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Rheumatologists' review

Roche rated most trusted company, but still second to Wyeth on likelihood to recommend

Hip x-ray with pain at joints highlighted in redThe Doctor Monitor feature provides key insights into different speciality disease areas. Doctors are asked their views on pharmaceutical companies, key brands, representatives, education and meetings. The top five are listed in the tables below.

A total of 72 rheumatologists (53 consultants, 19 specialist registrars) were sampled during June 2009 and this article covers their responses to a number of questions in the survey.

Respondents were presented with a total of 14 pharmaceutical companies (with rheumatology products) from which to choose.

 

Companies you trust 

Q1: Which pharmaceutical company do you trust the most?

1 Roche 25%
2 Wyeth 22%
3 Schering-Plough 13%
4 Pfizer 10%
5 Lilly 3%
None of these 22%

Roche achieved a good statistic: with 25 per cent of responses, it was voted the most trusted company for its contribution to rheumatology. Interestingly, 22 per cent of rheumatologists declined to choose a company they "trusted the most" and opted for "none of these." 

 

Educational materials from pharma companies

Q2: Which pharmaceutical company provides you with the most helpful materials?

1

Roche

26%

2

Wyeth

25%

3

Schering-Plough

10%

4

Pfizer

7%

5

Novartis

6%

 

None of these

17%

Another win for Roche: 26 per cent of rheumatologists selected it as the company providing the most helpful educational materials. This is very impressive, particularly from a doctor population often reluctant to admit that the pharma industry assists their clinical practice. Wyeth is in second place once more, with Schering-Plough and Pfizer some way behind.

 

Pharmaceutical company recommendation

Q3: If asked, would you recommend this pharmaceutical company to a colleague? 

1

Wyeth

32%

2

Roche

29%

3

Schering-Plough

26%

4

Novartis

13%

5

Pfizer

13%

The following question did not offer "none of these" as a response alternative, so the rheumatologists surveyed had to score 1-10 based on "ikelihood to recommend." Scores of 8, 9, or 10 were classified as "promoter" scores where doctors are defined as likely to recommend the company. Wyeth and Roche feature at the top of this list. This is quantitative research, but as a follow-up, it would be interesting to know whether this is due, for example, to the volume of calls or quality of materials.

 

Satisfaction with clinical experience of products 

Q4: Please rate your satisfaction with your clinical experience with the product

Product Mean score based on rheumatologist response
1 Humira (Abbott) 4.7
2 Enbrel (Wyeth) 4.6
3 Mabthera (Roche) 4.3
4 Remicade (Schering-Plough) 4.1
5 Stelara (Janssen-Cilag) 3.2

Respondents were asked to rate their clinical experience with seven major rheumatology products. There was an option to enter “not enough clinical experience” as their answer. The 1-5 scoring was based on a rating of "very satisfied" (5) through to "very dissatisfied" (1). Abbott's Humira occupies top spot with Wyeth's Enbrel taking second place. The scoring was close, illustrating little difference between products in the minds of rheumatologists.

 

Satisfaction with representatives

Q5: Please rate your satisfaction with the product representatives of each of the following

Product Mean score based on rheumatologist response
1 Humira (Abbott) 4.3
2 Enbrel (Wyeth) 4.2
3 Mabthera (Roche) 4.1
4 Remicade (Schering-Plough) 4.0
5 Orencia (BMS) 3.9

Humira (Abbott) scores highest on overall satisfaction with the representative, followed closely by Enbrel. All scores in the top five are very close, showing little differentiation among product representatives when judged on “overall satisfaction”. Interestingly, the top four products/companies here mirror the order of question 4, which relates to clinical experience with product. Again, the 1-5 scoring was based on a rating of "very satisfied" (5) through to "very dissatisfied" (1).

 

Representatives with the best clinical understanding

Q6: Which representatives have the best clinical understanding?

Product Mean score based on rheumatologist response
1 Enbrel (Wyeth) 1.36
2 Mabthera (Roche) 1.32
3 Humira (Abbott) 1.29
4 Remicade (Schering-Plough) 1.01
5 Orencia (BMS) 0.17

With regard to rating representatives with the best clinical understanding, respondents were asked to rank their top three choices from the list of products. A product chosen first scored three, the one chosen second scored two, and the third scored one. Final values were calculated by dividing the sum of the scores for each product by the entire base of respondents to ensure that mean scores do not over-value products whose representatives are highly rated only by a very small number of doctors. Enbrel scores highest and Mabthera secures second place. Interestingly, Humira moves into third place, having been first in the previous two questions.

 

Likelihood to attend company sponsored meetings

Q7: Which product sponsored meeting are you most likely to attend?

Product

Mean score based on rheumatologist response

1

Mabthera (Roche)

29%

2

Stelara (Janssen-Cilag)

18%

3

Humira (Abbott)

11%

4

Orencia (BMS)

10%

5

Enbrel (Wyeth)

8%

Finally, rheumatologists were asked to make one selection for the product-sponsored meeting they would most likely attend. The top answer was Mabthera. Highest scorers here reflect the products that rheumatologists are most interested in. Stelara was also a high scorer, with Humira following in third place. This suggests that Roche is providing quality educational meetings to rheumatologists.

 

Conclusions
Roche is clearly popular with rheumatologists due to the educational resources it provides and this also makes it a "highly trusted" company. However, Humira (Abbott) scores highest for representative satisfaction and product satisfaction. Further analysis would be able to correlate company promotional and educational activity with the impact on the doctors.

 

The Author
Doctor Monitor is based on research conducted by medeConnect Healthcare Insight, which is part of the Doctors.net.uk group. The questionnaire was conducted online with Doctors.net.uk members. If you would like more information on this survey please contact Carwyn Jones, Doctors.net.uk. Email: pharma@doctors.net.uk or call: +44 (0)1235 828 400.

To comment on this article, email editor@pmlive.com

4th December 2009

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