Skip to content

Case studies

We are prohibited from disclosing details about the great majority of the pharmaceutical projects we have worked on given that they have been client-confidential. However, occasionally projects are published, and a selection is described below.

Case Study 1

Conjoint and attitudes study involving KOL briefing, 2009

Professor Isaacs and Professor Bates co-published a thought-provoking piece ‘Should neurologists wait and see or see and treat RRMS?’, in the October 2009 edition of Progress in Neurology and Psychology (pdf). The article considers how aggressively neurologists treat RRMS compared to how rheumatologists treat RA. For the primary research used to support this article I was responsible for undertaking a number of exploratory tele-depths among neurologists and rheumatologists, advising on the design of the risk/efficacy conjoint and attitudinal elements of the quantitative study, and of discussing the results with these KOLs. They then took this evidence into consideration in writing their article. ~ Peter Winters

Case Study 2

Using videos embedded within online survey to test medical device prototypes, EphMRA Masterclass, 2008

For the 2008 EphMRA Devices Masterclass, I made a presentation which described a recent project where we had tested 6 different ‘virtual’ prototypes of a medical device amongst relevant doctors and patients in Brazil, Germany, Spain, USA and the UK. No physical versions of the prototypes were required. Each prototype was developed and described in a short video, and these were embedded within the online questionnaire. Extra security features were included to ensure that respondents were not able to print or copy the stimulus material. The project involved co-ordination between a number of sample suppliers and technical providers. ~ Peter Winters

Case Study 3

Brand equity study in ARB class, 2007

At the BHBIA 2007 Conference, I co-presented a paper about the brand equity of ARB drugs with Tom Hargroves, senior market research analyst at Novartis UK (conference program, page 2 – pdf). As Tom described in his introduction ‘At Novartis I had been tasked with quantitatively measuring and tracking the brand equity of one of the companies biggest brands and its competitors. Previous quantitative research had shown there to be no differences between the brands in the market, however, intuitively and in qualitative research there were clear differences.’  Our paper described how ‘it is possible to measure how one brand differentiates from another, but the associations, emotions and values that a respondent has to a brand is best understood within the context of their specific relationship with that brand … It is the number and strength of these relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical brands, which we believe, can be considered as a useful measure of brand equity’. In summing up, Tom said ‘Although there is still more work to be done in developing this methodology we are confident that it is an accurate way to measure brand equity, and the results have been very useful to the Novartis marketing team.’ ~ Peter Winters


Case Study 4

EphMRA Training Strategic Review, 2006

In 2006, along with Paris Panayiotopoulos of Merck-Serono, I led a strategic review of the EphMRA training committee offering. This review involved 29 tele-depth interviews with EphMRA members, with the methodology including some early use of online qualitative research technologies in order that respondents could view stimulus material during the interview. The results and strategic recommendations were presented to the EphMRA PRMT training committee, the EphMRA board and to the 2006 EphMRA conference. ~ Peter Winters


Case Study 5

EphMRA Doctor Universe Statistics, 2003

In collaboration with Marie Manadilli of PBIRG, and Ruth Evans of the EphMRA training committee, I was responsible for managing the first EphMRA Doctor Universe Statistics report on behalf of the EphMRA Foundation. This desk research project has been extremely well received by EphMRA members, as shown by the results of an online study of members conducted by Bärbel Matiaske, GfK for EphMRA in January 2004, and continues to be extended~ Peter Winters

Case Study 6

Verification of the Internet as a Research Tool, EphMRA Foundation Project, 2001

A decade ago, EphMRA was active in running events to understand, and communicate, the business value of quantitative Internet research – particularly as there were quality concerns about ‘sampling’, ‘appropriate questionnaire design’ and ‘respondent-veracity’. The EphMRA Foundation project 2001 was a test of the reliability of the Internet as a quantitative research tool. This project involved conducting parallel Internet and telephone studies amongst PCPs in Europe and the USA, about usage, attitudes, and awareness towards diabetes drugs, and comparing the results. I led the research project on behalf of P\S\L Research, with support from Novartis.

The survey results produced by the two methodologies were broadly comparable, although there were some relatively minor, yet noteworthy, differences. As regards these differences, the claimed awareness of smaller brands was higher with phone research, as was the claimed level of intention to prescribe a profiled diabetes drug (Drug X), indicating that, perhaps to ‘look good’, doctors tended to be more positive, and to exaggerate, with interviewer-led research. In addition, the demographic profile of the phone sample was older, suggesting that younger doctors were, by this time, less prepared to participate in phone interviews; and for the Internet sample, some older doctors resisted ever using the Internet, particularly in mainland-Europe, and so could not participate in the Internet research. You can see some of the data from this study, as the 2001 data point, here~ Peter Winters

Case Study 7

The Treatment of Acute Stroke in Western Europe and the US, 1997

I led this syndicated study which measured how acute stroke patients were being treated by primary care physicians, emergency doctors and neurologists in Western Europe and the US. The data was used to model patient flows, and summary results were reported in the June 1997 edition of Pharmaceutical Times. The relatively poor integration between doctor types in the UK was picked-up by Dr. Thomas Stuttaford for an article in The Times. ~ Peter Winters