Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on New Pharma Product Launches | MD Analytics Inc.

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on New Pharma Product Launches

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.

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The changes brought by COVID-19 presented a number of unique obstacles related to new products for many physicians. For most, accessing information about new products during the pandemic was a challenge due in part, to limited interactions with pharma. More than 4 in 5 physicians agree they had fewer interactions with pharma during the pandemic and for most, this lack of interaction and limited opportunities to learn about new products, made it more difficult to assess how new products might fit into their practice. Adding to these challenges, many also highlight that their own lack of engagement or interest in virtual interactions made accessing information more difficult as well. Many agree, that virtual interactions with reps or MSLs were less engaging overall, and in general, physicians rate their satisfaction for virtual exchanges lower compared to in person.

In addition to the obstacles presented by COVID-19 in learning about new products, most also agree the pandemic also brought issues related to initiating patients on new products. The pandemic significantly increased virtual interactions with patients as well, and most highlight they are less comfortable initiating patients on new products during a virtual or remote interactions when compared to seeing patients in person.

As the pandemic comes to an end and interactions start to return to normal, many of the issues raised by COVID-19 are likely to fade. However, in a new environment where virtual interactions are likely to remain in place in some form, there may be a need to address how to better facilitate access to information as well as more comfort with virtual interactions with both pharma and patients.

Key takeaways

  • Changes in perceived use of newly launched or approved products
  • Challenges faced in accessing information and prescribing new products during the pandemic
  • Overall satisfaction with product launches during COVID-19
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