I’m tired of talking about social media as if it is the “next thing” or the latest fad. Social media, or the premise, has been with us as long as we have had verbal communication. It is human nature to recommend things, discuss problems, complain, and brag.  So I can’t understand why there is so much reluctance to become active in the conversation, even if you are a pharma company. The excuse that the “rules” don’t allow us to be active on the Internet really doesn’t jibe with me. I’m not naïve; I know it is difficult. But isn’t that what our industry is really about (or should be about)—solving health problems, making discoveries, and challenging existing principles?

So to this end, I am calling on all CEOs to take the lead. This is where this problem should be solved. They are the ones who should be setting the tone for the company at large. We ask them to speak at our shareholder meetings and address the entire organization when needed. Why shouldn’t they take the lead in representing the voice of the company on the Internet? I am not suggesting they spend all day tweeting. I do, however, think that CEOs are best positioned to get this job done. Taking risks, motivating stakeholders, setting the agenda, and leading the industry—it’s their job.