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Patient study “Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis” reveals potential opportunity for pharma marketers
New report launched
A new research study published today reveals that patients wait 18 months after first experiencing any symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) before going to see their doctor. The study, which was carried out online amongst over 2,000 sufferers with moderate to severe RA from the US and 5 EU countries, also reveals that patients who have been diagnosed with RA wait an average of 7 years before their doctor starts treating them with a biologic. This is despite findings that show patients who are on a biologic treatment are happier with how their illness is being controlled, report a reduction in the severity of their symptoms, are better educated about RA and enjoy a better relationship with their doctor.
Findings from the research suggest that pharmaceutical marketers working with RA brands need to do more to persuade doctors to move patients more quickly onto a biologic to improve satisfaction and prevent their condition worsening.
Over half of patients (55%) not on a biologic have not discussed this option with their doctor. One in four (26%) patients with RA were also found to have a related auto-immune disease such as PsO or IBD, which could also be effectively treated with a biologic to reduce symptoms and slow progression.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is shown to have a huge impact on patients' quality of life and particularly on their ability to work. Of those who do still work, the average RA sufferer takes 3-4 sick days a month because of their illness. RA was found to impact on every area of the patient's life - around a third of sufferers reported that their illness had a major impact on their ability to participate in leisure activities, on their general well-being and on their sleeping habits.
The decision to start using a biologic is one usually taken by both the doctor and patient. Although patients reported being initially anxious about taking an injection, the majority were much more satisfied with how their disease was being treated.
One patient reported,
"I am very happy with [the treatment] as I do not need to take as much anti-inflammatory medication as before. I definitely feel [it] is very effective, and the RA now has a low impact on my life compared to before I was on a biologic treatment. I am in less pain and my joints are less inflamed... I am very pleased".
The survey, entitled "Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis" was undertaken by global pharmaceutical research agency The Research Partnership during March-June 2011. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the RA market in Europe and the US, unveiling patients' attitudes, feelings, treatment programmes and needs for coping with life with RA. An attitudinal segmentation was undertaken on the findings, providing a detailed depiction of 4 distinct patient types - "Naive Nick", "Suffering Sarah", "Challenging Charlie" and "Experienced Eve". The full report or individual market reports are now available to buy - email
Katrina Johnson, Director T: +1 416 860 6231, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Swords, Director T: +44 207 386 4774, email@example.com
About The Research Partnership
The Research Partnership conducts high quality global market research for the pharmaceutical industry. The company has headquarters in London and offices in Philadelphia, Toronto and Singapore.
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