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Many Americans no longer view themselves as traditional passive patients, but as consumers. As such, they want to make informed decisions when they "Shop" for health care, just as they do when selecting other products and services. They want access to more options, as well as to tools and information that can help them make decisions and manage their care more effectively on their own. Health care "Consumerism" has been a buzz word for years, but what do life sciences companies and other industry stakeholders really know about consumers' behaviors, attitudes, and unmet needs? The Deloitte 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers suggests that there are distinct consumer segments with diverse needs and preferences that are not well monitored by life sciences companies today. Across these segments, there are unmet needs that present opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturers, biotechnology firms, and medical product, technology and device manufacturers to fill the void. To capitalize on this opportunity, however, organizations need to consider new strategies, capabilities and investments. The purpose of Deloitte's study was to assess the behaviors, attitudes and unmet needs of adult consumers in the United States to provide health care industry leaders and policymakers with a comprehensive assessment of the current state of health care consumerism. The survey included a broad range of questions related to health, health care and health insurance. To optimize objectivity, the questionnaire first inquired about consumers' behaviors, then asked about their attitudes and unmet needs.
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