Health Care Spending Falls; Drug And Health Care Companies Slow To Advertise OnlineBloomberg Businessweek: "Investors traditionally have viewed shares of health-care companies as havens from economic concerns. Now, many parts of the sector have drawn concern from investors amid worries the U.S. economy will slow in the second half of the year. So far this year, U.S. patient visits to doctors' offices fell 7.5 percent to 10 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, according to estimates by Elie Radinsky, a health-care analyst and managing director at Chapdelaine Credit Partners. For a variety of reasons, Americans seem to be using health-care services less than in the past. Government data still show spending on health care continuing to rise, but at a slower rate" (Steverman, 8/26).
The Wall Street Journal: "You can't watch network TV without being barraged by pharma and OTC drug ads - some best filed under 'TMI.' But pharma and health-care companies haven't yet planted that mammoth marketing footprint in the online world, and aren't likely to for the next several years, according to a new report from research group eMarketer, which predicts U.S. online health-care and pharma online ad spending will grow by 10.6% this year to $1 billion and will reach $1.52 billion in 2014" -- only about "4% of total U.S. online ad spending. And the CBO estimated that overall, drug companies spent 'at least $20.5 billion in marketing' in the U.S. - and that was for 2008. In part, the relatively small chunk of ad dollars pharma is spending online reflects uncertainty about what the FDA will allow, the report says" (Hobson, 8/26). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.