Have you heard about LegitScript? Chances are, unless you’ve tried advertising pharmaceuticals or medical help on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other digital platforms, LegitScript may be foreign to you. LegitScript Certification, along with certificates through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), has been the solution to protect consumers against fraudulent or 3rd party sites.
It began with rehab centers, and then the creation of ads taking advantage of those seeking legitimate help. Initially Google decided to ban all these types of ads, but realizing the need for them later developed a certification program. This program confirms companies advertising services are legally able to provide what they are selling.
So what does that mean for pharma and medical companies? As with most things, the medical industry can have more regulations than other industries. That doesn’t mean every medical ad on a digital platform needs this special approval, but for those that do the process can be lengthy.
To put it simply, if you are a medical company and offer services like telemedicine or pharmaceuticals you would need to be LegitScript or NABP certified before your ads would be approved. If you have a “buy now” button anywhere on your site, or something equivalent, you would need this certification. It is required even if you are advertising something about your business not directly related to sales or telemedicine services.
This is where strong strategy and planning come into play within an advertising plan. Lead time is everything on these types of campaigns. While most consumer digital ads can be submitted and approved in a fairly timely manner, LegalScript Certification alone takes around two months, with added time if an NABP Certification is needed. The timing takes into account a review process of the entire company to verify legitimacy and legality of its medical offerings. This can include things like financial information, merchant accounts, board of director information and more.
In addition to the certification, approval times can also take slightly longer for the ads themselves due to digital platform approvals. Medical ads must follow any restrictions and laws pertaining to their subject matter. This can be very industry and company specific, and it is important to be in contact with a rep from the platform you advertise with to enable the smoothest approval process. Constant contact with a representative, plus adequate ad planning and lead time can ensure a successful advertising campaign to share your services and reach your customers.