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ACNielsen Launches Pharmaceutical Service

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - ACNielsen U.S., an operating unit of ACNielsen, a VNU company, has announced the launch of the Homescan RX/OTC Consumer Panel, a new research service that measures consumer purchases and use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. The service is available now.

Designed to help the pharmaceutical industry more effectively address America's growing healthcare needs, this first-ever longitudinal service uses ACNielsen's nationally representative Homescan consumer panel to track the types of ailments people suffer, the remedies they purchase, and the remedies they actually use.

Nick Sorvillo, senior vice president, ACNielsen Homescan Consumer Panel Services, said the initial findings, based on the responses of more than 90,000 individuals, already have identified numerous opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry. "Fully one-fifth of people who acknowledge having a cholesterol problem are not treating the problem at all. Clearly, this is one area where the industry could focus on increasing remedy use," he said.

The service also measures patient adherence to prescribed regimens and analyzes why consumers choose various treatment options. The initial findings show that many ailment sufferers are doing just as direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertisers hoped they would: They are asking their doctors about specific medications. For example, 42 percent of people wanting to lose weight reported asking their doctor about a particular prescription remedy, as did 25 percent of people who experienced migraine headaches, 24 percent of people with osteo-arthritis, and 21 percent of allergy sufferers.

Sorvillo said the findings should come as good news to the pharmaceutical industry. "While direct-to-consumer advertising is a relatively new practice for the pharmaceutical industry, it is clear that drug manufacturers are investing heavily in this marketing effort. Our study clearly shows those efforts are paying off in greater brand awareness among consumers."
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