Pharma (Slowly) Goes Digital

Despite shifting regulatory hurdles, U.S. healthcare and pharmaceutical online advertising spending will reach $1 billion this year, up 10.6 percent from last year, according to a new report from eMarketer.

By 2014, online ad spending in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, which includes DTC and over-the-counter remedies, is expected to reach $1.52 billion.

Despite robust annual growth rates through 2014, pharma’s share accounts for only about 4 percent of overall U.S. online ad spending.

“Though the marketing mix is slowly shifting toward digital tactics, DTC advertising will remain rooted in traditional media over the next several years,” said eMarketer analyst Victoria Petrock. “Clearer guidelines from the FDA and new technology and measurement tools will move more spending online, but online tactics must also be able to prove their worth.”

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