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How Novartis uses social media, tech to engage patients in R&D

By Emily Cukier-Meisner, Senior Writer

Novartis AG is broadening its use of social media and mobile technologies to improve how it incorporates patients' perspectives and their biologic data into the clinical development process. The pharma's strategy includes passive monitoring of social media sites to learn about how patients experience disease and treatment, direct outreach to influential patient bloggers, and creation of online forums to help patients communicate with each other.

While many companies have cited fears of running afoul of regulations governing communications with patients about unapproved uses of medicines, Novartis is testing the rules of engagement while collecting information about how patients experience their condition and think about participating in clinical trials, rather than focusing on a specific treatment.

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