Drug Sites Get Millions of Hits

October 14th, 2008 | Sources: comScore, WSJ Health Blog

According to results published last week by comScore, purplepill.com, the AstraZeneca-sponsored web site for its heartburn drug Nexium was the busiest of all company-sponsored web sites in Q2 2008, with more than 1 million unique visitors.

Here are the top five sites by number of unique visitors (in millions), and the percent change from Q2 2007:

Nexium (heartburn):  1,021, +55%
Actos (diabetes):  855, +2,399%
Ambien CR (insomnia):  756, -61%
Gardasil (HPV vaccine):  722, -21%
Lexapro (anxiety, depression):  549, +3%

“AstraZeneca has aggressively marketed Nexium this year, running approximately twice as much online display advertising in Q2 as either of its major competitors, Prevacid and Aciphex,” said comScore’s John Mangano. “This additional marketing muscle appears to have helped generate strong site visitation, a very important marketing step in the competitive pharmaceutical industry.”

comScore also credited marketing campaigns for the surge in volume on the web site for Actos, Takeda’s diabetes drug, although safety concerns about a competing drug, Avandia, probably played a role as well.

Sanofi-Aventis’ Ambien CR site lost significant volume in the past year, as the regular version of the drug faced generic competition for the first time.

Gardasil, Merck’s HPV vaccine was approved by the FDA in Q2 2006. Merck is not publicizing the vaccine as aggressively as it was a year ago, but the site still makes the top five.



  1. H2H | 14/10/08

    Is it possible to use this information as an investment opportunity? The more the economy goes in the tank the more we get heartburn, insomnia, anxiety and depression (3 of the top five drug hits). Invest in Lexapro and Jack Daniels during the recession.

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