Consumers trust Web for drug info

Seventy-five percent of consumers consider the Internet their most trusted source for researching drug information, a new survey shows.

The analysis, conducted by Prospectiv, showed that only 15% of consumers chose broadcast media as their most trusted and reliable source of ailment and drug information. Just 10% said magazines were their preferred source.

The survey of 800 US consumers, conducted in June, also found that online consumers favor general health Web sites. Fifty-four percent of respondents preferred general health sites, compared to 37% who chose specific ailment-focused sites. Just 4% said they preferred pharmaceutical company sites.

Prospectiv's president and CEO Jere Doyle said the survey's results confirm what many marketers have predicted for years—a shift to the Internet by consumers searching for healthcare information. “I think you will see dollars shift to the Internet but a combination of TV, print and Internet can be a real winning strategy,” Doyle said. “We also recommend building a database by finding those patients out there that suffer from the ailment your drug treats, getting them to ask, and beginning a relationship with them.”

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