According to a 2012 California Healthcare Foundation and Pew Internet study, nearly 60 percent of adults looked online for health information within the previous year. Today’s social media platforms offer a new avenue of information and dialogue, creating a comfortable (and sometimes anonymous) environment for information exchanges. For pharmaceutical companies, this opens up new opportunities to connect with consumers, to communicate the value proposition throughout a product’s lifecycle, and to improve health delivery and outcomes. It sets the foundation to mine information and apply behavioral principles to understand how and why consumers make buying decisions and specific health/lifestyle choices. Even as companies await further clarity from the FDA, there is a way they can get plugged into the social world by sharing the content of their websites and drug- or brand-specific portals.
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