Key findings from a product launch survey in the pharma industry

Today, patients want to know more about new treatment options as they come to market, and be more engaged in their treatment decisions, receive more personalized healthcare and, ultimately, feel confident that they’re receiving the best treatment. This means that launching new products in this evolving environment will require launch teams from pharmaceutical companies to strengthen their strategy, with the goal to create unique, personalized patient experiences, and bridge the gap between patients, their healthcare providers and their therapies.

This inaugural survey on product launch in the pharmaceutical industry takes a detailed look at the factors influencing patients in their consideration and selection of new therapeutic treatments coming to market. The research aims to help pharmaceutical companies gain insights into what will enable them to successfully launch new treatments in an exciting but challenging market characterized by more complex specialty therapeutics.

The research reveals how 8,000 patients from across the US and Europe learn about, evaluate and select new treatments in eight therapeutic areas (immune system, heart, lungs, brain, cancer, hormone/ metabolism and eye disease) across three generations: Baby boomers, Generation X and Millennials.

Here is a summary of the key findings:

Brands do not matter to most patients, outcomes do. When it comes to making decisions about their healthcare and the treatments they receive, the three top factors influencing patients’ decisions are: the doctor/ physician relationship (66%), the patient’s ability to maintain their current lifestyle (55%) and ease of access to the care they will need (53%). Brand loyalty or popularity is relatively unimportant when considering a treatment, ranking twelfth out of 14 influencing factors.

Patients lack information on new products. Only 38% of all patients feel knowledgeable about new or existing products coming to market for their condition, and just under half (48%) of patients believe their doctors discuss the whole range of treatment options with them.

If patients are thinking about switching treatments, they most likely will. The main reason for considering switching treatments is recommendation from their physician, and 62% of patients who thought about switching treatments ended up doing so.

The key findings suggest that leading with evidence should be a high priority, meaning that launch programs and communications with healthcare providers need to focus on proving how their evidence-based solution can help them deliver better outcomes for their patients, versus a launch strategy which is focused primarily on the product/ brand itself. Programs also need to make it easier for healthcare providers to educate different patient sub-groups. Most patient sub-segments also seek information from other sources, whether it be online, or from relatives, or other people with the same condition. Having a fact-based understanding where and how different patient sub-groups seek and consume disease information is essential.

Pharmaceutical companies also need to educate consumers with ‘patient language’ that can be easily understood and therefore impactful for the patient. They need to speak to consumers/customers, such as healthcare providers and payers, in relevant terms to each patient sub-group across all communication channels. This impacts how pharma educate their field salesforce, who play an important part in helping physicians articulate care regimens to patients in simplified, easy-to-understand terms.

Pharmaceutical companies also need to dig deeper to uncover insights: As they lead with evidence, they must critically assess their enterprise analytics capabilities across R&D, medical, patient services and commercial functions. For example, how do insights from medical records support real-world evidence and patient journey experiences, and how can these insights be leveraged to advance the marketing model for new launches?

The research shows that it is time for pharmaceutical companies to change product launch strategies from the one-size-fits-all approaches of the past. They must take advantage of the massive availability of data and accelerate analytics to better focus on the needs of patient sub-segments. According to the results of the survey, the priorities for pharma companies launching a new product should be to: 1) bring an outcome to market, not just a product; 2) lead with evidence that proves a solution (product + services) can deliver an improved outcome; and 3)  tailor product launches to match the needs, preferences and motivations of patient sub-groups.

QIAGEN’s Oncology & Precision Diagnostics team works with pharma partners to facilitate accelerated access to treatment by facilitating companion diagnostic testing readiness in each country or region through our expert testing networks. Find out more about QIAGEN’s technologies and expertise for developing companion diagnostics together with Pharma here, and contact us with any questions at

Shibani Datta is a Global Market Manager in Demand Generation at QIAGEN. She has received her education in the field of Genetics from Texas A&M University, where she studied the mechanisms of DNA replication and amplification in Tetrahymena thermophila. Prior to her marketing role, she has trained as a biotechnologist in the field of assay development, antibody generation, and humanization. She is passionate about communicating the value of molecular technologies for research and healthcare.

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