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Health Consumers Look to Pharma Companies for Prescription Cost Assistance
Date:11/24/2008

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  • Search interest in the "Merck Patient Assistance Program" is the highest among all pharma company programs, followed by "Abbott Patient Assistance Program." (See Chart 1 below for a company-by-company breakdown);
  • Among the pharma company-specific programs, some have seen big gains in search interest. They include the "Sanofi Aventis Patient Assistance" (a 380 percent increase), "Astrazeneca Patient Assistance Program" (300 percent increase), "Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance" (122 percent) and "Takeda Patient Assistance Program" (104 percent increase);
  • Search interest for the pharma company-sponsored "Partnership for Prescription Assistance" coalition, a group formed in 2005 to address affordability issues, has waned in the past year (a 38 percent decline). Still, this term remains the most frequently searched term in the v-Fluence study;
  • Overall search interest for "discount drug mart" and "discount prescription drugs" remains strong, growing by double-digit percentages in the past year (14 percent and 30 percent, respectively). While the v-Fluence findings don't discern search intent, it's a fair assumption that these consumers are looking to purchase medications, Byrne says

  • "Our findings reflect the fact that pharma companies have increasingly been including 'patient assistance' language in their offline advertising--and that some have been more successful than others at nestling their message in consumers' minds," Byrne says.

    Background on v-Fluence's research methodology: v-Fluence's research team analyzed the year-to-year volume of more than 260 "prescription affordability"-related search terms, using a sampling from various major search engines and proprietary tools to weed out irrelevant terms and index comparative volumes
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