Listening to physicians in research (findings)

  • Physicians do spend time online, but their number one site is still Medscape.
  • They don’t have the time to connect with patients with social media and don’t see the value.
  • Drug company studies are a good source of information, but they want to “know more”.
  • Patients are “rarely’ coming to them asking for advertised drugs.

Spent the day in research listening to PCP’s and Oncologists talking about a range of topics.   It was an open and frank discussion about digital; healthcare and pharma.  Here are some top line findings:

1ne: The internet is becoming more important to them, but they just don’t have the time to go “learn” different site’s value.  Medscape was still mentioned as the number one site to “start their day”.

2wo: When talking about connecting with patients with social media the majority said “no”.  Reasons given were time constraints, possible misinformation and over communication needs of some patients.

3hree: Handheld devices and laptops are most used to both look up information on drugs and send prescriptions to the pharmacy.

4our: Oncologists said that too many drug reps come in with the same information presented in conferences.  Despite data presented they all “want to know more”.

5ive: Some cancer patients and caregivers are asking about some drugs they see advertised and Oncologists often have to explain why certain drugs are not right for their type of cancer.  They feel cancer is too complicated for most patients to understand treatment options.

6ix: PCP’s said that patients are “rarely” coming in asking about/for advertised drugs and the biggest factor is coverage by their insurance when trying to switch to newer therapies.

7even: EHR’s have not fulfilled the promise of “easy use” yet.

8ight: Prices, co-pays, have become a bigger issue for patients.

9ine: Some said they are having the “hard discussion” about a patient’s weight and lack of exercise, but they are careful not to push the conversation too far.

10en: The biggest concern is the increasing cost of health insurance.  They feel that this is going to lead to overall higher health care costs and non compliance.

In one session I asked the moderator to ask our panel about PhRMA and the information they put out in support of pharma companies.  They laughed and said they “don’t pay attention” to PhRMA and that the money used by pharma companies for lobbying could be better spent.