Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Must Grab Their Share of Internet Business

Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Must Grab Their Share of Internet Business

Article excerpt

Pharmacists have to quickly establish themselves as an authoritative voice on the Internet or risk losing out to on-line competitors in the race for the consumer's eyeballs and trust, according to a new survey. America's most trusted profession was mentioned only once as an authoritative source of on-line health-care information in a survey conducted by The Consumer Network, a Philadelphia firm that for 20 years has monitored consumers' perceptions of the marketplace and whom they can trust.

"After this survey-and listening to consumers talk about the way they got information and downloading hundreds of consumer assessments on information they trust and don't trust and where they put their trust-there was one mention of a pharmacist," said Consumer Network president Mona Doyle. "In prior surveys, when it came to whom consumers trusted as a source of medical, health, and drug information, pharmacists always came out on top. People on the Net suddenly have a great many sources of trustworthy information; the great majority said they found them useful and primarily trustworthy."

Consumers who surf the Web for health-care information don't connect the answers with pharmacists, said Doyle, who has served as a public member of a pharmacy board for 15 years. Consumers think the sites are sponsored by entities such as corporations or universities. "Unless someone has actually gone into a live chatroom with a pharmacist, pharmacists didn't even come up," she said. "Pharmacists at least have to recognize that they have a lot of competition, not just mail order. The competition is for share of mind, not just share of market, especially for the share of credible information. …

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