More Pharma companies are embracing the Internet as a means of advertising medication and marketing their brand.  According to the Baltimore Sun, the latest players to enter the shift to online advertising are AstraZeneca and Merck Co.  Because doctors have little time and patience for unannounced pharmaceutical representatives to provide drug presentations, these Pharma companies have implemented the Web into their marketing strategy.  Among other things, pharmaceutical representatives from these companies are booking appointments with doctors via websites for drug presentations.

According to Merck Co., the average online appointment with a physician is 10 minutes compared to 4 minutes in person. A survey reports that “nearly half of all physicians prefer to learn about new medications through the Internet, instead of through a salesperson.”

Also covered by: USA Today, Star Tribune,

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Pharmaceutical Marketing: Stuck in Web 1.5: Interesting analysis on percent of patients looking for information online as well as information on the online marketing services or programs that US Pharmaceutical Marketers provide to consumers. Studies show that the pharmaceutical companies are stepping into the Health 2.0 movement are causing them to miss opportunities to build relationships with patients.