A study of 224 pharmaceutical brands across several social media sites found that less than 1% of posts mentioned adverse events.

The study, by Bellevue, WA-based social media monitoring shop Visible Technologies, found that a mere .3% of the 257,000 posts mentioning those pharma brands over a 30-day period included adverse events reports. Fewer still met the federal reporting requirements for adverse events reports, as most posters remained anonymous and did not provide contact details. Just 14% of those posts mentioning adverse events would have triggered reporting requirements for pharma marketers, including an identifiable name and contact method.

“These findings prove that AER reporting is far less common than people think, creating a safer harbor for pharmaceutical marketers who want to embrace the many opportunities that social media offers to engage with customers and build brand loyalty,” said Visible Technologies’ regional director Greg Singh.

Concerns about adverse events reporting requirements have hindered pharma company participation in social media – most recently, by prompting many pharmas to flee Facebook when the company required them to allow comments on their pages.