Can we use social media to support content validity of patient-reported outcome instruments in medical product development?
We report a panel designed to open a dialog between pharmaceutical sponsors, regulatory reviewers, and other stakeholders regarding the use of social media to collect data to support the content validity of patient-reported outcome instruments in the context of medical product labeling. Multiple stakeholder perspectives were brought together to better understand the issues encountered in pursuing social media as a form of data collection to support content validity. Presenters represented a pharmaceutical sponsor of clinical trials, a regulatory reviewer from the Food and Drug Administration, and an online data platform provider. Each presenter shared its perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of using social media to collect this type of information. There was consensus that there is great potential for using social media for this purpose. There remain, however, unanswered questions that need to be addressed such as identifying which type of social media is most appropriate for data collection and ensuring that participants are representative of the target population while maintaining the advantages of anonymity provided by online platforms. The use of social media to collect evidence of content validity holds much promise. Clarification of issues that need to be addressed and accumulation of empirical evidence to address these questions are essential to moving forward.