Patient Influencers Trust Social Media Groups More than Pharma Websites

18 April 2019

GMP News

Patient influencers trust social media groups more than pharma websites for health information, according to a survey from Wego Health.

These influencers are most likely to turn to groups on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as their first source for health information, followed by health websites such as WebMD, patient advocacy organization portals, their doctor, patient blogs and YouTube. Only 3% said they prefer pharma websites.

Pharma websites also ranked low on the list of the most trusted sources of health information, only above YouTube. Health websites such as WebMD or those by the Mayo Clinic, healthcare providers and patient advocacy websites were the most trusted.

We know the overall sentiment of trust with pharma continues to be a major challenge, - saidDavid Goldsmith, chief strategy officer at Wego Health.

We also know when it comes to any kind of patient engagement, trust is top of list. [Patient influencers] are not looking to pharma for that support, and in many cases, they dont find it either. Pharma websites often reinforce the marketing messaging; its just a different version of the TV promotion, and thats not what patients are looking for.

Goldsmithsaid pharma has a lot to learn from influencers. The report classified people as influencers if they have a measurable footprint and a critical mass of followers on social channels, he added. Wego put influencers into two groups: nano-influencers, who have up to 1,000 followers, and macro-influencers, who have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers.

Pharma should look at how they can more effectively collaborate with these patient influencers, who have the visibility and trust and authenticity within these patient communities, -Goldsmithsaid.

If pharma just tries to go it alone, theyre going to continue to flounder on social media if they dont have that direct connection with patient communities.

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