Consumers aren’t particularly enamored with how good big drug companies are at providing digital services and want access to better interactive tools—and data, says a new study of 1,300 consumers from Doctor.com.
More consumers these days are beginning their research for drug information on pharmaceutical company websites and want drug makers to be much more proactive in giving patients access to more information.
For example, more than 70% of patients have researched a prescription online in the past year, and 52% of consumers rely on big drug maker websites to research prescription information.
But consumers also want the option to find doctors and make appointments online at pharmaceutical company websites, including 88% that want drug makers to feature a find-a-doctor directory. 63% of consumers also would download additional prescription drug content after choosing a doctor, and 81% are more likely to use a drug maker’s website if it had a doctor directory.
“Our study confirms that ‘digital’ has transformed every aspect of the healthcare journey, including how patients prefer to research and access prescription medications,” says Doctor.com CEO Andrei Zimiles. “Yet even best-in-class brands are underutilizing digital channels and missing opportunities to connect with patients and caregivers at critical touchpoints leading up to the point of care.”
Other survey findings include:
- Consumers rely on brand websites (52.2%) almost as much as they rely on their primary care providers (54.8%) to research prescription information or medical devices.
- Patients cite “finding the right doctor” as the top barrier to accessing a treatment or prescription.
- Nearly 80% of respondents over 60 and 90% of all patients would find it helpful to have a doctor directory on the brand website. “Roughly a third would prefer to schedule an appointment right on the site as well,” Zimiles says.
- 87% would like to see provider ratings available in a drug maker’s doctor directory.
- For the majority of consumers (55.7%), appointment scheduling options on a pharmaceutical company website would increase their loyalty to the brand.