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Have You Ever Taken This Drug? Patients Turn to Each Other for Info

Posted by | 8:35pm on Sunday, July 25, 2010

76% of online consumers look for others who share their medical condition 

Patients are increasingly turning to each other online for health information. Prevention magazine released their 13th annual national survey Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs which provides more proof that people go to social media with their health concerns.

According to the survey (phone interviews of 1,501 adults) 60% of online consumers use social media. User-generated sites such as Wikipedia and online forums such as PatientsLikeMe.com had a following of 42% (both up 6% over last year), while health-related blogs like Rateadrug.com were at 30% (up 3%).

This research echoes other recent data and demonstrates that patients are looking to hear from others like them.

According to the survey, 76% of online consumers look for others who share their medical condition for information. This was higher than even doctors (73%) and friends/family (66%). It’s important to keep in mind that the severity of the health issue can also impact this answer. The more serious the condition, the more likely that a patient will turn to a healthcare professional.

The Impact for Pharma
The survey found that 62% of online consumers are not interested in hearing from pharmaceutical companies. To me, this highlights both the lack of trust in pharma as well as the opportunity to provide truly valuable content, perhaps by partnering with a Trust Agent.

Read more about the results which also asked questions about the FDA regulated “fair balance” between risk and benefit information on all DTC ads.

What do you think about this data?

This post was contributed by Eileen O’Brien, Director of Search & Innovation for Siren Interactive. You can connect with her on Twitter at @eileenobrien.

(Image courtesy of ZOMG Anna LOLZ via Flickr)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

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    30 July 2010 at 2:07pm
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  • http://www.ability4life.com Kathy Kastner

    Glad to see data supporting what I witness every time I coffee with (mostly female) exercise buddies aged 40 – 70.
    We regularly consult with one another on medications (one or another is always on or off something or another) and compare differences in experiences vs what we were told or what’s ‘out there’ (even from ‘reliable’ sources) Now I can tell ‘em we’re on the forefront of medical communications.

  • http://twitter.com/eileenobrien Eileen


    Thanks for taking the time to comment. You and your friends are definitely part of a trend!


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