Steve Case,chairman and CEO of Revolution Health and co-founder of AOL, yesterday lamentedpharma’s hesitation to embrace interactive and inject a greater share ofpromotional budget into online initiatives.

“It isastonishing to me how under-invested this industry is in digital media,” Casetold delegates at the 7th annual ePharma Summit in Philadelphia. “This iscrazy.”

The biggestproblem, he said, is that consumers are not actively engaged, referring to howeasy it is to log onto the web on a Sunday afternoon to buy, say, U2 concerttickets, but how it is not possible to schedule an appointment with a doctor.

However, Case isconfident that, given time, present hurdles to online initiatives, such asregulatory and privacy issues, will be overcome and that the healthcarecommunity will start to “experiment more aggressively” and eventually embracedigital media. He recalled the early days of e-commerce as an example of howonline attitudes and user behavior transform over time.

“If I’d stood upback then and suggested that consumers would enter their credit card numberonto [], that the number would be stored for future purchases, andthat the site would recommend what they should buy next time, I’d have been runout of the room.”

Case, whosemission is to turn Revolution Health into the largest online healthcarenetwork, urged the 300 or so marketers in attendance to stick with it,reminding them that this is a fun business to be in.

“Although thesecond 10 years [at Time Warner] was where all the fame and fortune was,” herevealed, “I actually enjoyed the first 10 years more—and I was better at it.”