Case Study: Discovering New Opportunities for Growth in a Niche Market

By Innomar Strategies

How Innomar Strategies used innovative patient journey research to identify new opportunities for growth and improved patient care for an established market leader

The Client Situation

One of our long-standing clients has achieved great success within their specialized therapeutic area – they are the standard-of-care for a rare, slow-growing tumour and as a result, they have obtained 95% market leadership.

This company could have rested on their laurels, but there was evidence from literature and anecdotal reports to suggest that diagnosis and treatment initiation could be delayed from several months, up to years, for these patients with this rare condition.

Our client felt it was extremely important to investigate these suspected delays.  They wanted to truly understand their Canadian patients, and their journey, to identify the hidden obstacles they face in order to obtain correct diagnosis and treatment.

The Innomar Strategies Solution

We started by working with our in-house market research experts. They obtained robust data from the client’s patient support program and produced quick and reliable results to inform our recommendations for how to adapt our proven and cost-effective Integrated Service Model in order to achieve even stronger results and help our client close the gap in this niche market.

Our client wanted to understand the areas of education and support that would have the greatest impact on improving patient care and time to treatment initiation. Since diagnosis of this rare condition could involve multiple physicians over many years, we knew that a standard Patient Chart Audit would not provide the sufficient information. Instead, we developed a unique, two-phased approach to capture the perspectives of both patients and physicians.

Phase 1 consisted of in-depth, one-on-one interviews with patients currently being treated with our client’s product to understand and quantify their patient journey. We asked them to recall each key step in their journey, which included: symptoms prompting them to seek medical attention; number and types of physicians who were consulted; instances of misdiagnosis or alternate diagnosis for which they received treatment; and discussions they had with physicians regarding their product.

Phase 2 was directed towards specialists managing the condition to obtain their perspective on this rare condition and the perceived barriers that patients face to obtain proper diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, in-depth interviews were conducted with these specialists to help verify their perspective on the patient journey.

As a result of this systematic research, key insights were uncovered regarding:

  • The referral pattern from general practitioners to one or several specialists
  • The incidence of misdiagnosis and impact on patient care
  • Lack of consensus towards treatment initiation in this rare condition

Ultimately, the research confirmed there was a lack of education among GPs and “first tier” specialists, as well as patients, which was leading to unnecessary delays in diagnosis and treatment.

The Outcome

As a result of this market research, our client initiated several educational programs targeted towards “first tier” specialists to educate them on this rare condition, its proper diagnosis and to emphasize that patients should be referred to specialized centers of excellence for treatment initiation. At the same time, our client was motivated to improve access to information about the condition and treatment, so that patients are better informed about their care.

Through instinctive market research and strong partnership, we helped reveal to our client the key drivers causing treatment delays for their standard-of-care product. Armed with this knowledge, they could take active steps to eliminate these barriers to ensure patients receive the proper diagnosis, treatment and care.

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It’s hard to find unique opportunities to grow your brand, especially when you are the market leader in a specialized therapeutic area. With Innomar Strategies’ integrated service delivery model, it’s easy to access the expertise you need. As your partner, we are committed to finding innovative solutions and working with you to push the boundaries of your brand.  We take pride in finding solutions that are customized to your product and business needs, so that your patients receive the best care possible. Partner with Innomar Strategies to improve product access, increase supply chain efficiency, and enhance patient care.