Pharma, social media continue dance

The pharma/social media attraction has its difficulties, even beyond the regulatory issues involving drug branding and marketing. Upsides in clinical trial recruitment are countered by downsides in adverse event reporting.

Thanks to global membership, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are poised to give subject recruitment a much-needed makeover, according to Life Science Leader magazine. Platforms like YouTube can host easily accessible videos for recruitment, and they can host information and instruction for trial subjects on how to manage the drug candidates being tested. Social media may also be useful to investigators in trial operations management, logistics, and for subject communication: reminders of upcoming clinic visits and medication-taking times.

But the matchup is not so one-sided when it comes to adverse event reporting. It's easy to see how monitoring and reporting platforms hosted on social media sites would help drug makers collect data on post-marketing drug safety, even on a global scale. But phony adverse event reports and bad medical advice from consumers remain concerns.

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