Friday, June 20, 2014

FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Industry's Use of Social Media to Reach Patients

Patients rely heavily on social media, blogs, and websites owned by companies, advocacy or non-profit organizations, bloggers, and medical/research professionals to obtain educational, medical and drug (or medical device) related information. Of these, the information provided by pharmaceutical companies, via social media or their websites, are among the primary sources; thus, a higher bar for accuracy is expected from them. 

While litigation averse companies put out sketchy information often limited to a copy of drug prescribing information, others combine it with subtle marketing messages (for example, in the form of patient stories) which may influence patients' choices, though very few include recent trials data or clinical experience on their website. Now FDA has released four draft guidance documents to clarify how and what information may be released via the web or internet communications that's in the best interest of patients. These documents are available here and here.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dartmouth College Cancer Society: Helping Patients around the House

Cancer Patients need more than an access to best doctors, treatment options and drugs; or financial and emotional support. These patients and their families often need help navigating day-to-day chores, a need that is often overlooked by cancer support systems and remains underserved.

Cancer patients under care of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire have an access to a unique patient support program run by the Dartmouth College Cancer Society.