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Blogs & Pharma Information

Washington, DC Oct. 9th, 2007 ---- There are many studies comparing the advertising avenues being used by the pharmaceutical industry, and those that impact on plans for developing new media initiatives, such as Pharma Radio, and Pharma TV and eventually LifeLine (LTN). The problem is that most serve to promote web ventures and the revenues of web sites. One study reported in Media Buyer Planner in July reported:

Websites, but Not Pharma’s, Top Resource for Ailment and Drug Information

The vast majority of online consumers say the web is overwhelmingly their most trusted and reliable resource for researching ailment and drug information, beating out broadcast media and magazines by a large margin, according to a recent study by Prospectiv, MarketingCharts reports. Some 75 percent of 800 consumers responding to Prospectiv’s 2007 Pharmaceutical Marketing CPI poll said they view the internet as their most trusted resource, followed by broadcast media (15 percent) and magazines (10 percent).

Other findings from the survey:

* Consumers who conduct online ailment and drug research largely favor general health websites (54 percent) and specific ailment-focused sites (37 percent) over pharmaceutical company sites (4 percent).
* The majority (40 percent) of respondents said that they had conducted online research only two times or less during the past six months; 33 percent reported research frequency of at least once-a-month, followed by every other month (27 percent).
* When asked what would pique their interest in specific drug treatments for their ailments, the majority cited drug samples (55 percent), followed by e-newsletters to help them learn more (35 percent) and coupons (10 percent) as the top incentives.
* Consumers’ views on pharmaceutical television ads:
o 83 percent surveyed expressed concerns that pharmaceutical ads on television can be confusing and misleading.
o 89 percent agreed with the sentiment expressed by some government organizations and consumer advocacy groups that television drug treatment advertisements need to be more closely regulated.
o 72 percent of respondents also said that there were too many drug treatment advertisements on television.

“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,” said Jere Doyle, President and CEO of Prospectiv.

“Educational e-newsletters, health-focused websites and micro-sites focused on specific ailments have proved very effective in this regard. 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.”

The problem here is that the demographics that need medications aren't that computer savvy, and there are no dedicated channels dedicated to the massive pharmaceutical, and alternative medicine industries. Were there a soothing voice discussing the problems, issues, treatments and avenues of treatment then that would be the medium of choice for the vast majority of the adult population.

There is a massive backlash against the barrage of broadcast and cable television advertising, but the current 50,000,000 online blogs aren't the best solution for the majority of people seeking reassurance and guidance.



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