Patient Support Programs (PSPs) play a significant role in ensuring that patients have the best possible experience during their journey – especially in specialty therapeutic areas where treatments tend to be more expensive. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging for patients to access support and services for their medical conditions. This has put additional pressure on company-sponsored PSPs to further enhance their offerings to help patients in the best way possible. PSPs have become increasingly important for patients since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result now have an even more significant influence on physicians’ treatment selection process.
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign is underway in Canada. However, the pandemic has significantly altered HCPs’ practices to date. These changes have impacted workloads, patient assessments, and interactions with pharma. A year into the pandemic, a national COVID-19 vaccination campaign is underway. This begs the question, how are Canadian HCPs doing today? What do they foresee moving forward? Our latest short survey presents the current state of HCPs’ practices in Canada and their assessment of the government’s management of COVID-19.
Virtual medical conferences are on the rise, but are they here to stay?
As a result of the pandemic over the past year, conference organizers and medical brands were set scrambling to find a solution to limit cancelations of key medical conferences. Resulting virtual platforms advanced quickly to emulate the face-to-face conference experience through a digital means. While many virtual medical conferences were successful, in terms of strong participation levels to many key events both national and international, questions remained as to how well they met the needs of physicians, other healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical and medical device companies sponsoring these events.
Our 5-minute online survey conducted in the fall of 2020 sought to gain clarity around remote detailing. This study was conducted with 339 Canadian physicians who are members of the MD Analytics healthcare panel and the results provide actionable recommendations on how to form a more ‘ideal’ pharma remote detail.
The COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted physicians’ practices; but how and to what extent? Physicians have been managing significant workloads, while learning on the fly how to navigate and setup virtual meetings. Maintaining high levels of patient care while minimizing in-person interactions has also been challenging.
Strong online advertising and messaging are key to maximizing impact of any marketing campaign. With recent restrictions on in-person interactions, online advertising and messaging play an even greater role in reaching physicians. Our findings from a survey of n=227 Canadian physicians show that 82% of Canadian physicians have increased their use of online platforms as a result of COVID-19, 48% significantly so.
In October 2018, the use of recreational cannabis was legalized across Canada. Looking back at the past year, physicians remain divided in their views towards this new legislation, though support skews towards younger GPs. This legislation has impacted the use of prescription treatments and patient visits in a number of key therapeutic areas, though not to the degree that was anticipated 12 months ago.
Real World Evidence (RWE) is a growing area of research that, pivoting from the rigorously controlled standards of randomized controlled trials (RCT), is based on a model driven by real world patient data. Real World Evidence stems primarily from an observational analysis of a sample in a less controlled environment. Focused on the efficacy and outcomes of therapies in a real world setting, RWE provides a unique lens not attainable from traditional clinical trial research.
In the healthcare system, a patient’s journey to optimal care presents many obstacles. There are numerous steps involved from the onset of a medical condition to the moment when satisfactory results are achieved. This healthcare survey seeks to reveal key opportunities within the patient journey that would assist patients along their way and ultimately improve outcomes. Further healthcare market research could also be conducted by disease area to dig deeper into these insights.
Over a 3-day period, MD Analytics surveyed 1,000 Canadians that are responsible for making health-related decisions. It was found that respondents are often choosing to not to see a physician when health-related scenarios arise, citing self-diagnosis or lack of convenience as their key reasons. Respondents are also strongly likely to visit a walk-in clinic instead of their family physician, with convenience again mentioned as the key reason.
Biological drugs, protein-based products derived from living cells using biotechnology, have been used since the 1990’s as a treatment option for cancer patients. Since 2009, biosimilar therapies (therapeutically equivalent subsequent entry biologics) have been available in different therapeutic areas in Canada, and are now on the verge of becoming available for use in oncology.
The Canadian Senate recently passed Bill C-46 which will allow for the legal use of recreational cannabis across Canada by Fall 2018. While some physicians anticipate this new legislation will impact their practices with patients electing to try recreational cannabis instead of more traditional prescription medications or medical cannabis, others anticipate increases in patient visits related to dependence and psychotic symptoms.
Traditional in-person continuing health education (CHE) programs remain the most attended format for Canadian physicians practitioners, however preferred sources of CHE vary widely by generation. As educational activities are an important channel to communicate important scientific data about new treatment options, program success will benefit from a tailored approach to CHE delivery.
Biomarkers are molecules found in bodily fluids or tissues (including the tumor tissue). They provide valuable information about the cancer cells and non-cancer cells when analyzing which biomarkers are produced in response to the cancer. By developing a biomarker profile of a patient’s cancer, doctors can recommend the best suited treatment plan for their patient.
With the emergence of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), prescription options alone are no longer the norm as it pertains to treating a number of medical conditions. Research among 170 Canadian physicians shows that CAM therapies are not only common practice for many already, but are expected to become even more widely accepted as viable treatment options within the conventional medical community.
Smart Drugs (or nootropics) are substances used to enhance cognitive functions. Exact usage numbers are difficult to ascertain, but a recent study conducted among UBC students found that 1 in 30 students admitted using ADHD medication they were not prescribed, for their cognitive effects. The use of Smart Drugs appears to be gaining momentum in Canada, especially among students and young professionals in high pressure situations, thereby having the potential to turn into a public health issue.
Modern Blood Glucose Meter (BGM) devices can often pair with a companion app on a smartphone, which allows patients to easily record and monitor their blood glucose levels over time. This gives the patient, and potentially their doctor, easy to access historical data, insightful charts, and other information that can aid in diabetes management. Research was conducted by MD Analytics to assess whether Canadian GPs are accepting this technology, and if it plays a role in their recommendation of one BGM over another.
Corporate reputation plays an important role in enabling companies to further differentiate their products in highly competitive markets. As a result our team sought to better understand how pharmaceutical manufacturers are currently perceived. After surveying Canadian GPs, we noticed several trends.