Most surprising findings in pharma research

opinion-bubble-stick-people-ygromvKEY TAKEAWAY: Patients and HCP’s are being left behind by changes in our healthcare system and they are turning, in bigger numbers, to the Internet for answers.  Some pharma companies are trying to cut through the clutter to actually help patients, as opposed to selling them, but that isn’t enough for most.

I love doing research.  I have found that people are more than willing to share their thoughts and ideas when it comes to healthcare.  It’s hard not to take an empathetic approach when you listen to people talk about their struggles trying to navigate an environment of online health information and what seems like endless treatment options.  Here are the top findings that surprised me in the first half of 2016..

Focus-Group

1ne: While we hear more and more about empowering patients, many are frustrated and overwhelmed with treatment choices.

2wo: Even with all the negative media coverage of pharma companies most still trust the drugs they develop, but patients want to “know more” such as how drugs work and how they may affect quality of life.

3hree: DTC TV ads are being ignored by target audiences except when they raise awareness of new treatments.

4our: Patients still trust their doctors, but want a closer relationship with their physician that consists of personal, one-to-one communication.

5ive: The biggest benefit, to patients, of EHR’s is being able to email doctors for Rx renewals.

6ix: Consumers will visit pharma product websites, but the vast majority rate these sites as “not meeting my needs” and as thus go online to other sites for more information.

7even: Both Millennials and Boomers will read posts on social media, about medications or managing a health problem, but most will not post because they don’t want others to know their personal health information.

8ight: Boomers are just as likely as Boomers to “fact check” claims by pharma companies online.  However, Millennials are more likely to delay treatment or seek alternate treatments for health problems.

Focus-Group

9ine: Doctor’s do not trust health monitoring apps and will not use data from them without requesting more tests in the office.

1oen: Newly diagnosed patients often are “overwhelmed” with choices and information.  The more severe the diagnosis the more time is spent online researching treatments, but that often leads to more confusion.

11leven: Nurse practitioners are becoming a more trusted source of health information and more patients turn them, via email, to help manage health issues.

12elve: The vast majority of people we talked with feel that the United States does not have “the best healthcare” in the world and some of the biggest concerns of aging Boomers is the possibility that retirement savings could be wiped out by a catastrophic illness.

There is lots here to digest, but within these findings, there is a wealth of opportunities.  I have to admit that it was hard for me not to want to jump out from behind the glass to talk with and help patients as they seem so lost.  Overall, they want a more personalized approach to medicine at a time when they feel like a statistic.