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Our website toward the future

Focus Farmacovigilanza 2015;90(9):4

Our website (and its English version continues to grow. The number of users has doubled in the last year. With only two months left from the end of 2015 we can estimate that in December we will have reached and passed 200,000 yearly visitors.
This is an important achievement (up to date almost half million people visited our website, online since July 2011) which urges us to develop new projects where the lion’s share will be more and more taken by online information and education.
The importance of our website clearly emerges from Google searches: typing in the word “farmacovigilanza” our website ranks at the 5th place (see figure 1) over 319,000 results.

Figure 1. Current position of the website in Google
Figure 1. Current position of the website in Google

Over this year the amount of users connected by means of a mobile device (tablet or smartphone) overtook those using a pc (see figure 2 that summarises the different website access modalities for more than 206,000 sessions implemented this year). The majority of the users (84.3%) reached our website through the search engines (Google at the top), whilst 10% arrived directly, mostly by clicking the news on the fortnightly newsletter which is sent by email to subscribers (up to date they are more than 2,000).

Figure 2. Access modalities of the website
Figure 2. Access modalities of the website

Given that the primary way of access is through search engines, a short analysis has been conducted to understand if some of the topics discussed in our website rank among the top ones when searching their key-words in Google (see table 1).

Table 1. Google positions of the website for some Google searches

KeywordsGoogle positionTotal amount of results for the Google search
Antiepilettici reazioni avverse1st101,000
Ginecomastia da farmaci1st95,000
Bevacizumab-ranibizumab2nd 363,000
Inibitori di pompa protonica reazioni averse2nd 30,000
Osteonecrosi da bifosfonati4th 10,000

Remarkably, the articles published by often become a reference point and the fact that they appear in the first positions of search engines satisfies one of the primary goals of the project Focus Farmacovigilanza and its website: i.e. disseminating reliable, independent, critical and quality information in pharmacovigilance.
Purpose that is also implemented by the English version of the website ( that also registered a remarkable increase in users. Online since 2013, this year the number of single users quintupled in respect to last year. Now the users are more than one thousand per month, worldwide distributed, especially in the United States (see figure 3). And also on a worldwide level the website is well positioned when using search engines: for example, when searching in Google “drug induced gynecomastia”, at the 3rd and 4th places over 221,000 results we find the article on the topic published by Focus Farmacovigilanza, well before the websites of the most authoritative international health institutions, the same happens when searching “antiepileptics adverse reactions”, in this case our website ranks 5th over 18,800,000 results.

Figure 3. Users’ distribution for the English website
Figure 3. Users’ distribution for the English website

Toward the future

The results achieved and the Italian panorama, where Focus and its website remain the only independent canal left which is uniquely dedicated to pharmacovigilance, urged us to define an ambitious project that will lead to implement an Independent System of Information and Education in Pharmacovigilance (SIFIF in Italian) and that will be presented in December during the XXIV Italian National Symposium of pharma-epidemiology hosted by the National Health Institute.
The aim is to provide to healthcare operators and citizens the essential knowledge for a shared and informed pharmacovigilance.
The System will use the already active instruments (the bulletin, the website, the newsletter, online continuing medical education courses) and will increment them with social networks and dedicated apps in order to disseminate pharmacovigilance information as much as possible and also satisfy the educative needs of the operators.

Pietro Dri
Executive editor of, Zadig Scientific Publisher, Milan, Italy