This article I found discusses how pharmaceutical companies are behind the times in terms of using social media as a tool. A study conducted by Digitas Health confirms the articles opinion by stating that the industry has not been quick to engage with these new tools as a result of the risks associated. As Bruce Grant from Digitas explained it is
"not an unrealistic worry especially in the current climate of public opinion, legislative and regulatory scrutiny, and aggressive plaintiffs looking for class-action suits."
That is not to say that the pharmaceutical industry should not explore their options, instead many feel that it is important for them to keep current. As Grant also mentioned
"We need to understand that we are in a dialogue with patients in which the patients hold much more influence than they have held ever before. Social media can leverage this dialogue. We need to learn from this. Consumer voices are gaining influence. There is a new kind of conversation where there is a more equal share in the power between large institutions and user communities than in the past."
It will be interesting to see how and when Pharmaceutical companies increase the utilization of social media, and other web 2.0 tools.