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What health information do people in Europe want from pharma?

A sizable minority of online Europeans want to learn more about prescription drugs directly from the industry

A sizable minority of online Europeans want to learn more about prescription drugs directly from pharmaceutical companies.

Manhattan Research found 40 per cent want more drug information from pharma, but there was less enthusiasm for receiving it via social media channels.

The Cybercitizen Health Europe survey found that among consumers already using, or interested in, online information and tools from pharmaceutical companies:

• 43 per cent of this audience would like to obtain pharma resources from websites about conditions and diseases
• 13 per cent wanted to access this content on Facebook
• 5 per cent would like to get it from Twitter

Differences were seen agree different ages with online consumers aged 18-24 more open to receiving information from pharma through Facebook (22 per cent) and Twitter (9 per cent), compared to those aged 65 and over (Facebook – 6 per cent; Twitter 1 per cent).

The research also found demand for learning about medicines from pharma varied by country, with online consumers in Italy showing the strongest desire for information while their counterparts in Germany were the least likely to be interested.

The research identified a group of 'eHealth Uber-Users', the 11 per cent of EU consumers who use the internet more than once a week to get health information online.

When it came to the type of information the public wants, practical patient education, such as online disease and treatment information and condition management tools, were favoured over online contests and games.

There was further variation among online health consumers depending on the condition they were interested in.

People diagnosed with acute pain (47 per cent of online consumers diagnosed with that condition), osteoporosis (47 per cent) and arrhythmia (52 per cent) showed a higher interest in receiving information from pharma than the average online health consumer.

People who wanted information from pharma tended to be:

• Younger and more tech savvy
• More likely to be dealing with a chronic condition or disease
• Comparatively engaged online health users, actively seeking health information on the Internet weekly on average
• Very interested in a variety of online health information and tools from pharma  
• More strongly reliant on the internet to find information on prescription-only medicines

Manhattan Research's Cybercitizen Health Europe 2011 questioned 3,020 adults in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain in the third quarter of 2011.

4th April 2012

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