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Why is it important to HCPs?

Recently my colleague Gemma posted why Real World Evidence (RWE) brings value to regulatory approval – you can read more here. Now we want to chat about why RWE is a powerful tool to reassure prescribers.

If you have first-hand experience of market research with HCPs, you’ll no doubt nod your head when I say prescribers often struggle to anticipate how they’ll use a product that is not yet launched. A product profile can add some confidence but, unless the medicine is personalized, prescribing a drug, particularly in the early days of launch can be a daunting task.

“We start to build a picture with our antipsychotics, our experience helps us figure out which one is good for hallucinations, which one is good for lifting the depression or activating the patient…a product profile can’t really tell us any of this because it comes with trial and error. Talking to my peers and hearing about their patients…” HCP

As marketers, we pore over the trial data, we live and breathe new products and then at launch, prescribers don’t always rush to prescribe. So what’s the solution? Well, Real World Evidence can be a huge step in the right direction.

Does Real-World uncover anything worth talking about?

We ran a real-world study in bipolar disorder. The psychiatrists recorded six patients who fit the criteria. They told us about the patients’ history, diagnosis and treatment. We then asked those same patients to complete a paper questionnaire. What we learnt was huge. The doctors were doing a fantastic job but unfortunately, some of the residual symptoms couldn’t be easily resolved.  This had led to a disconnect with priorities and our RWE highlighted this unmet need – an opportunity for the client’s brand. We published these findings in a journal.

Why invest in Real-World studies?

By reducing the evidence gap between clinical trial and real-world, RWE can help to gain momentum in the prescription of a drug.

By typing Real World Evidence into Google, you will see an influx of articles about brands using RWE to demonstrate efficacy and safety. One of the more recent uses of RWE is to expand labels. RWE looks at medical treatments in real-life settings so it can evaluate new treatments where clinical trials become impractical or unethical, which leads me to my final point…

RWE comes into its own for Orphan drugs. RWE is usually ‘big data’ but when a rare disease comes into play, we have to make adjustments. RWE still benefits these brands because we can still track patient disease, treatment and their quality of life. To account for smaller populations, we use different analytical approaches, such as using historical control data.

To summarise, RWE studies benefit the pharma company because of the landscape of data they can explore, but it also benefits the prescriber. RWE gives doctors more confidence by taking a flat product profile and injecting it with evidence gathered from the clinical world around them.

If you’d like to hear more about our RW studies email me on Rebecca.Mills@ashfieldhealthcare.com  

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