Case Study – August 7, 2019

Leveraging an Expert Panel for Message Testing

A pharmaceutical company needed quick feedback on physician-targeted messaging around a new drug delivery method. The company enlisted physicians from a standing panel of experts to provide input on the messaging during two virtual advisory board meetings.

Situation

A global pharmaceutical company planned to introduce a new delivery method for a successful biologic drug used to treat a chronic disease. Typically, this drug is administered in a physician’s office via prefilled syringe every six weeks. The new method is a self-administration mechanism that patients use on the same schedule, without going to a doctor’s office or clinic. The company wanted to make physicians aware of the new delivery format in an efficient, impactful way that would not require too much time out of an HCP’s busy schedule.

Challenge

Because the new delivery method was awaiting government approval, the company was limited in what the advertisement could show and say. It could not include a picture of the drug’s new delivery method or other packaging and could not use specific words such as “at-home” or “self-administering.” The pharmaceutical company also needed to know if physicians would be inclined to switch their patients to the new delivery format.

Solution

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    Advisor participation

The company decided to leverage a group of HCPs on a standing contract with the organization to provide input during two virtual meetings conducted via the Within3 online discussion platform. The group consists of physicians who are available on very short notice to provide feedback on an as-needed basis.

In the two virtual meetings, the HCPs were asked to look at a proposed advertisement and provide feedback on the following key items:

  1. Whether the ad made clear it was the same drug HCPs were accustomed to prescribing, but in a different format
  2. Whether the new delivery method was apparent, given the messaging restrictions
  3. If the news of the new format would change physicians’ minds about prescribing the drug

Results

The pharmaceutical company quickly got the answers to their primary questions about the messaging. Advisors said they understood what the ad intended to communicate and stated that the availability of the new delivery format meant more options for their patients.

The company also learned several other valuable pieces of information:

  1. HCPs stated a general preference for advertising materials to be more patient-focused, as that is their preferred treatment approach
  2. All of the doctors emphasized that their number one concern was efficacy, and that while some patients would benefit from self-administration, they would not likely switch all patients uniformly to the new delivery method
  3. Only certain patients would be good candidates for the self-administering method, including those who are younger, more compliant and/or motivated, or those that live far from a doctor’s office or clinic
  4. Some advisors wanted more physician or patient education available around the new drug delivery option

The pharmaceutical company was able to refine its direction in developing the physician-targeted advertisement. They also received valuable feedback about how physicians prioritize patient outcomes over delivery method options, plus important information about treatment patterns and what types of patients the doctors might consider for the new treatment.