Professionals working in the field of pharmacovigilance traditionally collect and assess reports of potential adverse events based on information received from healthcare providers’ interactions with patients. In addition, pharma companies are required to consider the information coming directly from consumer reports. The development of new social media technology is opening the lines of communication for patients to share a variety of health-related concerns, including adverse events attributed to medications.
In the European Union, pharma companies are now legally required to monitor potential adverse events reported on their sponsored websites. The use of information on adverse events arising from patients posts on social media platforms, online patient forums, and health-related websites is also recommended as a new source of information to consider.
UBC’s Caroline Legendre, Senior Safety Scientist, and Alexis Pinçon, Safety Physician, discuss this new evolution that brings patients’ voices and strategies pharma companies can take to incorporate social media for pharmacovigilance practices.