July 2016 Edition Vol.11, Issue 7

Memorable Moments: The ASCO 2016 Experience for Physicians

Memorable Moments: The ASCO 2016 Experience for Physicians

By Kathy Boltz, PhD

During the 2016 ASCO annual meeting, 115 hematologists/oncologists participated in a series of surveys conducted by ZS Associates—a global firm focused on improving business performance—in collaboration with WebMD.

In the 2016 ASCO Experience Coverage Quantitative Study (n=98):

  • Immunotherapy was acknowledged as the hottest topic at this year’s meeting
  • Roche/Genentech was recognized as having the best manufacturer booth
  • Over 90% said their 2016 ASCO experience was the same as or better than previous years

Survey participants were largely divided between group practices (38%) and academic medical centers (34%), and also included oncologists from community hospitals (17%), solo practice (5%), and affiliated teaching hospitals (5%).

The surveyed oncologists were almost evenly distributed among cancer types: hematological malignancies (20%), breast cancer (19%), other cancers (18%), lung cancer (17%), GI cancer (14%), and prostate cancer (12%).

Immunotherapy the Biggest Innovation

The majority of physicians surveyed cited ‘immunotherapy’ as the biggest innovation/breakthrough, saying things like: “Clinical trials in immunotherapy [are] changing the face of treatment for multiple refractory cancers.” And, “Immunotherapy will hopefully replace chemotherapy as the mainstay
of cancer treatment in the years to come.”

One respondent felt that immunotherapy “is the future of cancer treatment.”

The respondents were also impressed with checkpoint inhibitors, PD-1/PD-L1 drugs in particular, saying “PD-L1 [is a] new, safe, effective option.” And, “PD-1 changed Rx for so many.”

Most Memorable Moments

When asked what they thought were the most memorable moments from ASCO 2016:

  • 22% said Vice President Biden’s Moonshot speech
  • 22% said immunotherapy
  • 18% said the ASCO Plenary Session

The ASCO plenary session covered topics that included extended aromatase-inhibitor therapy extending disease-free survival in HR-positive breast cancer, temozolomide in glioblastoma, tandem autologous stem cell transplant in neuroblastoma, and improved outcomes with daratumumab in multiple myeloma.

Booth and Exhibit Feedback

The drug manufacturer with the highest rated booth was Roche/Genentech, who also rated highest among respondents with whom they had the best experience. Oncologists were particularly interested in the company’s pipeline and remarked positively on how that information was communicated. Representatives were described as the warmest, and seemed to really enjoy educating about their products.

Other well-received booths (in no particular order) included, BMS, Merck, and Amgen. Compliments included unique ways of delivering information, interesting product pipeline, and vivid displays.

Compliments on experiences with these manufacturers included providing honest information and having representatives who were very friendly, informative, and gave good, concise data.

Key Factors to Successful Interacting with Manufacturers

The oncologists surveyed allocated 100 points across 7 attributes to measure how each attributed to its ranking of their experience. Many components contributed to physicians’ conference experience; but two factors, in particular, stood out among the respondents: People and Accessibility to information (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Q25: Thinking about the best experience with a drug manufacturer at ASCO 2016, please allocate 100 points across the following components that drive your experience. The more points you allocate the more influential that component is in your ranking of experience. 

Additionally, the physical features of drug manufacturer booths played a significant role in physician’s experience, led by technology (15%), engaging activities (12%), creativity (11%), and nourishments (11%).

Overall, drug manufacturers impressed physicians with warm and sincere people at their booths, who presented clear, accessible information on their products with vivid displays.

About the Contributors

ZS is the world’s largest firm focused exclusively on helping companies improve overall performance and grow revenue and market share through end-to-end sales and marketing solutions—from customer insights and strategy, to analytics, operations and technology. More than 4,500 ZS professionals in 22 offices worldwide draw on deep industry and domain expertise to deliver impact for clients across multiple industries. To learn more, visit www.zsassociates.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

WebMD Professional Market Research has the power to quickly pinpoint the exact physicians and healthcare professionals you’re looking for. Geared for quantity and quality, only WebMD Professional Market Research has the ability to recruit high-value, engaged physicians in their workflow. By leveraging our Smart Targeting and broad professional network, you get the quality results you and your clients are after.

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