Facebook to Crackdown on Prescription Drug Advertisement

A blue door with two small holes in it.

You’re scrolling through Facebook and up pop ads for medications used to treat everything from ADHD to HIV. You may wonder, why am I seeing these ads? It could be because of your age, or that you live in a certain zip code, or you may have visited a site for a similar drug or healthcare condition treated by a particular medication.

Social media platforms have become a huge draw for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Last year, the Washington Post reported that these companies spent almost $1 billion just on Facebook mobile ads in 2019.

But that may soon change.

Facebook recently announced that effective Aug. 25, online pharmacies, telemedicine providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers looking to promote prescription drugs on their social media platforms will be met by stricter pre-approval requirements.

The social media giant noted that while it has long required online pharmacies to go through a certification process before running ads, it will now require telehealth providers and online pharmacies to present written certification from Legitscript, a third-party certification provider.

Drug makers also will be required to obtain pre-approval from Facebook prior to running ads promoting their prescription medications.

“Rather than a single ad policy to cover a wide range of products, we will now have three distinct policies: promotion of online pharmacies, promotions of prescription drugs and promotion of unsafe substances,†Facebook stated in its announcement.

The three categories that fall under these new requirements will only be permitted to promote these products in the U.S., Canada or New Zealand. These ads must not target people under 18 years of age.

The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale has extensive experience with the LegitScript credentialing process and related compliance mandates. For more information call us at 305-358-4500 or email info@vitalehealthlaw.com.

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The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale