Pharma group taps software to track adverse events in mobile apps

As complaints about bad drug reactions hit the web, Semantelli has found another major pharma to adopt its software that tracks adverse events in company-sponsored social media sites and mobile apps. The software group reported the win with the mystery drugmaker as companies and regulators seek new ways to spot adverse events early and efficiently.

Pharma has expanded its use of mobile apps and social media without clear direction from regulators on a variety of issues. How does a company deal with a consumer who reports a bad reaction with its drug on Twitter? The FDA shed some light with guidance last year on how companies should tackle unsolicited requests for off-label information on products such as prescription meds, yet myriad issues were left unclear and pharma groups have approached social media cautiously.

Bridgewater, NJ-based Semantelli's software, called AETracker, is designed to help healthcare groups comply with standards for monitoring and reporting adverse events as well as pharmacovigilance standards. Multiple top-10 drugmakers or healthcare companies have adopted the software, launched in August 2011. The company sees a big market for its technology: It counts 13,000 mobile health apps from key online stores.

"There are thousands of mobile health applications available on smart phones and tablets. The majority of them are not even in the sponsor's pharmacovigilance radar," Semantelli CEO Siva Nadarajah said in a statement. "We feel all of these applications require monitoring on an ongoing basis."

Semantelli is among a host of software companies that offer pharma "social listening" technology, with drugmakers hoping to gain intelligence on a variety of topics concerning their business such as consumers' health needs and opinions about medicines.  

- here's the release

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