COVID-19 caused significant shift in interactions between physicians and pharmaceutical companies. Most hospitals and medical offices limited visitors to patients, personnel, and caregivers when necessary. This made it necessary for pharmaceutical companies to focus more on virtual and digital interactions to continue outreach to their key stakeholders. At MD Analytics, we have been monitoring these trends. In our latest poll, we surveyed 50 US-based PCPs and 109 specialists on the topic.
Mary Dominiecki, SVP, US Country Lead
Will remote consults be the norm?
We have all experienced changes in our work since COVID-19 – some of these changes are certainly for the better. Physicians are no different and have experienced significant changes since the start of the pandemic. We surveyed 159 physicians in the U.S. (50 primary care physicians and 109 specialists) to see how things compare to pre-pandemic for them. Workloads initially went down for physicians as patients were hesitant to come into the office and postponed appointments and regular screenings. Both primary physicians and specialists think their workloads are now close to pre-pandemic levels and expected to further increase in the coming year.
Engaging Physicians in Market Research
Market research is critical at so many stages of product lifecycles as well as one of the tools to evaluate mergers and acquisitions. We know from our own recruiting efforts and experience with our panel providers that response rates to market research invitations tend to be quite low (often under 20%). We surveyed 150 physicians – 50 general practitioners and 90 specialists – to gauge how different factors impact their interest and participation in market research. Interest levels varied by type of study with the highest level of interest for online surveys.
How to Best Engage Physicians When Launching New Brands
Successful brand launches require engagement and education of the treating physicians. But how do you best engage physicians? We recently surveyed general practitioners (GPs) and specialists to ask them some pertinent questions.
Not surprisingly, interest in learning about new products is driven by potential improvements in long-term safety, efficacy, and quality of life. Lower on the list (but still important) are improvements in dosing and administration. Three-quarters of GPs (vs 55% of specialists) want to know about new products once they are approved and/or they have access. This is likely driven by the sheer volume of products and disease areas with which they need to keep track. Specialists are more likely to want to learn about a product during clinical development (44% vs 24% for GPs).
How the Pandemic Impacted New Pharma Product Launches
COVID-19 has certainly brought its challenges to all parts of our lives. We surveyed 140 US physicians (50 general practitioners (GPs) and 90 specialists to see how COVID-19 has impacted product launches. In order for product launches to be successful, treaters need to learn about the products in a timely manner and be convinced of the value they bring to them.
Roughly one-third of physicians (similar proportions of GPs and specialists) said they have initiated fewer patients on newly launched products during the pandemic. The reasons cited for this decrease include: fewer interactions with pharma, reduced patient volumes, and patient reluctance.