In order to make the most of their digital marketing program, health brands need to hop through more hoops than regular consumer brands. That’s for good reason: It’s a highly-sensitive field, and ad platforms must ensure that advertisers aren’t making false claims or selling unapproved and potentially-dangerous treatments.
While Google, Meta, and many other digital marketing networks do allow pharmaceuticals and medical devices to be sold online, they require your business to receive a third-party certification to verify that you are approved to handle and deliver these products. The name that they all accept is LegitScript.
What is LegitScript Certification?
LegitScript is a firm that offers solutions for internet safety and compliance. For health brands, LegitScript Healthcare Merchant Certification is a widely-accepted approval for online pharmacy sales and advertising. It’s vital not just for marketing purposes, but also for eCommerce functions like payment processing.
What Platforms Require LegitScript Certification
For digital marketing, most of the major platforms will require LegitScript certification to enable sales of certain health products. These include:
- Google Ads
- Microsoft Ads
- Meta (Facebook & Instagram) Ads
- TikTok Ads
Google Ads and other platforms will also accept approvals from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), but in ADM’s experience, fewer digital health brands go that route.
Payment platforms, banks, and credit card companies will also often require a seal of approval before partnering with an online pharmacy. Visa and Mastercard both require pharmacies and telehealth providers to have a certification for them to process payments.
What Types of Health Companies Require LegitScript Certification for Google Ads and Facebook?
Without a LegitScript certification, advertising on Meta or Google is a non-starter for certain health brands. Though both have their own distinct policy language, they both require the same general categories of companies to get certified:
- Online pharmacies
- Telehealth and telemedicine providers
- Addiction services providers
- Companies that sell CBD products
You can learn more about the platform-specific rules for SEM platforms and social media networks in our relevant guides. Both companies update their health policies from time to time, so it’s important to stay informed to see if they tweak any language to include more companies in the future.
How Do You Get LegitScriptCertified and What Does It Cost?
Certification process is available through the LegitScript website. The process looks at a company’s existing licensure and legal compliance, adherence with policies in their market’s jurisdiction, domain name registration, and more. There is no rule of thumb for how long the certification process should take, because it’s heavily dependent on the complexity and scope of each business’s operations.
To apply for a certification, it will cost between $535 and $1050 depending on the vertical and business model. There are also annual fees to maintain your certification, ranging from about $1000 to $2000 per year (again depending on company) as of 2023.
How Does ADM Assist With LegitScript Certification?
At ADM, we work with health and digital health companies that range from established brands to promising startups. Companies who are early-stage may not always be aware of the steps required to get LegitScript certified, and others may not realize that when they launch into a new covered vertical—an online pharmacy that begins offering telehealth services, for instance—they will need a new certification for that business purpose.
ADM is experienced with the process and the platform requirements. We offer guidance, though we can’t fill out the forms for you. Once certified, we assist in ensuring that your certification status is integrated with and recognized by the different ad platforms you will be using.
For health brands, LegitScript certification is another important step in making sure their online marketing is fully compliant with the laws and platform regulations. If you’re looking for an agency partner that truly understands the complexities of digital marketing for healthcare, don’t hesitate to get in touch with ADM today.