There is no doubt that the public interest in healthcare-related issues is growing. This, coupled with the surge in the use of social media, leaves the pharmaceutical industry with a set of unique opportunities and challenges. The screening and reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) is of vital importance, and Marketing Authorisation Holders (MAHs) have a responsibility and liability for their drugs. Patients increasingly use social media to share their healthcare experiences, and this is a welcome opportunity for MAHs to learn more about the real-world experience of their products. However, currently this source for ADR reporting is largely underutilised; partly because the data generated are unstructured, but also because our technology for assessing and analysing this information is lagging behind. There is an urgent need for policy, methods, guidelines, and technology platforms to allow patients' voices through social media to be adequately ‘heard’ and incorporated into the benefit-risk assessment of drugs.