Drugs spam and medical disinformation
Reported by Medical News Today:
“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 (…)
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. (…)
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.
Medical disinformation on the Internet. Medical News Today. Posted on 10th of December 2011. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/238923.php