Pharma Info & Responsibility


Aug 29, 2012
I was chiming in on the #socpharm Twitter chat tonight, and the topic came up: how do patients find the right information? We all know that patients are turning more and more to the Interwebs for their health research. Ever since the first people self-diagnosed on, millions of people have relied on the easily accessible Internet as a source of information. But how do you find the right information on it? It’s one thing to turn to the reliable sites like, but even there, it’s easy to get sucked into communities and user posts by non-doctors that may not be the best reference. It’s another to do a blind Google search, especially when it comes to pharma products. There’s a lot of for-profit sites out there. Cheap drugs! Canadian pharmacies!* * As a Canadian, I apologize for the Canadian pharmacy ads So how do the pharma companies provide that clear concise information? How do you just make sure that patients get the right information? My suggestions were: - Standardize the information on product pages. Make the information on both benefits risks clear concise.
- Accept questions from patients. Allowing patients to submit questions will ensure they get that info from a reliable, accredited source – NOT from a non-doctor on Twitter.
- Work with Google to be sure the ‘official’ site for a product is marked as such, and imitators or false claims are not listed
- SEO enhance product sites so they are easy to find by patients And that’s just a start. How much responsibility do pharma companies really have to disseminate the correct information about their products though? What are your thoughts? (And note that I don’t say “their conditions”, because I know pharma commentary on conditions will be biased)