FDA Launching Drug Risk Communications Study for Social Media

July 21, 2017

The FDA plans to examine if substantive risk information about a drug can be effectively communicated via character-limited social media platforms like Twitter or if just a link will do.

The agency will use marketing materials about a fictional weight loss drugs and migraine medications embedded in a Google and Twitter search pages about weight loss and migraines to see who reads and retains risk information better, searchers who get the characterspace-limited warnings or those who have to click a link to the risk information.

“We are not aware of any studies, to date, that specifically assess the general question of whether a link to prescription drug information can effectively convey the risks associated with a drug when benefit claims about that drug are made within character-space-limited communications. This concept has been suggested in various ways by our stakeholders, and we feel that it is important to gain further insight into this potential practice,” the agency said, in a Federal Register notice.