US Health Websites Losing Share to Canada

US Health Websites Losing Share to Canada

Hitwise, a provider of online competitive intelligence services, reports that their demographics data in the Health & Medical- Health Insurance category shows that almost 50% of visits to health insurance websites are from households with an income of $75K+, while nine of the top 10 health insurance websites have witnessed decreases in market share of visits during 2003. Interestingly, Hitwise data also shows that the leading U.S. pharmacy sites have seen a similar decrease in share of US visits during 2003, even though the category overall has increased by 230% indicating a number of new players in the competitive online industry.

With drug costs rising significantly, it appears as though more and more American consumers are looking north to buy their medications. Several sites which allow U.S. residents to fill prescriptions in Canada and have them shipped across the border have witnessed increases in market share in September 2003 through December 2003). Interestingly, the most popular non-brand related search terms to Health & Medical - Pharmacy websites involve Canadian pharmacies.

Increases in share of U.S. visits to online Canadian Pharmacies that allow shipping to the U.S. (September through December 2003)

Company Percent Increases in market share of US visits
Pharmacy Can 236.36%
People Rx 200.00%
ADV- Care Pharmacy 154.55%
Affordable RX 44.12%
Canada Meds 40.63%
CanDrugStore.com 8.33%

Search terms (by brand and product) that resulted in traffic to Health & Medical- Pharmacies websites, for the 12 weeks ending 1/17/03.

Brand
Percent
Product
Percent
Walgreens
10.99
Canadian pharmacy
2.65
Rite Aid
4.79
pharmacy
2.4
CVS
4.55
Canadian pharmacies
2.12
Koger
3.02
Viagra
1.98
CVS pharmacy
2.21
online pharmacy
1.89
Drugstore.com
2.18
Canada pharmacy
1.61
Walgreens.com
2.14
Canadian drugs
1.46
Riteaid.com
2.1
prescriptions
1.36
Riteaid
1.98
Hydrocodone
1.31
Walgreen
1.85
Canada drugs
1.29

Source: Hitwise