The Future of Prescription Drug Promotion and Digital Marketing


FDA Convening

The Future of Prescription Drug Promotion and Digital Marketing

The Future of Prescription Drug Digital Marketing


Background and Meeting Objectives

The digital marketing landscape is a dynamic and rapidly evolving ecosystem, and marketers have a rapidly growing array of communication channels to promote products to consumers including social media platforms and podcasts. At the same time, legacy communication channels like television and print ads are integrating new digital features that aim to enhance reach and impact of promotional communications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring that promotional communications, including direct-to-consumer (DTC) and health care provider (HCP)-directed promotional communications, are truthful, balanced, and accurately communicated. To achieve its mission, it is vital for the FDA to understand the evolving digital marketing landscape, including existing and emerging platforms, strategies, and technologies used by marketers to promote prescription drug products.


The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, under a cooperative agreement with the FDA, is convening a one-day public workshop that will explore the state of digital prescription drug promotion, including the marketing technologies and strategies currently available and commonly used by marketers. Participants will explore how current and future digital marketing tools can impact patient, HCP, and consumer perceptions and behaviors generally, while diving into specific issues like the presentation of risk information and disclosures of material information necessary to ensure that the prescription drug promotion through these digital platforms and technologies is truthful and non-misleading. Participants will also discuss emerging trends in both digital and legacy marketing channels and what those trends may mean for public health.


Acknowledgement of Federal Support

This project is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award U01FD006807 totaling $2,575,023 with 100 percent funded by FDA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FDA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Duke-Margolis Planning Team

Tori Gemme headshot

Victoria "Tori" Gemme, MS, MBA

Assistant Research Director

Erin Soule Headshot

Erin Soule, PhD

Assistant Research Director

More information about our prior November 2021 workshop, Informing and Refining the Prescription Drug Promotion Research Agenda, including the meeting report, is available on our event webpage.