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Victims of a defective drug may be able to turn to Twitter soon

Drug companies have already long been required to inform consumers of a prescription medication's side-effects on both the label and in TV ads. But now, the FDA appears to be bringing their most recent regulations to the digital age. Sometime in the near future, consumers in California and across America may be able to learn about a drug’s side-effects through a popular social media website. Those who were not properly warned of a drug’s side-effects or who were subjected to the whims of a defective drug might find these new regulations particularly helpful.

As part of a recently proposed social media guideline by the FDA, drug companies who tout their prescription medication’s benefits on Twitter will also be required to tweet all of the side-effects. This will require the side-effects to be squashed down into 140 characters. However, some drug companies appear to be unhappy with this change and claim that it is simply an attempt to limit their right to free speech.

The FDA already requires that drug companies mention possible side-effects in their entirety in other mediums. For some, Twitter isn’t much different, especially with certain tweets propensity for going viral. For the drug companies that feel that the 140 characters tweets are too restrictive, the FDA has stated that the use of Twitter for promotional purposes should be reconsidered.

The new regulations wouldn't only affect Twitter, it would also require drug companies to edit their Wikipedia pages to more accurately inform consumers of the potential adverse effects. The proposal for these new regulations may more accurately reflect how some consumers in California receive their information concerning medications. Those who have been injured after taking either a defective drug or a medication without being properly informed of its side-effects may have solid footing to pursue a product liability claim. If successful, financial compensation can cover any medical bills and properly reimburse an individual for any pain and suffering incurred due to the medication.

Source: The Verge, "Drug companies may soon have to tweet dangerous side effects", Arielle Duhaime-Ross, July 4, 2014

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