With COVID-19 about to enter its 3rd year, it continues to significantly impact the lives of Canadians and the practices of HCPs in the country. Even though it has not been easy, physicians have continuously adapted how they manage their patients and how they interact with key healthcare stakeholders during the pandemic. MD Analytics has been monitoring these trends over the past few years and we have recently interviewed 140 physicians in our latest survey on the topic.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
We surveyed 152 physicians in the U.S. to gauge their opinions on Patient Support Program (PSPs) providers during the pandemic. Physicians surveyed include GPs, Hematologists, Medical Oncologists, Rheumatologists, Pulmonologists, Endocrinologists and Infectious Disease Specialists. Overall perceptions of PSPs compared to before the pandemic have generally improved – especially in terms of responsiveness and the expertise of individuals working on PSPs.
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 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. For the most part, physicians acknowledge that PSP providers have adjusted well to the new reality brought forth by COVID-19. About a third even think that PSP providers have improved their performance since the onset of the pandemic.
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.
While the vaccination campaign in the U.S. is progressing, COVID-19 continues to significantly impact healthcare practices. As knowledge about the virus evolved during the pandemic, physicians and other HCPs have continuously adapted how they manage their patients and how they interact with key stakeholders. Half of the physicians surveyed expect to see increased workloads as 2021 draws to a close. Patient volumes continue to inch closer to pre-pandemic levels and requests for diagnostic testing along with treatment switches have now exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
MD Analytics has been monitoring these trends and we are excited to share with you our new downloadable infographic on this topic.
While the vaccination campaign in Canada has shown positive progress, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact the way in which HCPs interact with both patients and pharma. MD Analytics has been monitoring these trends over the past year and we are excited to share with you our 4th wave infographic on this topic.
For the first time since initiating this tracking study, patient volumes have returned back to pre-pandemic conditions, as have key measures such are diagnostic tests performed and treatment switches. It is important to note that while most physicians feel that their workloads are now similar to pre-COVID conditions, many expect to exceed their current levels in the coming months.
The COVID-19 crisis changed the way people work across industries including the pharma industry. MD Analytics teamed up with the professional association for women in the pharma industry Women Leaders in Pharma to conduct a study on the impact on of COVID-19 on women who work in the pharma industry.
As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign ramped up in the Spring, and rates of infection dropped, a return to normality appeared to be on the horizon. However, with widespread vaccine hesitancy paired with the virulent spread of the delta variant, we are once again left with an uncertain view of the future.
Throughout the past year, MD Analytics has been monitoring the effects of this uncertainty, and the pandemic in general, on the practices and perceptions of HCPs. Ongoing changes in workloads, patient assessments, and interactions with pharma have had direct and meaningful impact on the healthcare industry.
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.