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As companies evolve their marketing programs to digital and online, the pharmaceutical industry is hampered by a lack of clear guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration.  Advertising Age commented on a recent eMarketer study, “DTC Pharmaceutical Marketing Online:A Slow Shift to Digital” that “pharma marketers are waiting around”.  Not only is online marketing effective for growing pharma profits, but it’s where customers spend their time discovering, consuming and sharing information.

From AdAge:

“Pharmaceutical online ad spending is expected hit $1 billion this year and keep rising through 2014, according to report prepared by eMarketer. But until the Food and Drug Administration issues its draft guidelines for online pharma marketing, that growth remains limited.”

“U.S. health-care and pharmaceutical online advertising spending will reach $1 billion for the first time this year, up 10.6% from last year, according eMarketer. By 2014, online ad spending in the health-care and pharmaceutical industry, which includes direct-to-consumer and over-the-counter remedies, is expected to reach $1.52 billion. Yet despite those growth rates, pharma’s share accounts for only about 4% of overall U.S. online ad spending.”

Clearly, there’s a tremendous opportunity for growth in pharma online marketing.  At the same time, the FDA has its challenge in creating guidelines for an industry its still trying to understand.

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