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GfK Health experts routinely publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at industry conferences. Our white papers and webinars are accessible to our clients who also benefit from bespoke training workshops.

We frequently collaborate with clients on new frameworks and approaches, setting the industry agenda and advancing common causes.

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Read our blogs addressing hot topics from all areas of our expertise.

    • 05/22/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Intellus Philadelphia 2018: A report from the inaugural conference

    A fresh angle on customer centricity… featuring empathy and deep understanding.

    At Intellus in Philadelphia this May, the PMRG and PBIRG attendees focused almost exclusively on patients, offering an even deeper understanding of patients’ needs, their varied contexts and their experience as participants in research. The conference was an hour-by-hour reminder of the reason why we are in this business: our patients. And they were featured prominently in keynote addresses and discussion groups. A new “demo zone” featured bite-sized vignettes of technology and analytics that apply to patient/caregiver feedback, with many having clear application to physicians and payers as well.

    What it takes to put patients at the center

    It is easy to talk about putting patients at the center. Intellus actually did it. The main sessions featured patients, with the “Advocacy of Hope” keynote, featuring and moderated by rare disease patient advocates (themselves either patients or caregivers). We heard the perspective of patients, as well as gained insights into the dynamics of creating and leading patient advocacy forums. Over the last three decades, we, as marketing researchers, have learned from customer-centricity success stories (many of which are non-healthcare) about what it takes to become sustainably customer centric: It requires leadership that cares about the customers. Leadership must develop true empathy and a deep understanding of their customers’ needs. While pharma companies have always cared about the patients, what is new is that they have started to place them front and center in their strategies. We had proof of this at Intellus, as we heard patients talk about their personal challenges, how their disease impacts their lives and the role that support organizations play in managing the diseases.

    Understanding patients with rare diseases

    As researchers, we also heard the perspective of rare patient advocacy leaders — information that can help us recruit rare patient populations to studies, and gleaned tips (e.g., transparency) for the best way to conduct research in their communities. We want to learn without doing damage, and the conference delegates shared tip after tip on how to do exactly that. Some delegates led a deep-dive discussion into the needs of patients with rare diseases, with a clear message on how empathy helps them harness patient panels.

    Enabling patient centricity with technology, analytics and insights

    Technology and analytics from the “demo zone” revealed new techniques, such as GfK Health’s virtual reality tool that taps System 1 reactions (Daniel Kahneman’s behavioral economics) in patient-expert interactions. Virtual reality emerged elsewhere as well, with HRW sharing results from an R&D study comparing different approaches to measuring reactions to patient profiles. Analytics ranged from dashboards mapping patient types, to social conversation dashboards, to generalized influence networks.

    What next steps need to be taken

    Pharma is focusing again on digital and customer centricity. We saw an early phase of this in 2008-2010 that included quick investments, followed by the rapid refocusing of assets. The current phase is, for at least some companies, exhibiting features of this two-pronged approach that has been proven to work. Customer centricity is focusing on the most relevant customers, including patients, as featured in Intellus, but also extending to providers and payers – with a spotlight on creating true value that will lead to the commercial success needed to fund the customer experience (CX) focus. This season’s conferences have once again pointed the world of health in the right direction. Now we will see if they follow through, and include the requirements for CX success in their initiatives. This article was co-authored by Cheryl Mulherin To share your thoughts, please email tom.hartley@gfk.com, cheryl.mulherin@gfk.com or leave a comment below.
    • 05/08/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2018: A delegate’s perspective

    Patient Centricity is not new…but with so many willing partners for pharma, who is the right one to help leverage the full power of patient centricity?

    At eyeforpharma in Philadelphia this April, the theme was “Know your patient. Deliver real value.” The concept of patient centricity is not novel, but it may be harder than we thought to leverage its inherent power and “deliver real value.” While pharma is making headway, there is a realization that it will take longer to accomplish, and it is a multifaceted venture that requires many partners. In a survey of over 1,200 industry players, 91% said patient centricity is important, but only 30% feel they are confident that they can make it happen. Technology, AI, machine learning, strong payer strategies and medical affairs will all need to work in concert to drive patient centricity, to improve patient care and shorten the benefit approval process.

    Science and innovation does not seem to be the problem – alignment is!

    The science of medicine continues to evolve at a rapid pace, creating new targeted drugs that focus on specific patient types (examples include Hep C, CAR-T and others), leading to higher life expectancy. However, what is missing is the drive to truly move the patient into the center of our universe, using the patient as a starting point rather than an afterthought. There was widespread consensus that there needs to be a major change around the corporate culture/mindset, alignment with managed care, regulatory challenges and slow R+D drug development processes. Are there lessons to be learned from other industries that have put the consumer first?

    When building a patient-centric model, the devil is in the details!

    Several companies talked about how they have put patients first, and an honest assessment of the current situation is almost always a good starting point:
    • Look within your company and examine its culture.
    • Engage with patient authentically and often.
    • Learn from other industries particularly tech (Amazon experience).
    • Deliver on patient promises.
    • Use data smartly and judiciously (big data does not always mean better data).
    • Help patients be self-reliant – allow them to guide us and help connect pharma with their lives.

    Where do we go from here?

    Pharma is betting big on digital transformation for the industry, but technology will not be enough. What is needed most of all is a change in mindset and culture, beginning with leadership. As multichannel marketing continues to become more and more relevant, placing the patient at the center of these marketing efforts, and truly designing programs and touchpoints to understand the patient perspective, will drive success. The pharma industry is at an important inflection point – it has always understood the importance of patients, but now it’s time to leverage data and technology resources to truly position patients as the fulcrum around which it will pivot and build the brands of the future. The next few years will determine whether we got it right. To share your thoughts, email pankaj.thapar@gfk.com or leave a comment below.
    • 04/16/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Examining the complexities of pharmaceutical launch pricing: Three easy steps to get it right

    Pricing for pharmaceuticals has never been more complex, and establishing optimal pricing across key strategic markets, with different evidentiary requirements, standards of care, comparator prices and assessment processes, poses enormous challenges for the industry. In this article, we examine the major factors influencing pricing, and chart a course for success by highlighting three key components for pricing strategy development.

    Weighing multiple factors to determine optimal launch pricing without tipping the scales

    The pricing of innovative pharmaceuticals and medical technologies is coming under increasing scrutiny, with payers, prescribers and the public challenging the relationship between incremental clinical benefit and increasing cost. Even when high-cost therapies deliver significant improvements in health outcomes and may be considered to be cost-effective, payers’ focus will tend to shift to budget impact and financial sustainability. Ultimately, a complex mix of interrelated factors, including level of unmet need, societal and clinical demand, unit price, the level of clinical benefit, budget impact, the price points of relevant comparators and the potential value of cost-offsets are driving access and uptake. So determining optimal launch pricing has to take account of these drivers, together with the views and behaviors of payers, physicians and patients. Never before has there been more pressure on pricing for pharmaceuticals:
    • Just one chance to get it right. Once a pricing strategy is in place, course corrections are difficult and sometimes impossible; for example, price increases in ex-US markets. Clearly, leaving money on the table is a major concern, but exceeding what may be considered to be an acceptable price threshold could be as bad, if not worse. A subsequent change in pricing strategy may fail to repair payer and prescriber perceptions and remove access and utilization hurdles.
    • More competitive markets. Many indications, even in oncology and specialty care, have become commoditized at one end, and highly competitive at the other – with brands, generics and biosimilars all playing a role. Standing out from the crowd from a value perspective can be challenging. Thus pricing in line with value perception becomes even more important.
    • Continuously growing price pressure. As healthcare budgets continue to rise, payers have become increasingly focused on value for money, acquisition costs, budget impact and financial sustainability. One response to such challenges has been to shift the budgetary risk to manufacturers, either through contracting and price-volume and other financial agreements, or linked to outcomes, using a variety of pay-for-performance models. In some markets, such as the US, cost-shifting to patients has created additional access hurdles.
    • Prescriber price sensitivity. Beyond payer influences on utilization, prescribers are more aware than ever of drug prices and more likely to chime in on discussions in social media. In the US, value frameworks have become an instrument to convey different perspectives of measuring value, which payers consider when making drug coverage decisions.
     With these challenges in mind, we offer three components to consider for ensuring the most robust pricing strategy input:
    1. The overall pricing research approach must be tailored to the strategic objectives for your product

    Earlier-stage and a less complex marketplace suggest a streamlined, quick turnaround approach with an essential sample of payers and a concise N sample with physicians, for example 30 by market, with a focus on direct pricing methods. Launch strategy and/or highly complex/competitive markets require not just larger samples for payers and physicians (ideally 100/market), but also more sophisticated indirect methods; e.g., DCM and complex market models.
    1. Pricing methods adequate for the research objectives

    Direct methods, such as Van Westendorp and Gabor Granger, address fundamental price reaction, while indirect methods provide higher precision.  For very early development assessments, pure price/value perception can be sufficient, while a more intricate profile requires a multi-method approach. Indirect methods, such as adaptive conjoint, are also the method of choice for a larger number of product concepts to test.
    1. Integrated findings representing all P&R stakeholders

    It is critical to have an adequate approach that combines price sensitivity of payer restrictions, physicians’ reacting to restrictions and patient response to out-of-pocket costs to derive a resulting price/volume relationship and identify optimal pricing.

    A unique profile to support quantitative pricing research

    Through our research, we have developed a tried-and-tested pricing approach addressing objectives customized for a customer’s specific product.  Our approach leverages country-level price and market access expertise in all key strategic and emerging markets with an integrated team of experts in healthcare, quantitative methods and primary research.  Moreover, our method is direct and efficient in league with the project team. We’ve learned that through our quantitative pricing approach, we can provide the most in-depth understanding of the pricing and reimbursement opportunity of your product.

    How can you unravel the complexities of pharmaceutical launch pricing?

    Attend our May 16 webinar, “The value of choosing the right approach to pharmaceutical launch pricing,” hosted by market access and pricing experts, Tim Fitzgerald and Michael Kuehn, to join a discussion that includes a fresh perspective on pharmaceutical pricing, supplemented with examples/case studies and an interactive Q&A. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'c1f1f608-373d-4c13-9cb6-e42ed979dc0f', {});
    • 04/13/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    How understanding a consumer’s mindset helps OTC companies defend their place in the market

    Until now, understanding the mindset of the Over-the-counter (OTC) consumer, given the wealth of information and multiple touchpoints they encounter in every digital environment, was complex and hard to unravel. But it’s the essence of determining what impacts a consumer’s purchasing behavior, an issue so vital to OTC companies who are fighting an increasingly challenging battle against competitors’. We know that consumers are willing to pay more for OTC brands recommended by healthcare professionals (HCP). In fact, consumers paid up to 54% more on average when buying a specific recommended product, according to a study by GfK on recommendation behavior. Expert recommendations are clearly a defining way to influence consumer purchase behavior. So how do you get to the heart of their thinking and deliver much-needed insights? The emerging digital technologies open up an endless scope of opportunities for new digitized market research tools. For many years, market research tools were contrived, expensive or simply incapable of providing the relevant insights into consumer behavior at the point of purchase. Now, with the rise of innovations like virtual reality, Health marketers have real opportunities to observe consumers in a controlled, true-to-life test environment mimicking the physical reality of a pharmacy. Such a setting offers a much more realistic and credible manner to obtain evidence of how health brand consumers shop at the shelf and in the category. So what are the advantages for the consumer health market?

    Connecting the dots, driving conversion through conversation

    OTC health brand consumers still finalize the vast majority of their decisions in-store. Despite an overload of available information and an exploding number of touchpoints, the benefit of getting expert recommendations can make a significant impact on purchase decisions, especially when there are so many choices in many markets. In particular, expert recommendations made by healthcare professionals (HCPs) are highly valued and can influence purchase decisions. In fact, GfK’s study uncovered that 30% of health purchases are driven by HCP-based recommendations*.

    Empowering marketers through insights from our proprietary virtual platform

    Existing evaluation protocols can be challenging when it’s necessary for the marketer to have a full understanding of the sales process involving a consumer sales dialogue. That’s why we have now merged our shopper research solutions with a leading-edge virtual store approach where we can mimic selling through expert recommendations. With the use of scripted conversations, leveraged in a virtual pharmacy environment, our Simstore Dialogue platform empowers marketers to address business questions like:
    • How can expert recommendations impact purchasing behavior?
    • How appealing and impactful is our messaging?
    • What is the market potential of our new product?
    • What is the effect of expert recommendations, when combined with marketing ideas such as POS material or design changes?

    Adding predictive power to the consumer health marketer’s toolbox

    Simstore Dialogue is designed to enable marketers to understand and optimize the consumer/HCP consultation dialogue and optimize consumer interactions in a simulated pharmacy to reveal whether a proposed scenario will have a significant impact on sales. At our May 9 webinar, “Partnering virtual pharmacies and expert recommendations to drive powerful consumer health marketing,” our experts will discuss the benefits of Simstore Dialogue for optimizing pharmacy selling strategies. By joining our webinar, you will get a full introduction to this next-generation platform, and learn how Merck has already successfully piloted it. You will also learn the power of pairing virtual pharmacies, together with expert recommendation research to inform your most impactful consumer health marketing yet. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '63345a87-0b3a-48ea-8d81-584d8bc9667a', {});
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Events

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    • 04/23/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    06/26/18 - 06/28/18
    Connect with our team at EphMRA

    June 26-28, Basel Congress Center in Basel, Switzerland
    Meet our top health experts during this healthcare business intelligence/analysis conference. Learn more about how we’re addressing our clients’ commercial priorities in a changing marketplace. 
    • 04/23/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    05/14/18 - 05/15/18
    Connect with the GfK Health team at the BHBIA Annual Conference

    May 14-15 in Kensington, London, UK
    Hear our top industry expert speak on” How consumer research innovations can help boost health intelligence.” Learn how we address our clients’ commercial priorities in a changing marketplace. 
    • 04/20/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    05/06/18 - 05/08/18
    Join GfK Health at Intellus!

    May 6-8 (Booth #204) at the Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, PA, USA Our top industry experts are ready to address our clients’ commercial priorities in a changing marketplace. 
    • 04/18/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    05/19/18 - 05/23/18
    Meet with us at ISPOR 2018

    May 19-23 (Booth #436) at Baltimore Convention Center, in Baltimore, Maryland, US 
    Explore our many posters. And meet with our Market Access and Patient Centricity experts who are ready to help strengthen your strategy at every step of the value chain. 
Latest News

Here you can find the latest news.

    • 06/06/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Health expert featured in British Journal of Dermatology

    A multidimensional assessment of the burden of psoriasis: results from a multinational dermatologist and patient survey
    • 05/16/18
    • Health
    • Market Access
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Health Experts Featured in Stroke

    Two of GfK Health’s experts, Meghan Gavaghan and Deanna Hertz, were among several top industry minds to co-author this intriguing and significant article, published in the May issue of Stroke magazine.
    • 12/08/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Medical Marketing and Media’s annual feature

    Looking ahead to 2018, the most promising products in pharma's pipeline will compete in a landscape that increasingly rewards big risks and places an emphasis on novel mechanisms. Read more.
    • 10/24/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Value Frameworks in Oncology

    Read our Value Frameworks in Oncology analysis, published in American Health & Drug Benefits.
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