Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pharmaceutical spam

Date:
December 8, 2011
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Spam advertising of pharmaceutical products is leading patients to seek out information about prescription drugs online, according to a new report. If those drugs are not available to the internet user through their physician there is a risk that they may obtain such products via illicit means.

Spam advertising of pharmaceutical products is leading patients to seek out information about prescription drugs online, according to a report to be published in the International Journal Business and Systems Research. If those drugs are not available to the internet user through their physician there is a risk that they may obtain such products via illicit means.

The direct advertising of pharmaceutical products to patients is outlawed in several countries, but spam marketing is all-pervasive and wholly ignores national and international laws. It exists because a sale to even a tiny percentage of the hundreds of millions of people targeted every single day with product offers nets the spammers a profit. Now, Sanjoy Ghose and Vikas Lachhwani of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, have investigated how exposure to spam offering prescription pharmaceuticals motivates individuals to seek additional information on the internet.

Prescription drugs improve health and extend life for many millions of people and it is perhaps natural that patients will seek information about their medication from a variety of sources other than their medical practitioner despite the fact that it is only such a practitioner who can legally prescribe that medication. However, the relationship between patient and pharmaceutical company has changed significantly over the last few decades, and most recently with the advent of the commercial internet and the World Wide Web.

"Over the last few decades, there has been a marked change in the way firms view the patient-drug interface," the team reports. "Patients are now more like 'consumers' and prescription drugs 'consumer products. Marketers now communicate directly with consumers through advertisements where it is legal to do so." There has been much debate over DTCA, direct-to-consumer advertising, but little ongoing discussion of the effect of internet-based communication on consumers. Specifically, there have been very few empirical analyses on the determinants of information seeking over the internet for prescription drugs, the team asserts. They point out that most of the earlier research has focused on consumers' responses in terms of interaction with physicians, and requests for specific drugs after exposure to advertising.

The team's study reveals that exposure to prescription drug spam motivates patients to seek further information over the internet. The reason for this could be the skepticism associated with advertising in general and especially for the case of unregulated spam-based advertising. However, the finding is a double-edged sword as the information seeking might also be associated with attempting to procure prescription medication from sources other than a medical practitioner. The data they report should help move the debate in this area forward and allow policy makers to better determine the impact of medical marketing on patients.

Journal reference: "Online information seeking for prescription drugs" in Int. J. Business and Systems Research, 2011, 6, 1-17


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Pharmaceutical spam." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111208101758.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2011, December 8). Pharmaceutical spam. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111208101758.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Pharmaceutical spam." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111208101758.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Google is changing its search-engine results to protect content producers from piracy — for a price. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Spotify Family A Great Deal Or Catching Up?

Is Spotify Family A Great Deal Or Catching Up?

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Spotify Family lets you add a family member to your account for half price. Although users are excited, it's a move competitors have already made. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins