Quintiles survey finds 'value in healthcare' to have different meanings among stakeholders

June 2, 2011
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2011,

Cost dominates the payer and physician perspective, manufacturers look to outcomes, while patients see little value in outcomes

A broad survey of stakeholder (manufacturer, physician, payer, patient) perspectives on healthcare, performed annually by Quintiles, reveals some common understandings—and many divergent views—on healthcare, medicine and “value.” To a surprising degree, only biopharma executives rate “outcomes” of therapy highly as the definition of “value” (61% mention outcomes); while 43% of managed care executives mentioned “cost,” but not in conjunction with “outcomes,” as did 40% of physicians. A significant number of patients could not define value (31%) at all. Instead, many patients were more likely to say “quality of care” as defined by the doctor/patient relationship (17%), as did 33% of physicians.

“The striking differences in perception of value provide an important starting point for the various stakeholders to find common ground and ultimately improve patient outcomes,” says Owen Cohen, MD, chief medical and scientific officer at Quintiles (Research Triangle Park, NC), which sponsored the study, performed by a market research firm and representing the opinions of 10,000 patients and 1,000 industry executives and physicians.

Medicines up; industry down

Somewhat unsurprising is the view of stakeholders of the biopharma industry itself—only 45% of patients approve of the job biopharma is doing to improve outcomes—although that question gets a 65% approval from physicians. Everyone—industry included—rates physicians highest in improving outcomes; conversely, everyone rates managed care on the low side (self-ratings not included in any of these results).

On the other hand, the majority of stakeholders agree that medicines are “valuable/very valuable” in healthcare (with 85% of patients agreeing), and that the money spent on medicine is worth it (80% of patients agreeing “somewhat/strongly”).

Study the market

Jay Norman, president of consulting for Quintiles, says one of the main takeaways for industry is the importance of defining markets and constituencies more closely. “The differing views highlight what we all know—that a message is understood in the eye of the beholder.” But there’s still too much focus on selling directly to physicians, even though managed care and market access are the drivers in a growing number of therapy decisions. “Pharma companies will routinely survey 100 or a 1,000 physicians, and then toss in one or two managed-care executives to get their perspective,” he says. The industry is changing this mindset, but it still has a considerable ways to go.