Market research plays a fundamental role in helping those involved in the healthcare market answer key questions about their brands. Gaining insights from healthcare practitioners is central to market research. However, engaging physicians to participate in research can be a challenge. While most of the surveyed physicians say they enjoy participating in market research studies, in practice, physicians self-report participating in less than half of the number of studies they are invited to participate in. Real-world experience from our panel says the response rate is even lower. With this in mind, we asked Canadian physicians to help us understand what motivates them to do market research.
Engaging prescribers is a key component to the launch of any new brand. But what are the key components that drive interest for physicians in learning more?
Overall, physicians express greater satisfaction when learning about new products through in person interactions compared to virtual or digital interactions. However, regardless of how they learn about new product, the types of resources physicians prefer are similar. The top most preferred resources for both GPs and Specialists include presentation at conferences, discussions with peers, educational events that include KOLs or treatment areas experts, presentations by lead authors, journal clubs and discussions with Pharmaceutical reps. While a majority agree (66%) they are more likely to engage with reps or MSLs to discuss new products or indications, more physicians agree (87%) they are more likely to meet with a rep or MSL with whom they have an established relationship.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on physicians, including how they learn about and integrate new products into their practice. While not all saw a decline, close to 1 in 3 Specialists and close to half of GPs say their use of newly launched products declined during the pandemic, primarily due to a lack of pharma presence, reduced patient volumes overall and just a general lack of comfort using new products.
Physicians feel positive about how Patient Support Programs (PSPs) have evolved in the past two years – especially in terms of responsiveness and the expertise of individuals working on PSPs. The main unmet needs at this time remain the range of service hours and the availabilityof nurses remotely (either by phone or virtually). Many specialists believe that biosimilar PSP providers have struggled more than originator drug PSPs since the onset of the pandemic – mainly because of they do not have as many employees and offer a smaller range of services.
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.