Deep Dive: Using market research to facilitate patient centricity
Published in Pharmaphorum’s Deep Dive magazine March 2017
A number of factors have come together in recent years to drive a transformation within pharmaceutical companies from being product-led to patient-centric:
- An ever-growing and ageing global population is putting increasing pressure on healthcare systems, which need to decide how best to spend their limited budgets.
- Consequently, payers and policymakers are demanding clear demonstrations of real-world value and positive patient outcomes for new medicines.
- Physicians need support to make faster diagnoses and provision of treatments more tailored to individual patients.
- Patients, exposed to a wealth of information, are becoming more informed and engaged in decisions about how they are treated.
This transformation is a welcome one, which benefits all parties, but also puts considerable challenges on big pharma. A patient-centric model demands huge investment and a company-wide commitment to putting patients’ wants and needs first during all stages of healthcare delivery, from drug discovery through to long-term disease management.
Market research is ideally placed to support pharma with this need for greater patient understanding throughout the stages of product commercialisation. However, it’s not simply a case of doing more market research with patients. It’s about including the voice of the patient when considering any aspect of drug delivery or healthcare service provision, in early-phase clinical development, as well as when a drug is about to launch.
Market research needs to provide 360-degree insights from all key stakeholders with whom the patient comes into contact. Research programmes should employ methodologies and techniques which help deliver truer patient insights and more closely reflect their behaviour in the real world. And the insights delivered from research, even if not among patients, must tell the story from the patient perspective.