Websites, but Not Pharma’s, Top Resource for Ailment and Drug Information

July 25, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Brand Metrics | Email | Pharma & Healthcare | Retail & E-Commerce | Television

The vast majority of online consumers say the web is overwhelmingly their most trusted and reliable resource for researching ailment and drug information, beating out broadcast media and magazines by a large margin, according to a recent study by Prospectiv.

Some 75% of 800 consumers responding to Prospectiv’s 2007 Pharmaceutical Marketing CPI poll said they view the internet as their most trusted resource, followed by broadcast media (15%) and magazines (10%).

Other findings from the survey:

  • Consumers who conduct online ailment and drug research largely favor general health websites (54%) and specific ailment-focused sites (37%) over pharmaceutical company sites (4%).
  • The majority (40%) of respondents said that they had conducted online research only two times or less during the past six months; 33% reported research frequency of at least once-a-month, followed by every other month (27%).
  • When asked what would pique their interest in specific drug treatments for their ailments, the majority cited drug samples (55%), followed by e-newsletters to help them learn more (35%) and coupons (10%) as the top incentives.
  • Consumers’ views on pharmaceutical television ads:
    • 83% surveyed expressed concerns that pharmaceutical ads on television can be confusing and misleading.
    • 89% agreed with the sentiment expressed by some government organizations and consumer advocacy groups that television drug treatment advertisements need to be more closely regulated.
    • 72% of respondents also said that there were too many drug treatment advertisements on television.

“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 pique consumer interest and engage them,” said Jere Doyle, President and CEO of Prospectiv.

“Educational e-newsletters, health-focused websites 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.”

About the study: Prospectiv conducted the 2007 Pharmaceutical Marketing CPI Poll online, gathering responses from 800 consumers across the United States. The survey was conducted from June 20-June 22, 2007. Prospectiv provides online customer acquisition solutions and is the owner of the online properties and


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