Along with friend updates, local and national news, Facebook users may soon see information about the medication they take popping up in their newsfeed. State Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) has introduced a bill to update U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations that currently discourage drug companies from publishing information about drugs online.
H.R. 2479 would "direct the FDA to clearly regulate meaningful, truthful and non-misleading communication of product information on social media," according to a press release from Long's office.
"My bill will lead to enhanced, effective and accurate communication between drug manufacturers, doctors and patients," Long said in the release. "It is now the norm to go online, whether on social media or other online platforms, and find needed information on just about anything. One would think something as important as personal decision-making for healthcare would be easy to get economic and scientific data to back up the drug’s effectiveness. This bill would simply push FDA to update its regulatory approach to communications to keep up with today’s technology."
As regulations stand, drug companies cannot share medication information on platforms like Facebook or Twitter without fear of legal repercussions. The FDA deems posts to social media as an "inadequate portrayal of product risks and benefits due to content limitation and immediate availability of detailed information."