Facebook (FB) strengthens advertising policies and enforcement of prescription drugs
News and research before you hear about it on CNBC et al. Claim your 1-week free trial for StreetInsider Premium here.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) announced:
Over the past few years, we have seen new types of healthcare businesses looking to promote care and treatment options. To keep pace with this changing landscape, we are making updates to provide more clarity and strengthen enforcement of our prescription drug policies.
The promotion of prescription drugs is a common practice in the healthcare industry, but it is important to note that we prohibit the sale prescription drugs across our platform and require advertisers to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. We also prohibit advertisements that advocate, encourage or describe the consumption or use of illegal substances.
Require pre-approval and restrict where advertisements promoting the drug Rx can be shown
We have long required that online pharmacies go through a certification process before serving any ads on Facebook. We are now introducing additional pre-approval requirements for telehealth providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and online pharmacies looking to promote prescription drugs on our platforms.
Beginning August 25, before promoting prescription drugs in Facebook ads, we will require telehealth providers and online pharmacies to provide written certification of Legitscript – a leading third-party certification provider. Pharmaceutical makers will also need to get prior approval from Facebook before running ads promoting prescription drugs.
Only pre-approved advertisers belonging to one of these three categories (online pharmacies, telehealth providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers) will be allowed to promote these products and they will only be able to do so in the United States, Canada. or New Zealand. These ads should not target people under the age of 18.
You can find more information about the application process in our Help Center.
Clarify our policies
We know that companies want to raise awareness and promote prescription drugs, for example in order to share information about the medical effectiveness, accessibility and affordability of different types of treatments. We are clarifying our policies to more clearly address these use cases, which will include the new pre-approval requirements.
Rather than a single advertising policy to cover a wide range of products, we will now have three distinct policies: promotion of online pharmacies, prescription drug promotions and promotion of hazardous substances.
These updates will make an important distinction between the promotion of illicit drugs and other dangerous substances, and the restricted promotion of prescription drugs by approved advertisers.
We take our app in this space very seriously and continue to collaborate with connoisseurs and industrial groups to combat illicit drug sales and opioid abuse, as well as provide support to people struggling with these issues.