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An Approach to the Improvement of Physician Engagement Using Healthcare Research

Nikkei Research has proposed a new way for pharmaceutical companies to achieve more effective physician engagement. We conducted a recent survey, asking respondents to evaluate pharmaceutical companies in terms of factors such as trustworthiness, products, MRs (medical representatives), and information provision. We concluded that to enhance their abilities to engage with doctors, pharmaceutical companies would need to conduct external audits and careful examinations. This is because company characteristics and physician perceptions vary greatly.

Today, in almost every industry and corporation, wide-ranging digital transformation is underway, and the healthcare world is no exception. Utilization of big data is becoming the new normal for everyday operations, including those involving marketing and strategic planning. Nevertheless, pharmaceutical companies are still lacking sufficiently large amounts of a certain type of information - the honest, unbiased opinions of physicians. Plugging this hole would allow pharmaceutical businesses to vastly improve engagement with doctors, which is one of their core missions. We can safely assume that the voices of doctors can only be captured on the required scale by third-party investigation, rather than via direct attempts such as gathering the results of miscellaneous interactions online or in-person with MRs that are stored internally.

In October 2022, Nikkei Research conducted an online survey asking physicians through the Nikkei Medical Online panels to rate pharmaceutical companies. A total of 307 specialists in either medical oncology, respiratory medicine, or respiratory surgery participated. Respondents were screened into only those who had treated patients with NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) or SCLC (small cell lung cancer) and who were either making or are involved with decisions on treatments.

Looking at the survey results, we saw significant differences between pharmaceutical companies' strengths and weaknesses in terms of contact points, products, and overall ratings. Furthermore, by analyzing the text data from open-ended questions, we also discovered much about the unique characteristics of each pharmaceutical company.

about the most trustworthy company and NPS (Net Promoter Score) results

Top choices for immune checkpoint inhibitors

The survey evaluated major companies such as AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, Chugai Pharmaceutical (Roche Group), Eli Lilly Japan, MSD, Novartis Pharma, Ono Pharmaceutical, Pfizer, and Taiho Pharmaceutical. The evaluation of contact points was separated by channel: in-person and online (including e-mail). Interactions with MRs and MSLs (medical science liaisons), R&D personnel, academics, and attendees of conferences and seminars were considered. Perhaps the most important of these were MRs, who were evaluated with respect to a variety of factors - knowledge, communication, responses, etc. In this survey, we focused on the doctors' top choices of immune checkpoint inhibitors - Pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®), Nivolumab (OPDIVO®), Durvalumab (IMFINZI®), Ipilimumab (YERVOY®), and Atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®) - for product evaluation. To determine overall company ratings, we asked about the most trustworthy lung cancer drug manufacturers based on physicians' treatment experiences, and we also calculated the NPS (Net Promoter Score).

Continue reading for further details.
(1) Physician engagement utilizing more data
(2) Pharmaceutical company ratings in the lung cancer field
(3) How to improve physician engagement


NIKKEI Research

We help to satisfy your research needs and derive meaningful insights. Our overseas offices in Thailand and the United States provide you with support globally. With over 50 years of experience, we specialize in numerous areas across industries and are involved in both BtoC- and BtoB-related endeavors. We cover a variety of topics, from market validation, employee engagement and customer experience to branding, complex analysis and beyond.

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