Americans looking for medical advice are visiting medical websites, social media sites, and online communities in greater numbers than the websites of pharmaceutical companies, according to a new survey from Accenture.
More than two-thirds (68%) of Americans go online for health information, and just 11 percent access a pharmaceutical company’s website to find information about a medical condition compared the the majority (92%) who access other online resources more frequently.
“Pharmaceutical companies that embrace innovations such as social networking and communications via mobile devices and integrate and align their communication strategy across multiple channels will be positioned to have a much greater influence on their patients’ choices and consequently, realize significant increases in revenue, profitability and sustained competitive advantage,” said Tom Schwenger, global managing director for Accenture’s Life Sciences Sales & Marketing practice.
According to the survey, 69 percent of respondents expect pharmaceutical companies to provide information about the medical condition or illness for which they are taking drugs. To address that expectation, Accenture believes pharmaceutical companies must not only provide the right information, but upgrade their websites to create a more dynamic, interactive experience.
“The survey results clearly show that pharmaceutical companies must adopt a better understanding of their patient behavior through sophisticated analysis in order to fully capitalize on how patients interact with social media channels and websites,” said Schwenger.
“With only 11 percent of survey respondents saying they most often use a pharmaceutical company’s web site to seek information about an illness or condition when looking online, pharmaceutical companies have a tremendous opportunity to better connect with patients through multiple digital venues in addition to their own website.”