Empowered patients, greedy pharmacoms and the coming 'eHealth divide'

Who wants to appropriate the so-called “eHealth revolution” and put it to commercial use? Just have a read through this scary bit of pharmacom fireside chat freshly published on The Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine website then we’ll talk.

Thus spoke Sarah Krüg, from the Medical Education Group at Pfizer. Patients empowerment via online databases,  open information sharing and web-based self-help groups represents a business opportunity for pharmacoms (but then what doesn’t?). The danger that the biomedical monopoly over health care be replaced by an even more pervasive pharmaceutical merchandising is a clear and present one.

Apomediation and Medicine 2.0 have to proceed in close association with a big dose of vigilance. Vigilance to prevent astroturfing in online communities. Vigilance to be aware of drug-pushing. Vigilance to avoid that bridging the digital divide (the age, sex and socio-economic status gap in accessing online information) doesn’t result in creating a new “eHealth divide” between those who have access to quality online information about health care – and those who are prey of Big Pharma disinformation.