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Websites are end-users' first choice for disease and treatment information

According to a recent US study by Prospectiv, MarketingCharts, approximately 75 per cent of consumers surveyed by Prospectiv's 2007 Pharmaceutical Marketing CPI poll say they view the internet as their most trusted health information resource

According to a recent US study by Prospectiv, MarketingCharts, approximately 75 per cent of 800 consumers responding to Prospectiv's 2007 Pharmaceutical Marketing CPI poll said they viewed the internet as their most trusted health information resource, followed by broadcast media (15 per cent) and magazines (10 per cent).

The survey also revealed that consumers who conducted online ailment and drug research preferred general health websites (54 per cent) and specific ailment-focused sites (37 per cent) over pharmaceutical company sites (four per cent).

The majority of respondents (40 per cent) said that they had conducted online research only twice or less during the past half year. Thirty-three per cent reported research frequency of at least once-a-month, followed by every other month (27 per cent).

When asked what activated interest in specific drug treatments for diseases, the majority of those surveyed cited drug samples (55 per cent), followed by e-newsletters to help them learn more (35 per cent) and coupons (10 per cent) as the top incentives.

The survey showed that for DTC advertising on television, 83 per cent expressed concerns that pharmaceutical advertising can be confusing and misleading. Also, 89 per cent agreed with the sentiment expressed by some government organisations and consumer advocacy groups that television drug treatment advertisements need to be more closely regulated.

Jere Doyle, president and CEO of Prospectiv, said of the survey results: "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. 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."

30th July 2007

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