Marketing for pharmaceutical companies has changed in recent years. Physicians are no longer the only targets for marketing campaigns, as empowered patients now have an increasing say in the final decision on treatment.

Internet searches for medications and alternative treatments have become commonplace. In 2016, one third of all Americans said they had used search engines to obtain further information about their health condition. What’s more, 72 percent of Americans said they had used the Internet over the past 12 months to do research before even booking an appointment with a physician.

And before they arrive at the doctor’s office, patients now do their homework. They already understand basic concepts about illnesses and can better grasp the situation. The days when the physician had the only say on treatment and the patient blindly followed orders are over.

In response to these new trends in patient behavior, pharma companies are now including the consumers in their marketing and sales strategies. Laboratories, hospitals and physicians now make widespread use of social media to create a digital footprint that is more transparent and closer to customers.