Commercial Online Social Network Data and Statin Side-Effect Surveillance

A Pilot Observational Study of Aggregate Mentions on Facebook

Marco Huesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Surveillance of the safety of prescribed drugs after marketing approval has been secured remains fraught with complications. Formal ascertainment by providers and reporting to adverse-event registries, formal surveys by manufacturers, and mining of electronic medical records are all well-known approaches with varying degrees of difficulty, cost, and success. Novel approaches may be a useful adjunct, especially approaches that mine or sample internet-based methods such as online social networks. Methods: A novel commercial software-as-a-service data-mining product supplied by Sysomos from Datasift/Facebook was used to mine all mentions on Facebook of statins and stain-related side effects in the US in the 1-month period 9 January 2017 through 8 February 2017. Results: A total of 4.3% of all 25,700 mentions of statins also mentioned typical stain-related side effects. Multiple methodological weaknesses stymie interpretation of this percentage, which is however not inconsistent with estimates that 5–20% of patients taking statins will experience typical side effects at some time. Conclusions: Future work on pharmacovigilance may be informed by this novel commercial tool, but the inability to mine the full text of a posting poses serious challenges to content categorization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1199-1204
Number of pages6
JournalDrug Safety
Volume40
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Social Support
Observational Studies
Coloring Agents
Electronic medical equipment
Pharmacovigilance
Data Mining
Electronic Health Records
Marketing
Internet
Data mining
Registries
Software
Safety
Costs and Cost Analysis
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Costs

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

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abstract = "Introduction: Surveillance of the safety of prescribed drugs after marketing approval has been secured remains fraught with complications. Formal ascertainment by providers and reporting to adverse-event registries, formal surveys by manufacturers, and mining of electronic medical records are all well-known approaches with varying degrees of difficulty, cost, and success. Novel approaches may be a useful adjunct, especially approaches that mine or sample internet-based methods such as online social networks. Methods: A novel commercial software-as-a-service data-mining product supplied by Sysomos from Datasift/Facebook was used to mine all mentions on Facebook of statins and stain-related side effects in the US in the 1-month period 9 January 2017 through 8 February 2017. Results: A total of 4.3{\%} of all 25,700 mentions of statins also mentioned typical stain-related side effects. Multiple methodological weaknesses stymie interpretation of this percentage, which is however not inconsistent with estimates that 5–20{\%} of patients taking statins will experience typical side effects at some time. Conclusions: Future work on pharmacovigilance may be informed by this novel commercial tool, but the inability to mine the full text of a posting poses serious challenges to content categorization.",
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Commercial Online Social Network Data and Statin Side-Effect Surveillance : A Pilot Observational Study of Aggregate Mentions on Facebook. / Huesch, Marco.

In: Drug Safety, Vol. 40, No. 12, 01.12.2017, p. 1199-1204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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