Got Em! FDA’s Communication Heads to Provide PR Industry Social Media Guidance Update

  • January 4, 2010
  • by Leigh Fazzina
  • Healthcare PR, healthcare public relations, healthcare social media, Social Media posts,
  • Leave a comment

As my colleagues and I gear up for the 2010 PRSA Health Academy conference (April 14-16, 2010 in Chicago at the Hilton Suites Magnificent Mile), I’ve been pretty excited the past few weeks as I pulled together what I felt was a much-needed panel to update the healthcare PR community: a panel of FDA officials who are on the front lines of developing communications guidance and the latest thinking on the use of social media. I’m also excited as I get to work with these officials, and moderate the panel as well.

This year’s PRSA Health Academy conference titled “Effective Communication in an Era of Health Care Transformation: Practical Strategies to Navigate Change,” is a conference that typically draws 200+ mid to senior level healthcare communications and PR professionals. Attendees of this conference will now have the opportunity to hear from both Julie Zawisza, Director of Communications for the FDA’s center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office, and Thomas Abrams, Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Communications Office. Both Tom and Julie will talk about:

  • Policy development for the industry’s web-based drug communications, including promotion and advertising
  • What the FDA heard from pharmaceutical companies, Internet marketers and IT gurus at the well-attended November 2009 Public Hearing on the ‘Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools’
  • The challenges of meeting FDA rules in an Internet age
  • The FDA’s foray into the social media realm, through use of Twitter, You-Tube, blogs, mobile devices, and other tools to enhance the agency’s ability to reach target audiences with important drug safety information. 

I am both pumped and charged for our industry to hear this panel speak because lots of questions have been brewing in the healthcarecommunications and PR industry since the hearing. Among hundreds of questions wanting to be answered by live and online attendees, many wanted to know:

  • what the FDA’s next steps were/are
  • what the FDA’s true areas of strengths and weaknesses were/are
  • how the guidance document was going to be developed and who was going to contribute to it
  • among much more…

First, I hope many of you will be able to join us this year for the conference. It’s always a great healthcare communications conference.

Second, I truly feel this is a panel that should not be missed! Many members of the healthcare PR/Comm industry will get to hear directly from the FDA’s Communications heads. A topic that everyone in the industry is glued to.

Lastly, since I will be moderating this panel I’d love to hear questions that you all feel are the most important for Julie and Tom to answer to the healthcare PR industry. What is that you all really need and want to know as the FDA is currently developing the guidance document?

Looking forward to your comments and input.


David Harlow
Good luck getting them to say anything substantive (they can't, and won't). If the FDASM guidelines have been published by then, though, you will have a killer panel on your hands. With or without FDA guidance, folks need to start coming out of their SoMe shells.
Hi Leigh! I think one of the most important issues with social media in relation with pharmaceutical and other health care companies is the adverse event reporting. I understand that adverse event is a very serious issue, and they want you to report any case within 1 x 24 hours. And with this social media, people talk and people listen, and we can't control what they're saying, including adverse events, complaints, etc (and we might not be aware of it until after some time). I would really like to know if FDA will publish guidance about this. Thanks Leigh, Tania - Jakarta

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