Docs cozy up to brands that bring unique benefits, thought-leader backing

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Spiriva campaign gets All-Star debut
Spiriva campaign gets All-Star debut

Physician trust in pharmaceutical brands is driven by an emotional connection as well as functional attributes and perceptions of the manufacturer, said Harris Interactive, which found Advair, Spiriva and Mirena to be tops in their categories with doctors.

The market research firm surveyed American physicians on their attitudes towards drugs for asthma, COPD, osteoporosis, pregnancy prevention and rheumatoid arthritis. The firm scored brands in those categories according to five measures of physician trust, including their view of the product's familiarity, function and connection as well as feelings towards the company and its representatives.

“Among the commonalities we see are that to lead the pack, you have to be good in all these dimensions,” said Joseph Vorassi, SVP healthcare research at Harris Interactive, “and within each of those there are sub-dimensions. For function, it's offering unique benefits, excellent outcomes and consistent results. On the connection, being able to identify with the product, feeling positive about it, believing it inspires confident prescribing and brings great value to your practice. On the rep side, it's being respectful of staff, being responsive, providing unbiased info, knowing the condition, valuing doctors as customers and being sensitive to patient needs. Then on the corporate side, it's whether an accountable organization backs it and if the company is known for thought leadership, high integrity and doing the right thing.”

The most powerful trust-builders were products offering a unique benefit and companies seen to be backed by thought leadership, said Vorassi.

The most-trusted brands in the categories polled were as follows:

  • For asthma, Advair, followed by Symbicort
  • For COPD, Spiriva, followed by Advair, Symbicort and Combivent
  • For osteoporosis, Actonel, followed closely by Evista, Forteo, Prolia and Reclast
  • For pregnancy prevention, Mirena, followed by NuvaRing, Lo LoEstrin and Dep-Provera
  • For RA, Enbrel and Humira were tied for first, followed by Remicade, Orencia and Rituxan

The survey of 1,034 US physicians was the second of its type from Harris Interactive. The first, released in May, 2012, covered antidepressants, antipsychotics, ED drugs and those for diabetes.

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