More drugmakers have pinned part of their online strategies to the social photo-sharing website Pinterest, which has established a significant following in recent years. Pinterest trails social media heavyweights such as Facebook and Twitter in popularity among life sciences companies, but the fast-growing site presents pharma outfits with another platform for reaching millions of people online.

Some major names in life sciences—including Boehringer Ingelheim, Novo Nordisk, Bayer, Menarini and GE Healthcare—have staked claims on Pinterest’s website, PMLive’s “Digital Intelligence Blog” reports. Bayer, for instance, is an early adopter of Pinterest and has set up 7 so-called pin boards on a range of topics such as sustainability, education, science and advertising.

Pinterest, formed in 2009, made headlines early this year for hitting 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors in January, according to comScore figures reported by Tech Crunch. The news site also noted that Pinterest surpassed 10 million visitors faster than any independent site in history.

Like other social websites, Pinterest pages or pin boards can attract unwanted comments from the public. Boehringer has laid out a set of rules for its pin boards and the large German drugmaker claims to reserve the right to nix postings that contain erroneous information.

This comes back to the trickiness for pharma companies in balancing the potential benefits and drawbacks of operating in the social media realm. Recently, Australia’s Advertising Standards Board made a ruling that could essentially force companies to treat comments on their Facebook pages as advertisements, meaning that the statements can’t be inaccurate and corporations might need to step up efforts to police their Facebook pages, The Sydney Morning Herald reported last month.

From Fierce Biotech IT, by Ryan McBride, September 10, 2012