Dr. Ed Tucker of Janssen Research & Development LLC discusses how pharmaceutical firms need to approach social media.
Tucker’s role at Janssen is to gather safety-related data to inform his company — and government regulators — about patient use of its products. His department sends Individual Case Safety Reports to national government regulatory agencies about adverse events experienced by patients using Janssen’s products, whether in clinical trials, physician-prescribed therapy, or over-the-counter purchases. Thus, it is important to his function that he communicates with patients about their use of pharmaceuticals.
Social media provides a new platform and opportunity for connecting with patients and learning about their safety concerns, questions or comments, and presents new opportunities for collecting key information. However, in such a highly regulated and sensitive area as pharmaceuticals, there needs to be extra care and vigilance in how such information is gathered, including an awareness of the legal requirements about reporting certain safety-related data.
In this interview, Tucker describes how social media is providing new opportunities in his own role as well as some of its promise for the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, and how the industry can take advantage of the potential of social media without violating safety, privacy and other regulatory restrictions.