There’s clearly been much written and discussed in recent months about SMM. This new marketing option is making a big splash among marketers of consumer products in the hi-tech, food, and entertainment industries and the like. For example, see previous blog posts on Jack In The Box by my fellow blogger Joe Young. This is all very applicable and makes sense. Now, coming from the pharmaceutical world, I wonder: What role does SMM play in the pharmaceutical industry? This industry is tightly regulated by the Food & Drug Administration. The FDA monitors every action that a pharmaceutical company makes during the drug development process and even more so, after the drug has been launched. For example, pharmaceutical companies are required to monitor adverse effects of drugs once the drug goes on market. From a marketing point of view, SMM would be a great tool to use in market research as well as in monitoring both positive and negative effects of pharmaceutical drugs in use. User groups for those using a particular drug can be set up by a pharmaceutical company to bring patients together in a community and exchange information and experiences with a particular drug. But, is this something a pharmaceutical company willing to implement? What are the consequences of “too much information”? What would be the ‘side effects’ of such social groups for the pharma company? What are the pros and cons of SMM in the pharmaceutical world? What role does the FDA play with respect to SMM? I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences on the future of SMM in pharma….yours truly – startupmarketingdiva.