Expert Details Benefits of Social Media Use for Drug Development
The FDA has issued guidance on using social media for approved products, but the agency has been markedly silent on how drugmakers can use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms for drug development, an expert said.
Social media has numerous benefits to a drugmaker’s development efforts, including patient recruitment for clinical trials through increased outreach, said Stephanie Stergiopoulos, senior project manager for Tufts University’s Center for the Study of Drug Development. Drugmakers also can mine tweets and Facebook posts for adverse event trends.
But so far, the tools have been underutilized.
A recent survey of social media use by 12 manufacturers found that only four have statistical processes in place to monitor social media for safety trends, Stergiopoulous said during a session of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
Part of the problem is manufacturers have no idea what they have to report when they mine social media data for adverse events, she said.
For instance, it could be easy to capture and report information on a text-based Facebook post regarding an adverse event. However, other social media platforms such as Pinterest and YouTube are images and videos. How should this type of data be handled? Stergiopoulous suggested that if an adverse event is communicated through a video then the drugmaker should put together a transcript to send to the FDA.
So far the FDA has issued draft guidance on how to present benefit-risk information in character-limited social media platforms such as Twitter and how to combat misinformation from third parties. Neither has been very popular with industry.
The FDA announced last week that it is extending the comment period for both guidances to Oct. 29.Make sure your company is taking full advantage of all the benefits social media can offer. Purchase Social Media Strategies for Drug and Device Companies today!