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UK drug regulator the MHRA joins Twitter

Regulator's press office begins using the social network

Medicines regulator MHRA Twitter

UK drug regulator the MHRA has started using Twitter to issue official communications such as press releases and statements.

Its new @MHRAGovUKPress account began tweeting yesterday and marks a new level of social media engagement for the regulator.

The account is being run by the communications team, which says it will provide “another way to find out the latest news from the MHRA in real time”.

However, announcing the launch of the new account the MHRA noted that that “specific enquiries about press releases” should continue to go through its press office.

To date the regulator's use of Twitter has focused on the Herbal Remedy Safety account it launched over the summer and the new press office account has already been building on this.

Its first two tweets warned of the importance of only using herbal remedies that are registered and also highlighted the withdrawal from the market of a herbal product.

The regulator is also considering allowing adverse events to be reported through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Mick Foy, group manager for vigilance and risk management of medicines at the MHRA, told GP in September: “Applications for smartphones, improved web reporting forms and the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook are being carefully considered as potential routes for reporting.”

Earlier this year the ABPI's Pharmacovigilance Expert Network produced Guidance notes on the management of adverse events and product complaints from pharmaceutical company sponsored websites.

It said blogs, tweets and on-line medical communities could be “alternative sources of potentially important safety information”, and compliment traditional methods if accessed and analysed appropriately.

The MHRA joins a number of other regulators on the Twitter. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ten accounts (the Eye On The FDA blog has a handy overview) and the European Medicines Agency has a single news-focused account.

13th December 2011

From: Marketing

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