Rx Drug Developers Increasingly Using Social Media for Outreach

March 10, 2014 in News

Prescription drug developers are increasingly using social media to interact with consumers and distribute information about medications, according to a recent analysis by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, Medical News Today reports.

The study also found that:

  • About 20% of prescription drug firms surveyed reported directly interacting with patients via social media, while most contract with a third party or use less direct approaches to advertise; and
  • Social media is being used to recruit patients for about 11% of all clinical trials.

Nearly all participants said that input from social media communities would help enhance the feedback the companies receive on program planning and feasibility of protocol design. 

Challenges

Prescription drug developers have expressed some concerns about using social media, including the potential to:

  • Violate patient privacy and confidentiality;
  • Jeopardize research integrity; and
  • Influence study participants’ receptiveness to taking part in clinical trials.

Ken Getz — associate professor and director of sponsored research at Tufts CSDD — added that a lack of regulatory guidance by FDA has hampered drug developers’ adoption and use of social media (Medical News Today, 3/10).

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