The internet has become an indispensable resource for learning about health and wellness. However, with the vast amount of online information, it’s crucial to exercise caution and discernment. The dangers of false health information on the internet can have severe consequences for individuals and communities. Can the FDA do anything about it? Maybe, but it’s going to require a lot of help.
Research has shown that 74% of all U.S. adults use the Internet, and 61% have looked for health or medical information on the Internet. Additionally, 49% have accessed a website that provides information about a specific medical condition or problem. Many people get health information from the Internet but are left on their own to determine if it’s credible. This is one area where pharma companies can restore trust and excel.
Over 70% of people have been exposed to medical or health-related misinformation. Of those exposed, almost half are not confident in their ability to discriminate between accurate health information and misinformation. Social media is cited as the most common source of misinformation.
THE SHORT: The confusion around the Presidential election, which is ongoing at the time of this post, has a lot of similarities with online health information. As social media becomes a bigger part of information gathering for health seekers they are often making bad treatment decisions based on what they read.
QUICK READ: Many of the coronavirus stories getting shared the most on social media contain inaccurate information. While people flock online for updated information the effects of how they collect and use health information online could affect all DTC.