Drug companies monitor web chat for adverse reaction reports

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 09 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1347
  1. Michael Cross
  1. London

Drug companies are harvesting comments posted on the internet about drug side effects using new computer technology. NetRank, a UK based internet consultancy, said this week that at least one “well known drug company” is using a product called i-reputation, which monitors the internet for postings about specific products.

Critics of the pharmaceutical industry expressed concern about the way the information might be used. The technology is based on a computer program developed for the mobile phone maker Motorola to track comments about its products in internet chat …

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