The Client & Business Challenge

Our client is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative drug delivery systems for the treatment of rare diseases.
The company was due to launch a new product aimed at the treatment of a rare infection. In preparation for this, the client approached us to help them better understand how specialist health care providers prioritise this infection in the management of their at-risk populations.

Our Approach

The intent of the project was to use the research outcomes to direct education campaigns, track the success of launch activities on prescriber behaviour, and optimize messaging for physicians. We proposed a multi-year study approach to track the impact of the company’s efforts year-on-year.
The project was conducted through a web survey and looked at five key European countries. A total of N=300 specialists took part in the study with an equal split across all markets. By conducting the project in “waves” (i.e. multi-year approach) the client was able to:
• Understand how management practice of this rare disease changed over time
• Evaluate the perceived risk of different population sub-sets contracting the disease
• Gather data on testing frequency and treatments used on infected patients

The Results and Impact

Through the first wave of research, a general understanding of the current situation was outlined for the client to create a marketing blueprint and refine their launch activities. Amongst some of the key preliminary (i.e. Wave 1) findings were:
• Physician awareness of this rare disease was high, as was the understanding of its impact on hospitalizations and mortality
• Risk perception of patients contracting the disease was lower than expected. To address this, our client disseminated educational content to increase the risk perception and pushed for more frequent testing
• A significant number of healthcare providers were unaware that this rare pulmonary infection could build resistance to certain drugs. It was also shown that some physicians were not following published guidelines for its treatment. This led our client to develop publications on standard of care and initiate campaigns to convince physicians of the value of their innovative drug

As part of the second wave of research, we were able to review and compare the impact of the strategic initiatives implemented from the previous year’s findings. It was determined that educational initiatives to increase risk perceptions had not had a very significant effect; this sparked discussions on what had to be done to address this. It was also determined that the client had moderate success in pushing physicians to increase testing for this rare disease. By implementing additional questions, the client was also able to evaluate physician understanding of the disease at the molecular level which showed significant knowledge gaps to address. Through this data the client was able to refine and re-develop education campaigns and marketing initiatives for the new business year.