In order to provide quality web-based health content, you need money. The question is how you choose to make that money. WebMD, like many web sites, makes money from advertising, but it consistently goes several steps further, allowing its content to be transformed into one long stream of stealth advertising.
The incredibly successful company was just caught red-handed by Senator Chuck Grassley, who saw a WebMD television commercial encouraging viewers to log on to the site in order to take a depression screening test. When Grassley navigated over to the test, he found that it was funded by Eli Lilly—information that was apparently omitted from the TV commercial.
Because Lilly markets Cymbalta as the "go to" antidepressant for patients who have both depression and physical pain. This is not really a "depression screening test" at all. Instead, it is a "Cymbalta-requester" screening test.
WebMD is telling the public a big lie. The say that “this content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff” when in fact the crucial aches and pains questions was selected by Eli Lilly’s marketing team to encourage patients to ask their doctors for Cymbalta.
The company's blatantly deceptive techniques are particularly ironic given that WebMD's CEO, Wayne Gattinela, likes to talk up "transparency" in interviews about his company. Clearly, WebMD would never allow transparency to get in the way of an Eli Lilly payday.