The popularity of unbranded pharma Web sites amongst consumers appears to be on an up tick, according to new data released by Manhattan Research this week.
The report, “Unbranded Web sites: Brand Reach throughout the Patient Life Cycle” looked at how many consumers actively use unbranded pharma sites and to what degree they trust the information. Thirty-five percent of consumers interviewed said that they do use these sites though many might not have been aware that pharma companies ran them.
“We found that relatively few consumers outright mistrust pharma online resources,” said Monique Levy, senior director of research, Manhattan Research. “On the flip side, there a lot of consumers that are cautious yet open to using pharma resources.”
When asked what kind of content they would like to see on the site, information about the condition wasn’t the primary service or utility that they were looking for. The top tools consumers want are financial assistance and incentives, tools for finding specialists, and tools that allow them to manage their condition day to day.
“People are not looking for the type of information that they can find on a WebMD, disease association, or a government site,” Levy said. “They seem to be interested in looking for supportive services.”
Levy said that marketers commonly state that it’s hard to measure the impact of unbranded initiatives. The goal of informational campaigns is to raise awareness and motivate consumers to find out more about the category and the disease, thereby raising sales of prescription drugs.
“After visiting an unbranded site, a significant share of consumers research more information about the condition itself as well as treatments for the condition,” Levy said. “That’s a positive indicator that these initiatives are working.”