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12th Annual Survey on Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs Reveals: Nearly 50% of Online Consumers Report Health Videos a Top Resource

55% Also Searched User Generated Content Websites For Health-Related Info

Consumers May Be Looking for Ways to Reduce Spending in Ailing Economy: Many Switched to a Generic Prescription or OTC Medicine (32%), Canceled or Delayed a Doctor’s appointment (27%)

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the 12th annual national survey Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs, nearly 50% of consumers report that online health videos serve as a top resource when searching for medical conditions and prescription drug information. Health information websites (e.g., WebMD, The Mayo Clinic, and were rated leading destinations to view health information videos (43%) followed by pharmaceutical websites (14%), video sharing sites (9%) and social networking sites (6%).

Conducted by Prevention, Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines, published by Rodale Inc., with technical assistance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communication (FDA-DDMAC), the survey is one of the primary consumer studies informing the FDA’s stance on DTC issues.

The Internet’s growing user generated content websites prove to be a premium resource for online consumers as well. The survey reveals that 55% searched these sites for health-related information. This number suggests that consumers value personal health experiences of average individuals along with trustworthy medical websites.

36% searched healthcare information on
36% read online forums, message boards on health-related topics
27% read a blog on health-related topics
“Beyond Susan Boyle and Christian the Lion, health videos are making significant inroads with consumers,” said Cary Silvers, Director of Consumer Insights at Rodale, who spearheaded this year’s survey. “A form of ‘crowdsourcing’ is another driving component consumers use to understand their health: the desire to seek out what other people ‘like me’ say about their health condition. An educated consumer is more likely to take action in terms of his/her own health matters.”

Said Mary Murcko, SVP/Publisher of Prevention, “Consumers are now the gatekeepers when it comes to their own personal healthcare issues. Unlike years past, today’s consumers are empowered by knowledge and seek the research to make informative health decisions for themselves and their families.”

Other key findings from the 12th annual national survey on Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs:

Consumers are looking for ways to reduce their healthcare spending due to the ailing economy and the spike in unemployment:
32% switched to a generic prescription or OTC medicine
27% canceled or delayed a doctor’s appointment
20% switched to a doctor or pharmacy that takes their insurance
Online health searching does make its way into conversations with their doctor:
37% have discussed medical information they found online with their doctor
The majority of consumers report positive effects:
57% said it was positive, it helped our conversation
7% said it was negative
33% said it was neutral (it didn’t help or hurt their conversation)

Prepared by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, March 2009. Telephone interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,501 adults living in the continental United States from April 14-24, 2009. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±3.1percent.

About Rodale:

Rodale is a global multi-platform media company with a mission dedicated to the health and wellness of the individual, community and planet. The company, which reaches more than 70 million people worldwide, publishes some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Prevention, Women’s Health Organic Gardening, Men's Health, Runner's World, Bicycling and Running Times and is also the largest independent book publisher in America with a collection of international titles, including The South Beach Diet, An Inconvenient Truth, Flat Belly Diet!, and Eat This, Not That. Rodale's broad range of media platforms includes magazines, books, video, and extensive websites. The company is also a leader in direct-response marketing and has more than 25 million active customers in its database. Visit the website at

For Prevention
Lauren Kuschner-Grossman, 917-340-0390

Posted: July 2009