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.