But Primary Care Physicians say that no company is the clear leader and several are positioned to become first in class
Market Strategies International, a full-service custom and syndicated research and strategic consulting firm, has released its results from a syndicated healthcare research study that identifies what primary care physicians perceive to be the top pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) in the industry.
The findings were first made public on March 4 before 300 industry and advocate representatives at the 9th annual Patient Assistance Program Conference in Baltimore. The study was designed to determine how PAP image influences overall corporate image among primary care physicians, what performance measures drive a pharmaceutical company's PAP image, and which companies are perceived as having the best PAP.
"Healthcare reform has emerged as one of the top domestic issues in the 2008 presidential race and the perception is that rapidly rising healthcare costs, increasing numbers of uninsured Americans, and more out-of-pocket spending on prescriptions demand action," said Market Strategies Vice President Jack Fyock, PhD., a study co-author. Fyock heads up Market Strategies' new practice, Access to Care, which focuses on how the healthcare industry is responding to these challenging issues.
"As a result PAPs have risen to a more prominent role in demonstrating how pharmaceutical companies are responding to the growing challenge of access," Fyock said.
In the study, about 20 percent of a company's overall corporate image is accounted for by physician perceptions of their PAP program. This relationship signifies to pharmaceutical companies the importance of establishing themselves as leaders in PAP performance.
Indeed, primary care physicians who had a positive image of a pharmaceutical company's PAP are more willing to engage in positive behaviors toward that company than companies with a less positive image.
"Our study included 26 performance metrics that drive PAP image and assessed the performance of 14 company PAPs on these metrics,' said Market Strategies Research Director Ellen Gordon, Ph.D., a study co-author. 'The analysis led to some surprising results."
"We know that companies spend significant time and money instructing their representatives to talk about features of, or changes to, their PAP with primary care physicians,' Gordon said. 'But our research shows that these efforts may be misguided."
Such attributes as "flexibility to extenuating circumstances" and "is a company I can trust" are measurably more effective at driving PAP image, the study shows.
"Together, this information can help a pharmaceutical company develop strategies and tactics that will most effectively promote its PAP with primary care physicians," Gordon said.
The full report reveals the importance of each of the 26 performance metrics and how each company compares on its attribute performance to the other 14 companies.
Even though such companies as Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline rank high according to physicians, no company has established itself as a clear leader in the in PAP image.
"The exciting news is that many companies are well positioned to take over the leadership role in image," Fyock said.
This comprehensive Market Strategies study is the first in the pharmaceutical industry to focus on PAP performance. A second study focused on medical practice staff is planned for later this year.
The syndicated study features 500 web based interviews conducted with primary care physicians regarding their perceptions of 14 pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs. The study was conducted between January 29 and February 4, 2008.
For further information on this study, please contact:
Jack Fyock, PhD.