Sliver Spring, MD – The emergence of fake news is a hot topic in, well, the news right now. From claims that Facebook’s algorithm is pushing fake news into people’s news feeds to people pushing headlines without taking the time to legitimize the source and/or the truth. In fact, our team of global trendspotters touches on several of these topics as top trends for 2017. And now when it comes to pharmaceutical drug advertising, the FDA wants the truth, nothing but the truth, so help me…


In an effort to understand how well the population and healthcare providers can identify deceptive prescription drug claims in branded marketing materials, the FDA is launching two studies.

The first study aims to investigate how well consumers and health care providers can spot false or misleading promotions within pharmaceutical websites.

The second study aims to investigate how well people can spot implicit and explicit deceptive claims and whether or not those claims fuel intentions about the promoted drug.

In the end, the FDA is taking a frontline approach at pushing the pharmaceutical industry to share truthful, non-misleading information as on and off-label debates continue to move forward.


In our recently published 2017 Digital Trends, we examine the topic of mindless sharing. Seeing a headline and go. In fact, 6 out of 10 articles shared in social media have never actually been read. People form an instant opinion from the headline and ‘push it’ which is changing the way brands deliver messaging and news.


It is no secret why marketers push the boundaries of messaging products and services. In the end, if it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t survive. But so often the pharmaceutical industry is so much more fragile in terms of needing to make sure that messaging is on point. As I recently wrote in December 2016, dangerous drug interactions are, well, in fact deadly. So why is there such a gap in believing what’s said versus what should be said?

It comes down to making sure as pharmaceutical marketers that we continue to message as effectively as possible. Taking the ‘Push It’ trend to heart and writing compelling and thought provoking headlines that help gain instant trust with our consumer and healthcare provider audiences. It will be interesting to see the results of these two studies and help our brands position themselves to answer the call.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.