The world is always changing, and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception.
The Way Things Were
Customer experience research in pharma used to be heavily centered on sales representative performance because they were the “face” of the pharma company and the primary touch point with physicians. They had significant opportunity to form close, personal relationships. Research studies focused on whether sales reps were knowledgeable and professional, respected the physician’s time and helped enable physicians to better take care of patients. But a lot has changed in the past few years…
Sixty percent of Americans suffer from a chronic disease, making the need for affordable treatment options critical. Even with health insurance, sufferers struggle to manage their condition as prescription costs continue to rise and shift to the patient. The repercussions of this trend cascade through the patient-provider relationship, which now includes insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Market Strategies International recently conducted a study of more than 1,000 adults age 18 and older to understand the impact of rising prescription costs in three key areas:
Intentional prescription non-compliance
Consumer attitudes towards healthcare providers, health insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies
Consumer awareness and enrollment in patient assistance programs (PAPs)
What we found is a huge gap between needs and value as well as a strong indication that PAPs may be the panacea for improving compliance and attitudes towards pharmaceutical companies.
In 2013, actress Angelina Jolie announced that she had a preventive double mastectomy after genetic testing revealed she carries the BRCA gene, putting her at an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer. The announcement, shared as an essay in The New York Times, sparked a national conversation about genetic testing. Since then, there seem to be daily news reports suggesting the findings of new genetic mutations that may be linked to risk for certain diseases or used for diagnosis of a disease.
We were curious how the populace is feeling about genetic testing—do they see value in knowing the future, or do they find peace in not knowing? To find out, we conducted our own study with 1,006 people in the US to understand what they know about genetic testing and what they think of it—what we learned surprised us.
“Generic medications are not as good as branded medications.” “If it costs more, it must be better.” “If I switch from a branded drug to its generic version, I risk treatment failure.”
With 7 in 10 US adults taking at least one prescription medication, and where 8 out of 10 prescriptions written are for generic drugs, it has been common to hear these comments from patients and even healthcare professionals. Until now. According to new independent research from Market Strategies International, these prevalent myths appear to be dying out, and Americans now feel right at home in a world dominated by generics.
Improved Perception of Generic Drugs
According to our study, the majority of US adults now believe that generic medications are just as good as branded medications. Consider these statistics:
As researchers, we hear–and are frequently asked about–‘new’ approaches, methodologies, deliverables…and so on. I believe true innovation in research (and perhaps in most industries) comes at a glacial pace, simply because many of the tried, true and tested methods are amazing, wonderful and solid members of our research family. This is especially true in quantitative research. However, lately I have been riding a wave of new research approaches that leverage today’s technology.These are fun and exciting projects to be a part of and are offering our clients deep learning, intimate insights and the opportunity for real-time, global collaboration as a team.
This is the first in a series of blog posts about these options. Today’s topic? Asynchronous video.
Market Strategies has recently had the privilege of working on patient journey projects within healthcare, life sciences and consumer packaged goods. Clients in these industries often require patient journey market research as new products approach launch, as new indications are forthcoming or as a market shifts significantly. Why do it? Because there is a real desire to genuinely understand the stories patients have to tell. To be effective, marketers must understand how the patient experience overlays with that of the healthcare professional (HCP) and how both of those layer on to what the new product or service will offer. It allows marketing teams to say, “I know this patient. I know this treater. I can see where my product can help…or where it will miss the mark.” It is the lens of empathy overlapping with the lens of business.
On February 4, I will be presenting at the Pharma Market Research Conference (PMRC) in New Jersey. The topic? Patient targeting—an element that is critical to the successful launch of a brand, especially in an uber-competitive market that includes generics and several “me, too” players. As I thought more and more about my presentation, I quickly realized that my myopic world of pharmaceuticals is really not much different than other industries that sell consumables. In fact, pharma may actually be the laggard on this one, benefiting from decades of high unmet need that allowed for broad-based use vs. a targeted campaign.