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Is PAAB Doing a Good Job in Educating us on Social Media Regs in Canada?

Several months ago, the PAAB (Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board) held 3 social media marketing sessions called “Social Media Marketing in Pharma: What Works in Canada”, twice in Toronto and once in Montreal, where they provided some of their insights on Canadian regulations regarding pharmaceutical social media marketing.  This meeting even had a representative from Health Canada as a panel member.

Then earlier this month, they presented even more guidance at the Eye For Pharma eMarketing Canada conference.  Just yesterday, they made their slides from the conference available on the PAAB website: PAAB Guidance on Social Media Marketing (61 slides). Enable audio on your computer as each slide has audio. The audio track on each slide is by Patrick Massad (Chief Review Officer at the PAAB).  Beware – the file is huge.  It slowed my computer down for several minutes.  But once you go through the slides and audio, you will find that it is full of valuable information, some of which was not presented at the recent eMarketing conference due to lack of time.

The PAAB has also made itself more available to the Canadian pharma community by setting up a LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter profile.  The PAAB has been using these avenues to not only update the industry on PAAB activities, but also to share information about social media from other countries.  On Twitter, the PAAB even posted a request for people to join one of their social networs and to start a discussion.

As far as I know, the level of outreach by the PAAB to the pharma industry with regards to guidance on the regulations that impact social media marketing is the first of its kind worldwide.  Please correct me if this is inaccurate.  I am aware of the FDA meetings held a while back, but so far, no guidance has been made available since those meetings.

Whether we like the regulations or not, and whether we feel the regulations are doing justice to the mantra of social media being open for engagement by all stakeholders, we have to give credit to the PAAB for their efforts in helping the Canadian pharma industry understand what we can and cannot do within the legal framework.  I am not a fan of the current Rx DTC regulations in Canada.  They are outdated, and I would like to see these regulations re-visited and modified.  But I don’t blame the PAAB for those regulations.  They did not make the rules.  They just help us work within them.

The only recommendation that I would have for the PAAB (and Rx&D as well for that matter), is to include something about social media guidelines as part of their overall set of guidelines.  Perhaps that is in the works and I am just not aware.

Do you think the PAAB is doing a good job in educating the Canadian pharmaceutical industry on how to apply current regulations to social media campaigns?  Do you have any suggestions for them to improve their outreach to the industry?

Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the PAAB on various social media activities, but this post is my personal opinion.  The PAAB has not had any input or influence in the content of this article.

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Canada’s Pharma Digital Awards 2010 Winners (Eye for Pharma)

Eye for Pharma organized the 1st eMarketing Canada conference, which was held in Toronto, on November 1-2 2010.  As part of the conference, marketers from both agency and client sides were asked to submit their e-tactics as nominations for the very 1st Canada’s Pharma Digital Awards.  A panel of judges was selected based on experience with digital pharma marketing and knowledge of the Canadian regulations.  Dr. John Reeves of Kyp Inc. led the award process.

There were 6 winners:

Healthcare professional sites:

  1. Canadian Healthcare Network (Rogers Publishing Healthcare Group)
  2. Advisory Space (Agency: Impetus Healthcare, Client: Nycomed)

Consumer sites:

  1. More Than Medication (Agency: Klick Pharma, Client: Pfizer)
  2. Contour USB Program (Agency: Brightworks, Client: Bayer)
  3. Smidge (Agency: Klick Pharma, Client: Pfizer)
  4. iMD Health

The judging panel consisted of the following members:

Over the next few weeks, an article highlighting the features of each of the winners will be published on my blog.  Since the healthcare professional sites are gated, I may be limited in what I can show of these, but I will do my best to share as much information as possible.

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

eMarketing Canada – Twitter Transcript

Eye for Pharma organized the 1st eMarketing Canada conference, which was held in Toronto, on November 1-2 2010.  The Twitter hashtag used was #efp.

Here is a transcript of the online Twitter posts and discussion which used the #efp hashtagh :  Down #efp transcript pdf file.

For those of you keen on stats, here are some data from the tweets that took place on November 1st and 2nd, using the hashtag #efp (via What the Hashtag):

  • 673 tweets
  • 61 contributors
  • 96.1 tweets per day
  • 75.6% come from “The Top 10”
  • 24.4% are retweets
  • 30.6% are mentions
  • 2.8% have multiple hashtags

Not sure what is meant by Twitter hashtags? Then view this video by Mari Smith to learn about hashtags.

Just curious – do you find the information in this post useful? Please leave me a comment below.

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

PAAB Offers Guidance on Regulatory Social Media Thought Process

Eye for Pharma organized the 1st eMarketing Canada conference, which was held in Toronto, on November 1-2 2010.

Patrick Massad (Chief Review Officer at the PAAB, Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board) presented an algorithm to facilitate the regulatory thought process when planning a social media promotional activity.  Here is the suggested algorithm:

1) Is this advertising?

2) Who is the intended audience?

3) What restrictions should I consider for this audience with respect to disease and product schedules?

4) What mechanism will I use to limit access to that audience?

5) What is the sponsor’s tolerance for uncertainty & risk?

6) How will I align the site with this tolerance level?

7) What are the regulatory consequences of adding and/or linking other tools/content to my site?

 

Here are some highlights of Patrick’s presentation with regards to the very 1st step to detemine if tactic in mind is advertising or not:

Health Canada’s definition of advertising is as follows:  “any representation by any means whatever for the purpose of promoting directly or indirectly the sale or disposal of any food, drug, cosmetic or device” (as per section 2 of Food Drugs Act).

If this does not help to answer the question about whether the promotion is advertising or not, you can then refer to Health Canada’s policy document “The Distinction Between Advertising and Other Activities”, which lists the following 7 questions:

•What is the context in which the message is disseminated?
•Who are the primary and secondary audiences?
•Who delivers the message (the provider)?
•Who sponsors the message and how?
•What influence does the drug manufacturer have on the message content?
•What is the content of the message?
•With what frequency is the message delivered?

By answering these questions, the intent of the promotion becomes clearer as to whether the tactic is advertising or informational.

The intented audience and type of drug will determine which regulatory body needs to be consulted.  See this article here if you need assistance to determine which Canadian regulatory body to consult for your promotional campaign.

For more information about PAAB guidelines regarding social media, see Highlights from “Social Media Marketing in Pharma: What Works in Canada”

What do you think of this algorithm?  Would you add, delete or change any of the suggested steps?  Please leave a comment below.

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Pharma / Healthcare eMarketing Survey: Results Will be Shared

Please help Essential Research with their Healthcare eMarketing survey.

The survey is focused on Pharma, Biotech and Medical Device companies and their eMarketing to healthcare professionals.  The study seeks to get a high level view of overall resource allocation, dimensions of spending as well as adoption attitudes.

The objective of this survey is to generate a baseline understanding of Pharmaceutical Manufacturer and Agency perceptions and attitudes towards eMarketing to physicians and other healthcare professionals within the Canadian Pharmaceutical industry. Individuals with an interest in this industry are encouraged to participate. Full results will be available at the Eye for Pharma Conference – eMarketing Canada November 1st and 2nd in Toronto – and will be posted online at www.essentialresearch.ca.

Results will be reported in aggregate for analysis purposes. These results will be based on healthcare industry sector (e.g. Pharmaceutical manufacturer or agency). Given this, no one individual or company can or will be identified as an outcome of the analysis.

As a thank you for participating in this survey, Essential Research will be having a draw for five $25 gift cards from Starbucks .  It is your choice to opt-in or out of this draw. The survey takes no longer than 10 minutes.

The survey will be active until approximately the 3rd week of October.

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