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Phar­ma is bet­ting big on con­nect­ing po­ten­tial pa­tients to its med­ica­tions. It's just the be­gin­ning

Phar­ma com­pa­nies are get­ting more se­ri­ous about tele­health.

In the past three months, Eli Lil­ly launched a splashy web­site con­nect­ing con­sumers with places to get pre­scrip­tions for obe­si­ty, di­a­betes and mi­graine med­ica­tions, As­traZeneca made its first vir­tu­al op­tion for asth­ma pa­tients and Phath­om in­tro­duced a tele­health fea­ture when launch­ing its acid block­er mar­ket­ing cam­paign.

In­dus­try ex­perts an­tic­i­pate that of­fer­ing con­sumers a di­rect way to reach pre­scrip­tions will be­come part of the fu­ture of drug mar­ket­ing and com­mer­cial­iza­tion. Con­sumers want to get pre­scrip­tion health­care the way they get many oth­er prod­ucts — fast, easy and on­line. And there’s po­ten­tial for broad­er ac­cess to med­i­cines for re­mote pa­tients.

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