Lately I have been on hiatus. It was not a planned one, but brought on by a convergence of circumstances that I’m happy to say includes being extremely busy. That said, I have missed writing my postings and have stored up a lot to talk about – so fair notice here – I am back in the saddle. I’ve been working on a number of things including a White Paper that I will publish here in the coming weeks that I think folks will find insightful. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, here is a bit of what happened this week (I’ve still been keeping track):
- Doctors and Social Media in the UK – According to an editorial in The Lancet this week, the General Medical Council which oversees the practice of medicine in the U.K. issued a draft guidance for comment on the use of social media by physicians for consultation. The draft covers a number of issues related to patient confidentiality, appropriate conduct, and the like. An editorial in The Lancet notes that accepting patients as friends on Facebook is particularly discouraged, though notes that it is important that physicians look for ways to seize the opportunities offered by social media to help steer patients who have gravitated there for information and not to solely focus on the risks.
- Bayer Gets Pintresting – And speaking of social media, this is a story that ran earlier this month but too interesting not to mention. Here at Eye on FDA for some time, I have been tracking the involvement of pharma companies in blogging, Facebook, YouTube and of course, Twitter. With the emergence of Pintrest, many have wondered if there is utilization there for pharma. According to an article in MedCity News, Bayer is pioneering an effort in the new platform. According to the article, the company has established three bulletin boards – one on sustainability, one on innovation and one on the breadth of the corporation. It will be interesting to see whether others follow and how they will utilize it to engage stakeholders.
- FDA Approves New Orphan Drugs – Two drugs were approved by the agency this week of note, both on the 26th. The first was GSK’s Votrient, already approved for advanced kidney cancer, for use in treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma, an orphan disease with about 10,000 cases in the U.S. annually. In addition, this week FDA approved Novartis’ Afinitor for the treatment of non-cancerous kidney tumors – also an orphan disease. Afinitor was also previously approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma.
That’s it for me this week. Have a good weekend everyone. Good to be back!