Awareness, trial and usage surveys for patients and caregivers illuminate unique insights for brands

The problem

When it comes to treatments and medications, patients care about many of the same benefits that concern prescribers, like efficacy, safety, and trust. These measures and more are traditionally evaluated with awareness, trial, and usage (ATU) surveys.

However, ATU surveys are often solely focused on healthcare provider (HCP) perspectives. This narrow view of ATUs misses a key opportunity to survey patient and caregiver populations and illuminate brand insights within the overall health journey that HCPs can’t provide.

After the treatment landscape for a rare form of cancer shifted, a major pharmaceutical company learned that this change was confusing healthcare providers and patients as to which medication represented the gold standard of treatment.

Recognizing the increasing involvement of patients and their caregivers in treatment decision-making and research, this client came to Inspire to understand patient and caregiver:

  • Knowledge and experience with cancer treatments
  • Treatment history and goals
  • Information resources
  • Unmet needs

The solution

Empowered patients want more control over their health journey. They often bring what they’ve learned from their peers on social media directly to their doctors.

Conducting ATU surveys with patients and caregivers on the Inspire platform can reveal:

  • Where patients obtain information and awareness about up-and-coming treatments
  • Previously unknown subsets of the market that can be targeted to refresh sales for a mature brand
  • New value propositions for a product by pinpointing unmet needs of qualified patients

In social communities like Inspire, patients describe their treatments in terms of duration of use, side effects, and compare them directly with other treatments they’ve tried:

“I’ve been on [drug A] for two months now. [My doctor] prescribed it, making the switch from [drug B], and so far so good. Some fatigue and weakness but I am also on a bunch of other meds so who knows. He has me taking it before bedtime and I sleep very well—nice benefit from it. My appetite, etc. has been good. I continue to exercise daily to stay fit and try to ward off fatigue and weakness. You can check my profile to see what I’ve been up to as far as treatment goes—it includes [drug A] per [protocol name]. Second infusion scheduled for today.”

Implementing patient and caregiver ATU surveys provides brands with a unique opportunity to develop more social media strategies, meeting patients and caregivers where they go to research treatments.

In the case of our client, Inspire conducted ATU surveys to discover the types of information that patients and caregivers obtained through different media and, most importantly, how these details mapped to the patient journey.

Illustration of a diverse group of individuals participating in a survey

The result

Results of the patient and caregiver ATU surveys indicated that patients’ treatment goals shifted along the patient journey. Goals for the first line of treatment focused on efficacy. Besides their oncologists, patients and caregivers relied most on patient organizations as information resources at this time during diagnosis and early treatment. Patients wanted to be part of the treatment decision-making process and the majority of survey takers wanted to learn everything they could about the cancer and its treatment.

At relapse, 50 percent of patients turned to family and friends to help them decide their next course of treatment. Between 40 and 50 percent of the respondents discussed alternative treatments with their physicians.

After conducting ATU surveys on Inspire, our client recognized the influence patients and caregivers possess in treatment decision-making. This allowed our client to find fresh touchpoint opportunities in the patient journey. Through Inspire’s research, the client identified situations where patients who were eligible for the treatment turned away from the company’s brand because of a lack of information, negative sentiments, or more interest in other medications.

Inspire’s client could leverage these findings to create:

  • Medication specific information to be shared between patients and their oncologists
  • Resources on how to live life to the fullest while on treatment
  • Directories of specialists for second opinions
  • Aids for maintaining a schedule of treatment
  • Patient support for dealing with the uncertainty around the disease
  • Tools for patients to stay adherent to their medication
  • Regular unbranded communication to bring the brand to mind
Illustration of a female patient's health care journey, including a prescription for medication along the road, as well as finding community to share experiences with

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