Everybody these days is using social media as a marketing tool. So who cares if big pharma gets in on the action? It’s actually a much bigger deal than you may think.

Big pharma is late to the online game largely because it’s an industry prone to huge regulation mistakes. Misleading ads can result in huge lawsuits relating to customer’s health and wellbeing, and that means the pharmaceutical industry treads softly on uncertain ground.

That said, big pharmas doing well online. Johnson & Johnson has a widely-read blog, and many pharmaceutical companies are enjoying the opportunity to connect directly with the communities built around various diseases and ailments that their products treat. People are enjoying the opportunity to get the one-on-one transparency that social media affords from the pharmaceutical industry.

Social media marketing, and the online world in general, remain to play themselves out. There are few regulations over what you can and cannot say online, especially when it comes to such social media tools as Twitter or Facebook. Big pharma has been cautious for good reason, and their arrival on the scene may mean we’ll see internet regulations on online advertising much sooner than previous anticipated.