Get ready for more drug ads: Facebook is making a bid for pharma dollars

Facebook wants a much bigger cut of the billions that pharma companies spend every year on advertising.

And that means you’re soon likely to see more drug ads — both overt and stealthy — on social media.

The in-your-face variety will likely look like the mobile Facebook ad just launched by Bayer. All the small print warning of a drug’s possible side effects flits by in an automated scroll, technology that Facebook is using for the first time for the pharma industry.

To make promotion on Facebook even more pharma-friendly, Facebook is also letting drug makers turn off comments on the pages used to promote specific products. That’s a huge issue for the pharmaceutical industry, which could get in hot water with regulators if it failed to report unverified aches and pains posted by patients in Facebook comments as “adverse events” that could result from taking the drug.

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