Although not nearly as serious as dealing with people’s lives, the recent cover-up controversy surrounding drug manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and their diabetes drug, Avandia, has also betrayed the company’s social media intentions.
Not that Glaxo was the textbook example of how pharma can use social media — their Facebook and Twitter activity is spotty at best – Nicorette has an active community, Zantac and Paxil do not. Unless they had already been taken down, there are no Facebook or Twitter pages for Avandia. If there were, the company would have shown good faith to have kept them posted and listen to the feedback from their communities, though none of that dialogue could have been positive.
What everyone can learn from the Avandia debacle is that any social media relationship with consumers has to be one of transparency, truth and honesty.