Case study: How a mobile methodology elicited a deeper understanding of the key drivers behind physicians’ prescribing decisions

The challenge

After the recent launch of a competitor drug in cardiology, our client wanted to better understand the degree of differentiation between products, focusing especially on the way physicians justified their selection of specific novel products which are known to be poorly differentiated. A better understanding of the overall justification for prescribing novel therapies (versus standard-of-care) was required.

doctor with ipad 2
doctor with ipad 2

The challenge

After the recent launch of a competitor drug in cardiology, our client wanted to better understand the degree of differentiation between products, focusing especially on the way physicians justified their selection of specific novel products which are known to be poorly differentiated. A better understanding of the overall justification for prescribing novel therapies (versus standard-of-care) was required.

The solution
Our Rx Rationale tool is a customisable way to get close to individual treatment decisions by gathering the physician’s own spoken-word justification and rationale within moments of the decision being made. Physicians are custom-recruited and provide details of treatment decisions in prospective patients in an agreed period.

We conducted the research in two phases among cardiologists and GPs across the EU and Canada. Stage 1 used Rx Rationale to gain the in-the-moment decision rationale, with Stage 2 conducted as tele-depth interviews with the same physicians, following up on issues raised by Stage 1 and discussing hypotheses developed in our Stage 1 analysis.

The outputs
We were able to supply our client with original audio of the rationale for real treatment decisions in this key market, as well as translated and transcribed versions. Variables from (closed) patient descriptors and coded verbal submission were turned into binary variables, allowing us to plot clear maps of the competing therapies against clinical and other patient factors. The research provided the client with a clear understanding of the perceived positioning of their own product against key novel competitors and also of the novel therapies versus standard of care. This was supported by full qualitative analysis from Stage 2 of the research.

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