New survey data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project has found that just 4% of Americans have ever purchased prescription drugs online. By comparison, aggregated survey data from eMarketer shows that between 3% and 12.5% of U.S. citizens say they have bought prescription drugs online. Despite the fact that few Americans actually buy drugs via the Internet, the Pew Research study did find that 26% of Americans have gone online to look for information about prescription drugs. Similarly, Forrester Research has found that 48% of the Americans it surveyed said they use the Internet to research a drug. Taken together, these results confirm that the Internet is an important channel through which pharmaceutical companies can reach out to potential new customers -- either through online advertising or informational Web sites.
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