I don’t cover much pharma news anymore as I find it exhausting and depressing. This little tidbit was interesting and even amusing to me, though in a sinister sort of way. The fact is that pharma is into covering stuff up and doing all it can to avoid helping those it harms in the way of payment or via admitting their drugs are often dangerous.
Facebook apparently used to allow pharma pages to disallow comments from the masses. That has changed and now people can comment about pharma’s drugs on their pages. What is happening as a result of that? Pharma is abandoning facebook. It’s too dangerous to let their consumers speak freely on their pages because, well, the truth might come out!
It’s true that by and large most consumers still get their information from pharma rather than from those of us who’ve been harmed by pharma. And so, they need websites where they can control the flow of information so that they can continue to mislead and harm as many people as possible so that sales might not flag.
From the Washington Post:
Drug companies lose protections on Facebook, some decide to close pages
Facebook and the pharmaceutical industry have had an uneasy partnership in recent years. Many drug companies didn’t even join the site until Facebook gave them a privilege that others do not have — blocking the public’s ability to openly comment on a page Wall.
But that’s about to change.
In a reversal by Facebook, most drug company pages will have to have open Walls starting Monday.
Companies are worried that open Walls mean open risks, and many are reconsidering their engagement on Facebook. AstraZeneca shut down on Friday a page devoted to depression — the company sells the antidepressant Seroquel. Johnson &Johnson said it will close four of its pages on Monday. Other companies said they will monitor their pages more closely once the changes take effect.
The industry is concerned that users might write about bad side effects, promote off-label use or make inappropriate statements about a product. Aside from poor word of mouth, the comments could raise concerns from government regulators. (emphasis mine) read more here
One might read “monitoring their pages more closely” as carefully and diligently deleting all mention of dangerous side effects from their pages. It would be interesting for one of us to “monitor” the censoring habits of any of these remaining pages. I’ve seen that done on politicians pages. One can take screen shots of before and after the censorship. Anyone up to doing that?