Pharma has long shied away from participating in social media, and somewhat rightly so. Between the need to maintain FDA compliance and the risk of unfettered public participation, there’s a lot at stake. But there are steps we can take to make social safer.

Two questions we often hear from pharma clients venturing into social media for the first time:

  1. How can you properly track, qualify and quantify social media activity?
  2. How do we stay FDA compliant?

These are complicated questions, but luckily, they can often be answered with the same solution: data retention.

The Importance of Data Retention
Data retention is exactly what it sounds like: storing data so it can be reviewed at any time. Some companies use proprietary data-collection tools, while others manually save content. No matter how it’s done, data retention isn’t optional when it comes to qualifying and quantifying your efforts and maintaining FDA compliance.

At Intouch, we use our own proprietary tool, SocialQueue™, to monitor our clients’ social spaces. SocialQueue automatically collects data across social channels and provides alerts when interactions occur, so responses can happen in real-time and compliance isn’t compromised.

Proving the Value
Data retention is about more than just simply storing information. It allows us to dig deeper into social media so that we get a clear snapshot of what’s happening, which helps prove the value. At Intouch, we use data to:

FDA Compliance
Compliance is synonymous with pharma marketing. The FDA states in its draft guidance, “a firm is responsible for the content generated by an employee or agent who is acting on behalf of the firm to promote the firm’s product.”

With this responsibility, we, as marketers, need to be able to let legal, medical and regulatory (LMR) teams know that their social properties are abiding by all FDA rules and regulations. Retention of social content makes it easy to guarantee compliance and reconciliation.

  • FDA compliance — All social interactions should be stored as proof that products are being represented in a compliant manner, and this proof should be readily available to export at any time.
  • LMR compliance — LMR teams should receive activity reports so they can see firsthand what’s happening on social accounts. This not only helps them understand the efforts, but also demonstrates the ability to communicate compliantly via social media.
  • Pharmacovigilance compliance — Storing records of all adverse events for the pharmacovigilance team means these records can be used later for reporting and reconciling.
  • Audit/reconciliation — Most pharma companies routinely audit their vendors to ensure they’re providing topnotch, compliant services. At Intouch, we know retaining social data, especially adverse events (AEs), is crucial to proving we’re outperforming all expectations.

Retain, Comply, Optimize
Retaining data on all social activity is a requirement for any pharma company looking to enter the social arena. However, data does more than just ensure FDA compliance. It helps prove the channel’s value and optimize the efforts, which is a must-have for any pharma marketing effort.

Is your data giving you what you need? If not, we’d love to help!