Once Again, FDA Seeks to Leverage Social Media to Uncover Adverse Events and Public Sentiment
Posted 26 February 2014 | By
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is once again forging ahead with plans to monitor social media networks more closely in an attempt to keep up with problems affecting FDA-regulated products like drugs and medical devices.
FDA has issued similar plans twice in the last year, including a September 2013 announcement in which it pledged to spend up to $182,000 on a social media tool to shape and monitor social and Internet communications, and a more general notice in January 2014 regarding similar intentions.
At the core of FDA's approach is a desire to keep an eye on problems as they happen, and to see how those problems are being discussed.
For example, if a drug is causing adverse events, Twitter postings may be one of the earliest indications that something is going wrong. Alternatively, if patients groups on Facebook are expressing unfounded concerns about a vaccine causing a problem (e.g. autism), that may inform how FDA reaches out to the public on that issue and related future issues.
FDA's newest notice calls for a contractor capable of providing it with social media monitoring services capable of analyzing consumer sentiment and social media "buzz," monitoring social media communications, detecting adverse events and providing quarterly surveillance reports about specific product classes.
FDA's Sources Sought posting is open until 22 March 2013.