Genentech and Novartis have the best image among oncologists and hematologists, according to Market Strategies International, a market research consultancy that recently completed its 2012 Oncology Image Study.
The study evaluated more than 30 attributes related to field force, corporate functions and R&D to determine which measures drive a company's image and performance in this rapidly growing, competitive marketplace.
Genentech maintains the lead in overall image across office-based and hospital-based oncologists, while Novartis, for the first time, ranks first among hematologists. Amgen remains third among office oncologists while slipping one spot among hospital oncologists; its largest gain was among hematologists, outscoring Celgene and Millennium.
Pfizer reached the top five among hospital oncologists and also gained a lot of momentum among hematologists, ranking sixth this year from 12th in 2011). GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb also saw noteworthy shifts among oncologists this year.
Over the past several years, Novartis and several others have been closing in on Genentech as the image leader. In fact, the gap in ratings between the top 10 competitors continues to narrow in 2012, as in 2011. Novartis edged out Genentech on overall image among hematologists for the first time this year, driven primarily by their leadership in the field force and corporate equity dimensions.
"Though the difference in ratings is small, this change in leadership is noteworthy as we have watched the oncology competitive field evolve quite a bit over the last several years," said Dr. Katy Palmer, senior vice president of Market Strategies' healthcare division.
She added that it is important to note that Celgene/Abraxis and Millennium retain two of the top five spots for hematologists in 2012, reinforcing that size of a company's oncology portfolio does not dictate image leadership.
Another key shift in 2012 is the increasing importance of non-sales representative-related attributes in driving overall image. This year, image drivers include attributes pertaining to R&D and patient focus.
Finally, the 2012 study shows that overall image does matter and correlates to several key behaviors including:
"Physicians are just like the rest of us," explained Palmer. "When we have a strong image of a company or product, we tend to give them more consideration and attention than others over time."