Market Needs Assessment: Qualitative Research Among Physicians


A pharmaceutical company was interested in developing a new product for the treatment of a chronic disease. Exploratory research was utilized to understand current treatment patterns and needs among primary care physicians and specialists who treat the disease.

Strategic Issues

The healthcare industry is increasing its focus on preventative treatments and management of chronic diseases, the pharmaceutical company wanted to develop a product for the treatment of a chronic disease. Because several therapies were being considered for further development, the company decided to conduct exploratory, qualitative research to understand physicians’ needs before spending millions on product development.

Research Objectives

The company wanted to measure interest and willingness to prescribe a new pharmaceutical product (in addition to recommending lifestyle changes).
Specific objectives included:

  • Gaining knowledge on protocols used by physicians.
  • Understanding how to influence doctors to try the product.
  • Assessing the expectations regarding product insurance coverage.
Research Design and Methods

A qualitative approach was used to better understand physicians’ perceptions on the treatment of the chronic disease. Approximately 30 physicians were interviewed, including both primary care and specialist physicians. Each telephone interview was approximately 25 minutes in length. Participants were recruited from the Physicians Advisory Council®, Decision Analyst’s proprietary panel of physicians worldwide.


The research uncovered key endpoints that a new product in this category would need to meet to gain physician interest and generate trial. The company plans to continue product development, focusing clinical-trial data collection on the key endpoints.

Marketing Research Services

If you would like more information on Pharmaceutical Research, please contact Sara Sutton, Senior Vice President of Medical Research, ( or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.