Bayer Apologizes for Tweets

I wrote a blog post entitled “FDA Misses Own Deadline On Social Media” in December of 2010. Well, it’s almost seven months since that post and halfway through our third calendar year, the pharma & biotech industries are still waiting for the FDA’s guidelines on social media.

Today I read a news summary from FiercePharma about Bayer apologizing for two tweets, one about the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra and the other on Sativex, a multiple sclerosis treatment. BNet Pharma includes the offending 13-word tweet in its entirety in “Bayer Apologizes for Tweeting: Pharma’s Never-Ending Social Media Nightmare“. To quote from the article:

“The tweet was an extract of a press release that had been internally “certified” by Bayer’s compliance people, but the PMCPA, which regulates drug promotion in the U.K., said that wasn’t good enough. As the tweet promoted a prescription drug to the public — which is illegal in Britain — it was in violation.”

And Bayer’s troubled tweet could land them in difficulty with the US FDA because it could be interpreted as an efficacy claim. Hold onto your hat! This story could have a very long tail.