What Do Doctors Want in 2021? Sixth Annual Predictions Report from Apollo Intelligence Shows Rising Need for Increased Drug Discovery, Along with Lower Drug Costs
Privacy concerns over consumer-friendly health-tech used during the pandemic cited by nearly two-thirds of global physicians, while an equal percentage recognized their benefits for improving care
WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Now in its sixth year, a report on physicians’ predictions for the coming year shows an elevated interest in drug discovery as well as a call for lower drug prices, which has topped each year’s prediction wish list.
Data are part of the 2021 Apollo Intelligence Global Healthcare Predictions Report (previously InCrowd Healthcare Predictions Report). Now including European physicians as well as US physician respondents, data were sourced in January 2021 from 1,193 primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists across the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain by Apollo’s core brands—InCrowd, the pioneer for real-time, high-quality primary market intelligence for the life science industry, and by SurveyHealthcareGlobus (SHG), the global market leader of first-party healthcare data collection and custom survey solutions. The full report is available here.
Though still the top change doctors would like to see, the call for lower drug prices dropped in priority from 86% of respondents in 2020 to 67% in 2021—while nearly twice as many physicians reported the desire for increased drug development and discovery (from 6% in 2020 to 11% in 2021). European physicians cited increased investment in research as a priority for the coming year in unaided questions, while this was not cited as a priority at all by US respondents.
A majority of physicians—more than 80% in the US and 70% in Europe—said consumer-friendly health-tech, such as telemedicine, wearables, and monitoring devices, will influence better quality of care. However 72% of American and 62% of Europeans noted such health-tech raises privacy concerns that the industry is not prepared to manage.
“We continue to see confidence in telemedicine from physicians in all of the key markets we surveyed, but nearly as many expressed concerns over its privacy vulnerabilities,” observed Daniel S. Fitzgerald, CEO of Apollo. “This year’s Predictions data show us the polarized perceptions of the pharma industry by US doctors, even in a time of amazing innovation and industry, with a fleet of COVID vaccines hitting the market in under a year. There’s also a great deal of commonality when looking closely at the COVID outcomes in America and European countries, yet the research reveals curious differences in their COVID views and experiences.”
On US physicians’ wish list, though they continue to assume in 2021 that no major changes in the industry will occur—as has been the case in previous years—far fewer of them shared this sentiment, with only a third reporting it this year, down from nearly 60% last year. The top three 2021 issues in which US physicians would like to see changes are drug affordability (55%), treatment access (38%), and physician burnout (29%), the latter representing a major concern for the finite healthcare workers universe.
Other findings in the report include:
- US physicians predict continued use of telehealth (20%) as the most realistic outcome of 2021, where only 12% in Europe see this as a realistic outcome.
- Both US and European physicians feel the most critical need for 2021 is a widespread vaccination rollout plan—one-in-three Americans and one-in-four Europeans.
When asked if their country would struggle with herd immunity due to society vaccine confidence, 84% of US physicians agreed, while 60% of their European counterparts reported this.
- “Given widespread hesitancy there maybe large pockets of the population unprotected. I worry failure to achieve herd immunity will increase the risk of future mutations that could render the vaccine less efficacious.” – PCP, NY
- A majority of US respondents are optimistic regarding the COVID vaccine (74%) and their facility's capacity through the remainder of flu-season (68%).
- Burnout among US respondents remains a sizable concern, with a third or more noting burnout (47%) or having experienced some form of pervasive loss (31%).
Despite rapid advancement in vaccine development in 2021, most US physicians express that this has not improved their confidence in pharma (57%), stating that this level of mobilization has been motivated by massive financial incentive. Two quotes typify physician cynicism:
- “They have been able to do amazing things in a short period of time, which increases my confidence, however it does make me wonder why progress has been so slow on everything else in the past.” – PCP, FL
“It reinforces what I thought. The capability is there but the greed is what keeps products from being obtainable.” – Specialist, OR
The US responses of the 2021 Apollo Intelligence Global Healthcare Predictions Report were sourced January 2-5, 2021 and the European responses were sourced December 28, 2020 - January 4, 2021 from Apollo’s proprietary panel of global HCPs. The 1,193 respondents worldwide include a mix of PCPs and specialists from the US (n=219), UK (n=193), France (n=167), Germany (n=253), Italy (n=199), and Spain (n=162). US respondents completed a 10-minute MicroSurvey, while European respondents completed a subset of the US questions.
About Apollo Intelligence, LLC
Apollo Intelligence’s mission is to accelerate health innovation to improve life. In 2019, Apollo launched with the acquisition of InCrowd, the pioneer of real-time automated insights for the life sciences industry. To complement InCrowd and strengthen its global reach, in 2020 Apollo acquired SurveyHealthcareGlobus, the global market leader of first-party healthcare data collection and custom survey solutions. Apollo provides access to 2M healthcare stakeholders worldwide—including physicians, patients, caregivers, and allied healthcare professionals. Apollo’s 180 employees support top global pharmaceutical brands, market research agencies, and consultancies across 12 different countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information about Apollo, please visit our website at www.apollointelligence.net.
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