Business Insights & Analytics

We know those working in Pharmaceutical Market Research and Business Analytics are striving to best understand their markets and the dynamics between the different stakeholders including: patients, physicians, payers, pharmacies, and other influencers.

Lab testing and their associated results play a major role in understanding patients’ health and the decision of their treating physicians in many different markets.

Market Sizing

Standardized lab-testing data can help pharmaceutical brands to understand the number of providers treating patients and the number of patients with certain lab results, such as:

  • Genetic mutations
  • Relapsing conditions
  • Those patients whose condition isn’t currently under control
Lab results are the key to knowing how many patients are eligible or likely to be prescribed for your therapy.

HCPs are 20 times more likely to change therapy for uncontrolled patients

percent of patients changing therapy - 2017

For example, in the diabetes market, many patients on first-line and second-line therapies are well controlled. However, patients whose diabetes is uncontrolled —  those with a hemoglobin A1c test result of 9 or above — are 20% more likely to have their therapy changed by their physician. For brands that are typically prescribed third line or later, it’s important to consider the percent of patients whose diabetes is uncontrolled when sizing the market for forecasting or other purposes.

The Importance of Lab Testing 

Understanding the progression of a disease is integral to better healthcare decisions and outcomes. In the case of a prolific disease like Type 2 Diabetes and its associated co-morbidities lab test-based solutions are crucial to earlier intervention.

How Lab Tests Help Illuminate the Patient Journey 

When doing patient journey mapping and studies, incorporating lab tests and results is critical to understanding the cause or the “why” for certain physician and patient actions.  Depending on the condition, physicians may use lab tests to:

  • Confirm a suspected diagnosis
  • Identify if the patient has any gene mutations that would make them eligible for targeted therapies
  • Monitor if therapy is working or if a patients’ disease has progressed or relapsed, and/or 
  • Monitor that current therapy is being well tolerated
The results of the clinical lab tests may support the physicians’ current treatment plan or lead them to prescribe a different, more-appropriate therapy option. By including lab-testing results in your studies, you are able to see these influences and better understand the journey of the patient.
The journey of this multiple myeloma patient included many tests that the physician was using to monitor that her condition was controlled. Then, in January, a test result known as an “M-spike” indicated to the physician that the patient’s multiple myeloma had relapsed which lead to the physician starting new therapy. Without lab data, it wouldn’t be clear why the patient’s therapy was changed and restarted.

Understanding Testing and Treatment Trends

To truly understand the dynamics in a market, you’ll need to know how and when physicians are incorporating lab testing into how they diagnose and care for patients. For some conditions — because of clinical guidelines or historical precedence — there may be standard practices for which tests are used to diagnose or determine appropriate treatment or how frequently a patient should be tested to monitor their condition. 

But, not all physicians will behave or act in  the same manner. It’s important to understand general practices for these conditions, as well as, the outliers. 

There may be an opportunity to educate or influence prescribing behavior with data-driven insights, and Prognos can enhance this effort. In the case of newer biomarkers or in conditions where testing and treatment patterns are evolving quickly, it is especially important to monitor these trends closely and to identify if there are opportunities to better educate physicians and improve patient care.