More consumers are turning to online sources for answers to their questions about medical conditions. This trend is making the online world a popular place for pharmaceutical firms to increase their marketing budgets. As consumers are gathering information on everything from hearts conditions to diabetes, they are also paying attention to advertising.1160103_perscription_drugs_2

About.com’s Health Site Intercept Study found that consumers pay particular attention to advertising that contains the following features:

  • Information about a specific conditions 29%
  • Medication side effects 28%
  • Information on how to cope with a condition 20%
  • Free trial information 18%

When consumers go online, they use the following tools to aid them in research:

  • Search engines 47%
  • Health Web sites  36%

Pharmaceutical firms may increase their online marketing presence as a result of surveys like this. Consumers are relying so heavily on their online findings that 36% speak with their doctor about what they’ve read. Further, only about 1 in 3 consumers will fill their prescriptions immediately. First,  savvy consumers research the medication online. It’s a safe bet that what they’re reading online sways their opinions about filling that prescription or asking for an alternative medication.

[Source: Comer, Ben. “Between the doc and pharmacy, patients get online,” Medical Marketing & Media, 8.25.09]