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Chronic disease patients want online services from drug companies, study finds

Study finds role for pharmacies

NEW YORK — Demand among consumers for online services from drug companies to help manage chronic conditions is strong, according to a new study from healthcare market research firm Manhattan Research.

The ePharma Consumer — 2012 study, based on an online survey of 6,607 adults conducted in the last three months of 2012, found that 30% of online consumers with a chronic condition and 38% of caregivers are interested in registering for a patient-support program that would give access to a range of services, such as financial assistance, meal plans and recipes, condition-management tools and a hotline of registered nurses. Current adoption of such programs varies considerably from one condition to another; for example, 41% of online patients with multiple sclerosis used one. In addition, 75% of online consumers using online pharma patient support programs said they feel confident their prescriptions are right for them.

"Patients are interested in patient support programs from pharma, and they don't necessarily mind registering for access," Manhattan Research VP research Monique Levy said. "At the same time, pharma isn't top-of-mind as a destination, so marketers must consider partnering with other health resources such as general health websites, pharmacies and hospitals in an effort to gain traction for these programs."

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