Pharmaceuticals Market Research

With a dedicated healthcare market research team, Acumen can provide high-level  pharmaceutical market research.

We fully appreciate that medical research is very different from other forms of market research which tend to focus on commercial organisations and customers.

While many of the same approaches apply, there are also differences that mean that healthcare fieldwork requires specific considerations from research companies.

By creating a team that specialises purely in market research projects relating to health and medical questions, we have been able to take on the most challenging of projects.

Research on the pharmaceutical industry

When undertaking healthcare market research projects it is essential to understand the unique challenges of this form of analysis.

While the basic fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative research solutions still apply, and the methods of attaining data might be broadly similar – whether that be interviews, focus groups, case studies or other – there are also key differentiators when it comes to pharmaceutical market research.

Sensitivity is essential and an ability to understand the more personal nature of the information that might be being researched.

Clearly, asking someone about their favourite car brand, or what they like about certain shoes is very different from research that delves into health or lifestyle concerns.

The research might, for instance, be into treatments for medical conditions, or services related to weight loss – working with tact, understanding and respect is therefore essential.

The research agency chosen also needs to have access to suitable participants.

Specialists such as Acumen have a separate database of healthcare users and professionals and can draw from this to find suitable participants for pharmaceutical market research.

Candidates can be pulled into pharmaceutical market research focus groups, used for in home or in-work interviews or asked to complete participant diaries.

However, it is impossible to gauge accurate data and useful insights if you cannot first find suitable candidates for any project. This alone is often the biggest challenge a research agency will find and so the ability to call upon a database of suitable candidates is of huge benefit.

research and consulting on the pharmaceutical industry

Qualitative and quantitative research relating to pharmaceutical questions can have a range of uses, these including.

  • Launch new products and services. This could be medical devices, but also services or apps. An example of market research used to develop a healthcare app is included below.
  • Ensure existing products or services remain suitable for use and also look to iterate based on what users will find most beneficial
  • Seek out new opportunities. Which products, services, medicines or other would be of benefit, both medially but also, potentially, commercially.
  • Assess the knowledge relating to specific items or services – are those who would benefit aware of the item’s existence? There have been many instances whereby a product or service that could be of great benefit to many has simply not been known about by those who would benefit most.
  • Expanding into new markets. How could existing products and services be expanded, either by refining to make them more suitable for a wider group, or through a marketing programme to raise awareness?
  • Gathering real-world data on pharmaceutical usage. Are people taking the medication they are prescribed, how do they use healthcare apps, do they use medical devices correctly?

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods for Pharmaceutical Market Research

The best methods for pharmaceutical market research will always vary by project and would be decided upon in a detailed conversation between the client and research companies.

However, typical approaches include:

  • Focus group / interviews
  • Usability studies
  • Health economics and outcomes research
  • Participant diaries
  • Fieldwork research with healthcare users, patients and carers
  • Fieldwork research with healthcare professionals, in all industries and all levels of seniority.

There will typically be a divide between quantitative and qualitative research for pharmaceutical research, the former helping to inform the latter and suggest areas for future exploration.

We believe, though, that the method is better described by the process of working with a client for pharmaceutical market research.

At Acumen, we utilise the following approach to pharmaceutical market research in order to provide a full service.

  • We discuss the project, taking the time to understand the intricacies and nuances of your requirements. Having a specialist team is essential, it ensures we have experience of projects with similarities and can also suggest sensible ways of approaching the challenge. We can advise as to the best methods.
  • All documentation is created by us, this including a full schedule and also the screening questionnaire.
  • We find the healthcare users and professionals that will provide the required level of insight. These will be drawn from our databases, but we also have community contacts.
  • Full feedback on the recruitment process is provided and this is followed by detailed feedback at every stage of the research project.
  • All venues are sourced by us as required, so too people to assist on the day of the research
  • Once recruitment is completed, you would receive full participant profiles

Modern approaches are also used to help clients acquire the insight they need.

For instance Acumen are research experts who are able to make full use of modern technology, these including the establishment of online forums.

An example of this market research was in looking at healthcare app usage – for this it made sense to seek out participants via social media campaigns, anyone responding via social media likely to have a high propensity to then be someone who would be a dedicated app user.

Case Studies for pharmaceutical market research

To get a sense for our past research projects, please take the time to view the detailed case studies below.

The case study for blood-born viruses saw us work on a project to explore the pathway to recovery for people with Hepatitis C who also inject drugs.

A key challenge was finding participants that were also in the geographical area required by the brief. Our database of healthcare and pharmaceutical users was of great benefit and enabled us to quickly ascertain the feasibility of the study.

Further details

A separate research project saw us work with a pharmaceutical company who had developed a new app, the aim to see if the app was providing the help and support intended.

The research was looking at uses of asthma inhalers, an app requiring people to submit data, this then anonymised to show patterns of use.

Again, our database of users for market research was beneficial, but we also turned to social media to find further participants – our knowledge of digital methodology meant we were confident that there would be a strong correlation between those responding on social media who would then be comfortable with app usage.

Further details of this case study

About Acumen

Our large medical marketing research team are on hand to help with all your research queries. We’ve got years of experience working with a wide range of healthcare users and companies who work in this field.

Our award-winning pharmaceutical market research team has been recognised throughout our industry, with a reputation for lateral thinking and problem solving that seeks to answer the questions at the heart of your brief.

We provide a tailored, full service approach which begins from our earliest conversations and continues with your dedicated project manager who will keep you updated throughout the research process.

We’re happy to discuss any research methodology and will provide transparent and practical advice on the feasibility of your project.

Further details on our healthcare research services

Meet our Team

Please call us on 0161 234 9440 or use our Contact Form to discuss your requirements for market research.