A recent article by Xconomy explores the movement of biotech and the healthcare industry integrating their way into social media, Twitter specifically. Twitter is growing at a rapid pace and will enjoy approximately 250million users by the end of 2012. Gautam Kollu (@gautamkollu), a marketing executive at San Carlos says “there’s far more focus on social media in general today than there was two years ago.” Twitter allows you to create a 140- character tweet but nothing more. 400 million tweets are sent about various topics each day, but only a small percentage pertaining to drugs, devices, diagnostics, or healthcare.

Despite the potential in this market, some life science CEOs are skeptical about the risk the social media world can pose while other companies are asking themselves why they have yet to enter. One problem may be that the FDA hasn’t yet issued clear rules of the road for how to communicate the risks and benefits on a Facebook page let alone in a 140-character tweet.

Michael Gilman (@Michael_Gilman) of Natera is one of biotech’s more active and influential members on Twitter who is not fearful to share information. Gilman states “he’s not encountering that kind of fear, even after making the leap from a small company to a big company.” On the other hand, Kevin Judice (@KevinJudice) is more relaxed about using Twitter. Judice expresses some of his fears by saying “Fear of hedge fund lynch mobs? RegFD? Right question may be ‘why are any execs on Twitter in the first place?” Whether being fearful or not, social media is becoming the new “It” in biotech and healthcare.


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