Pregnancy and Cancer Top the List of the Most Commonly Searched Health Conditions

Pfizer’s Smoking Cessation Treatment, Chantix, Emerges as the Number One Most Frequently Searched Prescription Brand

RESTON, VA, April 10, 2008 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a listing of the 20 most commonly searched health conditions as well as the 15 most commonly searched prescription brands in February 2008. The results, from Comscore’s custom search capability, revealed that the terms “pregnancy” and “cancer” were the two most frequently searched conditions, garnering 8.8 million and 7.7 million search queries respectively. That five of the 20 conditions (herpes, HIV, HPV, menopause and pregnancy) relate to sexual or reproductive health may be a function of these conditions’ highly personal nature and the anonymity the Internet provides.

Most Commonly Searched Health Conditions
February 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.
Search Term

Search Queries


Pregnancy 8,841
Cancer 7,718
Flu 1,824
Depression 1,807
Diabetes 1,758
Addiction 1,407
Herpes 1,340
HIV 976
Anxiety 910
Stroke 872
HPV 861
Bipolar 861
Cholesterol 816
Headache 763
Menopause 667
Hepatitis 614
Arthritis 600
ADHD 573
Asthma 569
Fibromyalgia 551

“It’s not too surprising that some of the most common health conditions, such as diabetes, depression and flu, have made the list, but it’s interesting that these terms generate fewer searches than significantly less prevalent conditions like cancer and pregnancy. A reason for this may be due to life-changing nature of a cancer diagnosis or a pregnancy,” said Carolina Petrini, Comscore senior vice president. “When facing a serious illness like cancer or after becoming pregnant or considering pregnancy, consumers often turn to the Internet to search for information and educate themselves in a private setting. Comscore’s findings, along with information about the search popularity of branded terms provide meaningful insights into the ways consumers use search to find health information online.”

Chantix Reigns as the Most Frequently Searched Brand but Depression Drugs Dominate List

The study also looked at the top 15 most commonly searched prescription brand name treatments and found that Pfizer’s Chantix, a smoking cessation treatment, topped the list, generating more than 500,000 search queries in February 2008. Adderall (a commonly prescribed ADHD treatment) and Viagra (a popular erectile dysfunction treatment) came in a close second and third on the list, respectively.

Additionally, five of the fifteen most frequently searched prescription brands – Cymbalta, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil and Prozac – are depression treatments. For patients seeking information about this highly personal condition, the Internet provides an ideal channel.

Most Commonly Searched Prescription Brands
February 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.
Brand Name

Search Queries


Chantix 507
Adderall 469
Viagra 348
Ambien 334
Lexapro 274
Effexor 264
Cymbalta 235
Lyrica 233
Seroquel 198
Lipitor 181
Prozac 174
Cialis 120
Paxil 119
Crestor 119
Singulair 114

Additional Insights:

  • The top searched health condition, “pregnancy,” is searched 17 times more often than the most popularly searched brand name, “Chantix.”
  • The second most searched term, “cancer,” garnered 7.7 million search queries in February. Of those queries, 1 million were specific to the term “breast cancer.”
  • The number of searches for ADHD (573,000) was very similar to the number of searches for the ADHD treatment, Adderall (469,000). Because the popularity of condition versus brand searches differs based on condition, this data supports the need for marketers to evaluate their therapeutic area’s online search landscape so they can properly allocate resources toward strategic, non-branded and branded search campaigns.
  • A condition’s prevalence is not necessarily correlated to its search popularity. For instance, according to data from the American Diabetes Association and the National Institute of Health, there are several million more people living in the United States with diabetes than with cancer. However, the number of search queries for the term “cancer” (7.7 million) was more than four times the number of search queries for the term “diabetes” (1.8 million).
  • A comparison of the search terms “pregnancy” (which garnered 8.8 million searches) and “cholesterol” (which garnered less than a million searches) revealed a similar discrepancy. In the United States, approximately 4 million women a year give birth (as reported by the American Pregnancy Association), while nearly 40 million people suffer from high cholesterol (as reported by the American Heart Association).
  • Historically, awareness of Fibromyalgia – which was the twentieth most popularly searched health condition – has been low and resources have been scarce. However, searches for the treatment have likely grown in the past couple of months due to the recent approval of Pfizer’s Lyrica as a treatment for the condition. The relatively large number of searches for Fibromyalgia, is likely a result of marketing around Lyrica which has helped to raise awareness of the condition.

About Comscore Pharmaceutical Solutions
Comscore Pharmaceutical Solutions delivers in-depth information needed to understand the impact that brand, condition-specific, and health portal Web sites have on consumers’ brand awareness, conversion, and patient compliance. Comscore’s products deliver actionable insight to help refine consumer profiles, identify key alliances, optimize interactive marketing initiatives, benchmark against the competition and accurately measure the ROI of Web site and online marketing programs.

About Comscore
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. For more information, please visit

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