In 2002, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
adopted a new marketing code to govern the pharmaceutical industry's
relationships with physicians and other healthcare professionals.
the bad press recently about marketing directly to consumers and privacy
concerns, perhaps it is time for the pharmaceutical industry to
self-regulate marketing to consumers as well, especially via the Internet.
There are a number of codes out there - including the eHealth Code of Ethics
of the Internet Healthcare Coalition - that could
be adopted by the industry for this purpose. However, what is the attitude
of pharmaceutical professionals regarding the quality of pharma-sponsored
health information on the Net? Does the industry perceive a problem in this
To help answer this question, a survey - Quality of Pharma-Sponsored Health
Information on the Internet - was sponsored by the Internet Healthcare
Coalition in conjunction with the Pharma Marketing Network (PMN) and was
hosted by PollingPharma during the
month of January, 2003. PollingPharma provides an opportunity to collect
opinions of individuals working within the global pharmaceutical industry.
Members of PMN were invited to participate. Some results of the survey are
presented and analyzed in this article.