Drug delivery study stresses patient experience

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies making combination products need to pay more attention to patient experience, according to a new study by technology design and development firm Cambridge Consultants.

A survey of healthcare providers and over 240 insulin-injecting diabetes patients showed that by paying better attention to device usability, companies could improve patient compliance and health outcomes.

The patients surveyed used combination products such as injection pens and insulin pumps daily. The study showed that:

• 75% of patients had been given a choice of drug delivery device. Of these, 21% did their own research before choosing a device.

• Among patients who had changed their devices, ‘lifestyle’ factors such as discretion (28%) and portability (21%) were the biggest influences.

• All the healthcare providers surveyed believed that better device usability leads to better drug compliance.

“The findings challenge traditional medical device industry conceptions about compliance and the patient experience,” said Melanie Turieo, Human Factors Team Leader at Cambridge Consultants. “The industry has been good at maximising drug efficacy but patient experience factors have not really been a primary focus. Only now are we seeing the patient experience take centre stage.

“Drug makers need to realise that if you consider the patient’s broader needs throughout the development process – from conception to design, development and commercialisation – you are likely to have a more successful and effective product, resulting in improved compliance and therefore improved patient outcomes.”

Based in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (USA), Cambridge Consultants is a leading technology design and development company. Its successes include the Vena platform for medical device interoperability.