk and J&J have already leveraged what they could using social media and have moved on.
In summary, while it may be a banner day at FDA because the agency finally released its social media guidelines, I do not think anybody really cares anymore. The trajectory of social media is on its downward slope and it is no longer fresh or new (except maybe in the minds of pharma/biotech executives). In fact, social media is no longer new media and is now considered a standard staple of all communication platforms. While many industries benefited from social media it was never a priority for the life sciences industry and industry executives (and US regulators) did everything in their collective power to ensure that social media did not interfere with the secrecy and intentional opaqueness that dominates the industry.
Until next time,
Good luck and Good Job Hunting