Facebook policy change forces drug companies to shut down pages

Last week Facebook changed its policies for pharmaceutical company pages, allowing the public to leave comments on the walls of brands with disease - or patient-specific communities All Facebook reports.

As a result, many companies are taking increased precautions on their pages or shutting their profiles down altogether, for fear that users who have experienced adverse side effects might negatively weigh in for the general public to see.

The Washington Post reported that cancer medication manufacturer Amgen recently shut down its page, as did Bayer with its "Strong at Heart" page, and pain medication company Purdue Pharma with its "In the Face of Pain" page. Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca have also followed suit.

"We're still working through the issues of comment moderation," Amgen spokeswoman Christine Regan told the news source. "[But] we aren't comfortable with the solutions we currently have."

Pharmaceutical businesses need to determine how much time and energy they plan to put into moderating their Facebook pages if they continue to remain active. Negative feedback may hurt local internet marketing opportunities in the future.