With more than 300 pharma and biotech projects under our belt, we sometimes feel like we’ve seen it all.

Pharma, biotech, and healthcareNew clients are often surprised at the wide range of issues we’ve helped our healthcare clients tackle: Qual and quant, branded and unbranded campaigns, new product forecasting, formulary dossier development, celebrity spokesperson testing, medical science liaison relationships, e-marketing ROI, sales rep best practices, patient segmentation, field monitor effectiveness, physician profiling, package testing, call center and hub satisfaction, just to name a few. And, even with such breadth in pharma and healthcare, our experience in other industries allows us to pull learnings from outside the healthcare arena to ensure we’re applying best research practices to our pharma, biotech, and healthcare projects.


Digital Visitor Verification Digital Visitor Verification Digital Visitor Verification

Industry: Pharma, biotech, and healthcare

Area of Focus: Digital Assessment

Target: Physicians & HCPs

Method: Quant online survey

Background: A pharma company’s digital media agency launched a banner ad and sponsored search campaign to drive prescribers to the product’s website for healthcare professionals. The agency had access to Google Analytics data, which provided visitor quantity and click-through metrics but was unable to verify whether the visitors being driven by paid media were actually healthcare professionals.

Business Questions: Is the media spend targeted at HCPs driving the intended targets? Which elements of the media spend (e.g., specific search terms, a specific banner ad) are doing the best job of driving the intended target to the site and which are doing the worst?

Approach: Short-form website intercept survey on entry with source data capture and page view tracking. Survey ran for three months and 9% of all visitors completed the survey to allow for a high level of statistical confidence around the results.

Outcome: Visitor quality data by source allowed the agency to calculate a true cost-per-HCP for each component of the media buy, which led to changes in the media buy to optimize the spend moving forward. Page view data by visitor type informed future decisions about landing pages and site content.

Micro-site ROI Evaluation Micro-site ROI Evaluation Micro-site ROI Evaluation

Industry: Pharma, biotech, and healthcare

Area of Focus: Ad Effectiveness

Target: Patients

Method: Quant online survey with test vs. control methodology

Background: A pharma client marketing a treatment for hypertension was working with a large health publisher to promote its product by sponsoring a site area with hypertension-related content. Our client needed metrics to gauge whether this sponsorship was a worthwhile investment.

Business Questions: How well is the micro-site attracting visitors who are in the target market for this product? To what extent does exposure to the sponsored micro-site affect the likelihood that visitors will be prescribed the client’s product?

Approach: Quantitative website intercept survey upon exit from the micro-site area and re-contact surveys eight weeks later. Separate test and control groups were utilized to measure differences by micro-site content type and exposure altogether.

Outcome: The findings were used to calculate the ROI of the sponsorship, leading the client to further its investment. Survey results also allowed for refining of the micro-site content to maximize appeal and motivation to the target audience.

Patient Service Center/Hub Development Patient Service Center/Hub Development Patient Service Center/Hub Development

Industry: Pharma, biotech, and healthcare

Area of Focus: Product & Service Development and Refinement

Target: HCPs / B2B

Method: In-person focus groups and qual telephone interviews

Background: As it launched a new specialty medication for a rare condition, a biopharm client wished to develop a patient service center or hub to provide authorization, reimbursement, and fulfillment assistance. In order to design its own hub, the client needed insight into its competitors’ hubs, how well they were serving patients, and what could be done differently to minimize barriers to drug fulfillment.

Business Question: How should the new hub be designed in order to efficiently service patients and help maximize the new treatment’s market share once it launches?

Approach: In-person focus groups and qualitative telephone interviews with physician office staff who work with and on behalf of patients to get this specific type of treatment approved and delivered to them.

Outcome: Many detailed insights into the complex and often challenging process of getting patients approved for and on this class of medication were uncovered, allowing the client to build a hub that avoided known pitfalls and offered highly desirable services, such as a single point of contact and customized modes of communication based on each office’s needs.

Physician Attitudinal Profile Physician Attitudinal Profile Physician Attitudinal Profile

Industry: Pharma, biotech, and healthcare

Area of Focus: Target Profiling and Message Optimization

Target: Physicians and HCPs

Method: Quant telephone surveys

Background: To aid in the development of marketing for a new Alzheimer’s disease medication formulation, a pharma client’s wished to understand the attitudes and needs of physicians that treat AD. We profiled physicians across the medication’s five key prescribing segments as well as its five practice type sub-segments.

Business Questions: What are physicians’ perceptions of the AD medications currently available to treat the condition and what holes exist in the treatment regimens? How are the client’s prescribing segments differentiated by the their attitudes and profile data?

Approach: Quantitative telephone interviews with a nationwide sample of target physicians provided by the client.

Outcome: The study findings helped prioritize the segments based on the greatest marketing opportunities for the medication and identified communication elements that would appeal to each segment uniquely.

MSL Assessment & Tracking MSL Assessment & Tracking MSL Assessment & Tracking

Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Area of Focus: Customer Satisfaction
Target: Physicians and HCPs, Key Opinion Leaders
Method: Quant online survey

Background: The Medical Affairs division of a leading pharmaceutical company utilizes Medical Science Liaisons to create peer-to-peer relationships with Opinion Leaders in the therapeutic areas it serves. The client needed a mechanism for obtaining unbiased feedback to help assess those relationships and to identify individual MSL training opportunities.

Business Question: What specifically do Opinion Leaders want when they interact with MSLs? Are the client’s MSLs providing what their specific assigned Opinion Leaders want from the relationship, and if not, how can a specific MSL improve?

Approach: Short quantitative online survey among Opinion Leaders in the client’s database who have interacted with the assigned MSL a minimum number of times. Conducted annually to track changes from year to year.

Outcome: Individual MSL “report cards” delivered to managers via an interactive tool utilized for performance review and individual training. Aggregate results and year-to-year tracking used by Medical Affairs group management to identify geographic area or therapeutic area opportunities, to guide departmental training and development activities, and to optimize investments in resources to be provided by the MSLs.
Patient Services Program Improvement Patient Services Program Improvement Patient Services Program Improvement

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Area of Focus: Process & Program Assessment and Improvement

Target: Patients and caregivers

Method: Quant telephone surveys

Background: Pharma client’s patient program team is responsible for providing a number of services for patients who have been prescribed their medication for multiple sclerosis. Changes were made to the program in one U.S. region to help better serve patients, and management wanted to understand how satisfied each of its program constituents was with the service before rolling changes out to other regions.

Business Questions: How satisfied are patients with the program overall and on specific attributes of service? How much more satisfied were patients who participated in the region that changed processes vs. those in the other regions?

Approach: Telephone interviews with MS patients enrolled in the program; sample sizes large enough in each region to see statistically significant differences on key attributes.

Outcome: A revised program was rolled out in two regions, with revisions including a more efficient registration process, revised communications to emphasize available assistance with problem areas, increased assistance with prior authorizations and reimbursements, and expanded clinic partnerships to increase walk-in location options for patients needing clinical testing.

Specialty Pharmacy Service Assessment Specialty Pharmacy Service Assessment Specialty Pharmacy Service Assessment

Industry: Biopharmaceuticals

Area of Focus: Process & Program Assessment and Improvement

Target: HCPs managing reimbursement & access

Method: Quant telephone interviews

Background: A biotherapeutics company who relies heavily on specialty pharmacy services for distribution and patient support of its leading products needed unbiased performance metrics on a particular specialty pharmacy to aid in quality assessment and contract negotiation.

Business Questions: How satisfied are HCPs with the distribution and support services managed by the specialty pharmacy? Do service levels vary by regional pharmacy branch? What are the key components of service quality for benchmarking and tracking purposes? What can the specialty pharmacy do better to maximize HCP and patient satisfaction?

Approach: Quantitative telephone surveys among prescriber office staff who have direct contact with the specialty pharmacy

Outcome: Study findings were used to create regional pharmacy branch report cards, with key performance metrics and verbatim comments about the branch, which the client utilized in its performance review and contract negotiations with the specialty pharmacy.

Website / Mobile App Beta Testing Website / Mobile App Beta Testing Website / Mobile App Beta Testing

Industry: Consumer Healthcare

Area of Focus: Digital Assessment

Target: Patients

Method: In-person one-on-one interviews

Background: Consumer healthcare client markets an OTC product to help relieve allergy symptoms and needed user feedback on the product’s new desktop and mobile websites prior to the public launch.

Business Questions: What are the potential points of confusion? How could the sites’ features, navigation elements, and iconographies be improved to ensure the best site experiences?

Approach: One-on-one in-person usability tests at a central facility with moderate to heavy allergy sufferers who use the Internet for health and medical information.

Outcome: More than twenty key action items were identified to improve the user experience, including edits to dropdown menu items, widget changes, re-ordering of FAQ, enhancements to product descriptions, and increasing mobile site functionality by improving geo-location capabilities.

Call Center Assessment Call Center Assessment Call Center Assessment

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Area of Focus: Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty

Target: Patients and caregivers

Method: Quant telephone and online surveys

Background: Pharmaceutical client has a toll-free phone number and email address for patients and caregivers to inquire about the company and its specific medications. Previous research showed a strong link between patients’ satisfaction with customer service and the number who talked to their doctor about the company’s medications.

Business Question: How well are the company’s customer care agents addressing patients’ information needs for the medications in which they might be interested?

Approach: Ongoing quantitative surveys via telephone and online with those who called and emailed the pharmaceutical company to gauge satisfaction levels with customer service and determine what actions they took following their contact.

Outcome: Based on study findings, the company streamlined its telephone menu system, increased the speed with which agents responded to emails, set clearer and more reasonable expectations for the type and amount of information agents were authorized to provide, and implemented training and incentives to provide faster and better follow-up when additional information was needed.

Increased Market Share Assessment Increased Market Share Assessment Increased Market Share Assessment

Industry: Pharma, biotech, and healthcare

Area of Focus: Target Profiling & Message Optimization

Target: Physicians and HCPs

Method: Qual telephone in-depths

Background: Pharmaceutical client marketed a medication to alleviate breakthrough cancer pain. A competitive new-to-market medication had been garnering significant share in a very short amount of time.

Business Questions: Why was the new medication obtaining sizeable market share so quickly? What did physicians like about the competitive medication and what steps could our client take to retain prescriptions?

Approach: Qualitative interviews with physicians who had recently prescribed the competitor’s medication.

Outcome: Research showed that physicians liked the competitive medication’s mode of delivery and quick onset and that sales rep visits were an integral part in helping them achieve success. To be more competitive, our client was challenged with increasing rep visits, altering detail messaging, and providing similar voucher or trial solutions.

Go top