Three years ago, pharmas pulled their Facebook product pages down en masse after Facebook announced it would require them to keep comments live. Since then, FDA has given industry a little more clarity as to its views on user-generated or third-party content and reporting of real-time communications, but pharmas so far continue to shy away from branded Facebook pages with rare exception.

Through Manhattan Research's new Digital Competitive Landscape offering, we scanned 161 consumer product websites across 19 therapeutic categories. While most pharmas have corporate pages on Facebook, we found only two branded Facebook pages linked to their consumer product websites one for Novartis MS treatment Gilenya and another for UCB's epilepsy drug Vimpat. The average age for MS patients and epilepsy patients in our ePharma Consumer® study was under 50, and as a general rule, the younger a patient is, the heavier their social media use.

Gilenya's Facebook page features a Let's Talk app essentially a click-through moderated comments page separate from the main brand page (comments are reviewed before posting) as well as its Marley's World game app.  Vimpat's page features a Take the Pledge app, along with apps for patient assistance and support and for risk information.

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