There is oversight in every industry, a regulating body that defines what language is acceptable and what is not. In some cases that body can be as simple and as broad as the whims of the buying public. In others, like government agencies, it is specific and complicated. Healthcare, especially the pharmaceutical segment, has very specific regulations.
The FDA developed a number of guidelines “to describe an approach that FDA believes can fulfill the requirement for adequate provision in connection with consumer-directed advertisements for prescription drug and biological products.”And these provisions are broken into specific categories for advertising and marketing.
But I don’t want to preach to the choir here. Anyone in healthcare knows about the regulations. So, let’s talk about what is the most important aspect of those regulations: How good the Healthcare industry has it!
Yes, you read that right.
These parameters and guidelines in advertising and marketing are a blessing not a curse; empowerment not suffocation. Why? Because they let you know exactly what not to do!
The goal of any good advertising, regardless of industry, is to generate a positive image that engages consumers and drives them to investigate further. All of that while being honest to the service or product so that the consumers don’t feel betrayed or lied to. If that happens, the law gets involved and you read about it in the papers. When given parameters or boundaries, think of them as a safety net to avoid angering someone far more important than the oversight agency: the consumer.
So, next time you read guidelines like “For a prescription drug, this would include communicating that the advertised product is available only by prescription and that only a prescribing healthcare professional can decide whether the product is appropriate for a patient,” don’t think of it as a hindrance. Instead, consider it an item to check off your list for ensuring the consumer trusts your product and will be happy once they purchase it.
* all examples taken from the FDA posted PDF titled “Guidance for Industry
Consumer-Directed Broadcast Advertisements” to learn more of these guidelinesor other documentation visit The FDA website