U.K. mulls drug-reaction reports on Twitter, Facebook

As healthcare agencies aim to boost reporting of adverse drug reactions, the U.K.'s MHRA is considering whether to allow docs to use smartphone apps, Twitter and Facebook to report such events, according to an article in GP.

The social media twist on reporting drug reactions would build on the agency's work to allow practitioners to make the events known via their practice IT systems. This reporting mechanism is expected bring more than a 60% increase in the number of "yellow cards" the agency will receive about adverse events this year, Mick Foy, the MHRA's group manager for vigilance and risk management of medicines, said to GP.

"It is important to consider the structure of the information for inclusion on our database, something Twitter and Facebook do not easily lend themselves to," Foy told GP. To be valid, he noted, the reports must include data on the drug and the specific reaction as well as information about the patient and reporter.

The article doesn't cover how reporting drug reactions with patient data could be done securely via Twitter and Facebook, but that discussion will no doubt happen as the agency's ideas start to come together into a plan of action.

- check out the report