What Makes Patients Tick

Treatment Options: Would Patients Rather Sit Tight Than Switch?

Ah, the complexities of decision-making. To gauge how patients make choices about health treatments, we need only consider our own thought pattern when making an important decision. In other words, patient decision-making is not one straight, predictable line.

Which product a patient opts for and why takes a lot of consideration—more than those in the pharma industry might realize. How do we know? By reading the surveys.  One included 8,000 participants across three generations in the U.S. and Europe.

Here’s the skinny on what patients consider when presented with new treatment options.

Thinking about switching? It’s about 50:50

Slightly less than half the people surveyed—47%—had thought about switching to a different treatment. (That leaves 53% who didn’t have it cross their mind.) Of the 47%, one in three are going to be hard to convince.

Here’s what else was revealed when patients in the survey were asked how strongly they agree with statements that were presented to them.

Benefits over brand name

More than two-thirds of patients strongly agreed that the benefits of a product are more important than the brand. One-third characterized themselves as having a strong affinity for brand names.

With all the advertising out there, patients are aware of new products and stay abreast of trends. If new products become available for treating their condition, 51% of patients think it’s best to at least learn about them. The other half, however, are thinking, ‘Thanks, but I’d rather not switch.’

Decision-making disconnect

With overwhelm from work and family responsibilities, nearly a third of patients have no time to research treatment options. About as many feel they lack a support system to help them make decisions, or don’t feel engaged enough in the decision-making process. These circumstances factor into whether or not they will be wiling to make changes.

Clinical trial participation

According to the survey, about one-third of respondents ranked involvement in clinical trials or other new product development activities as one of the top five factors that impact their decisions. Patients can make informed decisions through direct experience.

Dependents matter. About one in four patients ranked having children or elderly dependents to care for as a top factor in making decisions about healthcare products and treatment. This can likely be interpreted as a desire to stay healthy for those who rely on them.

Finally, about 25% of respondents ranked brand loyalty and popularity as a top-five priority—a lower percentage than many in the industry might imagine.

At Xavier Creative House, we use the most powerful healthcare marketing techniques to improve brand loyalty and grow your business. If you need help with any of your marketing initiatives, survey says: Give us a call.


Accenture Life Sciences, “Product Launch: The Patient Has Spoken”

About Xavier Creative House

Founded in 2013, Xavier Creative House (XCH) is an award-winning healthcare creative agency specializing in pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device. XCH’s global team of brand builders and healthcare marketers, tech-savvy go-getters, and innovative dream-vetters are passionate about the big idea that changes behavior in the healthcare marketplace. They believe life is about connections and that healthcare is about life. That is why XCH delivers bold and evocative creative solutions, amplified by meaningful technology, to energize brands and authentically connect with patients and HCPs.

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Sunny White
Founder & CEO of Xavier Creative House