Everything you know is wrong

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  • 12/13/2012

Day Two of the Social Media, Mobile & Gaming for Pharma Conference brought new insights and raised some important questions.

The question most on the minds of the audience was just what do practicing medical professionals know about the regulated environment of healthcare speech? The answer, it seems, is very little – and that which doctors and nurses do know … is wrong.

That is not an asset in the forward march of pharmaceutical companies towards a more regular and robust use of social media. In fact – it’s a deterrent. Perhaps its time for HCPs to learn not only “where drugs come from” (they generally do not understand the roles of pharmaceutical companies and the FDA), but also what the rules are for pharmaceutical industry communications.

As my grandmother used to say, “It couldn’t hurt.”

John Mack (aka, “Pharmaguy”) bemoaned the lack of more regular pharma participation in social media. When confronted with the issues of internal review and control he opined, “How can you use social media if your company doesn’t trust you?

Good question.

And then there was the inevitable debate over the value of “Big Data.” Is more information better?

As Francis Collins recently said, “We are living in an awkward interval where our ability to capture information often exceeds our ability to know what to do with it.”

Collins’ comment was directed at the complete human genome sequence – but is equally germane to an equally complex human proposition – social media.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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