Consumers Trust The Internet For Health Info

    July 24, 2007

Seventy-five percent of consumers said they view the Internet as their most trusted source for gathering medical and drug information according to Prospectiv’s 2007 Pharmaceutical Marketing poll.

The survey found that consumers who do online medical and drug research usually prefer general health Web sites (54 %) and specific illness focused sites (37%) over pharmaceutical company sites (4 %).

The survey also examined the frequency of conducting online health-related research. The majority (40%) said they had done online research only two times or less in the last six months, 33 percent said they did research at lest once-a-month and 27 percent said they did research every other month.

When they were asked what would make them interested in specific drug treatments for their ailments, the majority said drug samples (55%), followed by e-newsletters to help them learn more (35%) and coupons (10%) as the most popular incentives.

"What’s particularly interesting is the low number of consumers who rely on pharmaceutical sites for information, indicating that brand managers need to find new ways to peak consumer interest and engage them," said Jere Doyle, President and CEO of Prospectiv.

"Educational e-newsletters, health-focused web sites and micro-sites focused on specific ailments have proved very effective in this regard. The first step toward initiating these online resources is for brand managers to build an in-house database of self-profiled consumers who have expressed an interest in learning more about their treatment options."