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Emotional connection helps build trust in pharma products

Can be just as important as a product's functional characteristics, according US study

For US physicians to build trust in a pharmaceutical brand there needs to be familiarity, function and also an emotional connection, according to Harris Interactive.

The New York-based market research firm has released the results of a poll conducted among US physicians on their attitudes towards drugs for various medical conditions, which showed that trust in a product was dependent on its functional attributes, perception of the manufacturer as well as emotional connection.

The Harris Poll Physician Pulse SM survey collected data relating to the prescribing behaviour of 1,034 US physicians, focusing on drugs for treating asthma, COPD, osteoporosis, pregnancy prevention and rheumatoid arthritis.

"Across a diverse and growing set of therapeutic categories, we've been able to document that emotional connection to a product and the relational strengths of companies and representatives can be almost as important as the product's functional characteristics in driving trust and, ultimately, preference and prescribing," said Joseph Vorassi, SVP healthcare research at Harris Interactive.

The study highlights the importance trust plays when US physicians are endorsing, recommending or prescribing a particular drug.

"Our research clearly demonstrates that trust is about much more than efficacy alone," Vorrasi continued.

"The importance of the emotional component is further borne out by the consistency with which the study's trust leaders are shown to distinguish themselves on emotional measures in addition to functional ones."

The products that scored highest in each disease were:

  • Advair (GSK) for asthma
  • Spiriva (Boehringer Ingelheim) for COPD
  • Actonel (Warner Chilcott) for osteoporosis
  • Mirena (Bayer) for pregnancy prevention
  • Enbrel (Amgen) and Humira (Abbott) for rheumatoid arthritis

24th January 2013

From: Marketing

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