Docs are excited about CAR-T, BTK drugs, survey finds. How can pharma best promote them?

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CAR-T therapies and BTK-inhibitors sparked the most interest at ASH 2019 held in Orlando Florida, says new survey. (Pixabay)

What did docs think was hot this year at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting? InCrowd polled oncologists and hematologists immediately after the December conference and found that multiple myeloma received the most mentions for exciting data or developments presented.

Twenty percent of the physicians surveyed by the market insights tech firm chose multiple myeloma, specifically CAR-T and off-the-shelf BCMA therapies, while another 16% said diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 15% said chronic lymphocytic leukemia were the most interesting topics at ASH 2019.

Another area of interest called out by attendees is the exploding BTK-inhibitor category with specific mentions of AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson’s Imbruvica, AstraZeneca’s Calquence and Beigene’s Brukinsa.


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Overall enthusiasm for all therapies, from CAR-T to off-the-shelf alternatives, was high at ASH 2019 as doctors are encouraged by the “wealth of options” in the hematology treatment space, said Dan Weidner, senior director of business insights and client engagement at InCrowd.

However, along with those many options comes an onslaught of data and information and the potential for overwhelmed doctors. For pharma, it's an opportunity, and a challenge, to make sure the messages around drugs and therapies are succinct and helpful.

“The challenge ahead for pharmaceutical marketers and pharma companies in their communications is to provide a very clear, definitive value proposition for physicians—about how and when their product should be used, and what situations are going to lead to the best results for them and their patients,” he said.

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In preparing those communications, pharma marketers should also take into consideration doctors’ always time-crunched lives, an ongoing issue many of them mentioned in InCrowd’s survey.

“If pharma can be very direct, concise and respectful of that time to quickly and effectively get their message across, it’s only going to help them stand out in what is a very crowded landscape,” Wiedner said.