Internet surveillance: content analysis and monitoring of product-specific internet prescription opioid abuse-related postings
Butler SF, Venuti SW, Benoit C, Beaulaurier RL, Houle B, Katz N.
Inflexxion, Inc, Newton, MA 02464, USA.
Clin J Pain. 2007 Sep;23(7):619-28.
ABSTRACTOBJECTIVES: This study describes the development of a systematic approach to the analysis of Internet chatter as a means of monitoring potentially abusable opioid analgesics. METHODS: Message boards dedicated to drug abuse were selected using specific inclusion criteria. Threaded discussions containing 48,293 posts were captured. A coding system was created to compare content of posts related to 3 opioid analgesics: Kadian, Vicodin, and OxyContin. RESULTS: The number of posts containing mentions of the target drugs were significantly different [OxyContin (1813)>Vicodin (940)>Kadian (27), P<0.001]. Analyses revealed that these differences were not simply a reflection of the availability of each product (ie, number of prescriptions written). Reliability tests indicated that the content coding system achieved good interrater reliability coefficients (average kappa across all categories=0.76, range=0.52 to 1.0). Content analysis of a sample of 234 randomly selected posts indicated that the proportion of Internet posts endorsing abuse of Kadian was statistically significantly less than OxyContin (45.5% vs. 68.4%, P=0.036, not adjusted for multiple comparisons). DISCUSSION: These results suggest that a systematic approach to postmarketing surveillance of Internet chatter related to pharmaceutical products is feasible and yields reliable information about the quantity of discussion of specific products and qualitative information regarding the nature of the discussions. Kadian was associated with fewer Internet mentions than either OxyContin or Vicodin. This investigation stands as a first attempt to establish systematic methods for conducting Internet surveillance.
No prescription websites
Buying drugs without a prescription
Online, Offshore and Mexican Pharmacies
Two Agencies to Fight Online Narcotics Sales
Vicodin: 'some of them actually think they deserve it'
Does US drug policy leave millions of pain patients in agony?
Internet pharmacy regulation and opioid analgesic availability
Availability of prescription-only opioid analgesics over the Net
Internet-based survey of nonmedical prescription opioid use in USA
Buying drugs online: pharmaceutical roulette or consumer freedom?
and further reading
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World
The Good Drug Guide
The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family