Treatment Discussions in Diabetes Management

Managing diabetes effectively requires a comprehensive approach that includes lifestyle modifications, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, and in many cases, the use of medications. ZoomRx’s HCP-Patient Conversation research has leveraged audio of unscripted, real-world clinical appointments to gain insights into patient experiences and treatment discussions in the ever-evolving Diabetes landscape. Below we look at a few examples to better understand the treatment flow for diabetic patients.

How are Treatments Introduced?

Effectively introducing potential treatment options is crucial to any HCP-Patient conversation, and HCPs take a variety of approaches to frame treatments as convenient options for patients – including focus on administration and insurance coverage. HCPs often also leverage awareness generated by branded ad campaigns to help facilitate this discussion.

Treatment Introduction 1
HCP: So there are two medications that belong in this class. Some are once a week, some are daily. Some are injectable, and some are oral treatment. The whole purpose of this medication is not only just to establish blood glucose control, but also to help you facilitate weight loss. So the medication I'm considering in your case which is covered by your insurance is something called Victoza

Treatment Introduction 2
HCP: But there's a medication I can start you on you may have heard about. It's called Ozempic.
Patient: Oh yeah, I think I've heard of that.
HCP: Advertised like crazy. If you watch enough TV, you'll see an ad. And here are the nice parts about Ozempic. You take it once a week, pretty easy. It lowers your blood sugar really well and curbs appetite, people lose weight.

Drivers for Prescription

Prescription choice is often driven by the patient's specific medical profile and their unique needs. Diabetes patients are often affected by other comorbid conditions like high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity. In turn, HCPs may lean towards prescribing medications that address these comorbid conditions, such as Ozempic and Mounjaro in the examples below.

Prescription Drivers 1
HCP: I was kind of thinking the product for you would be Ozempic. I think Ozempic would be a good combination for you because you do have cholesterol, the weight gain, but also cholesterol, weight gain, blood pressure--
Patient: AIC.
HCP: And your hemoglobin A1C. I think we reviewed that the last one was around 7.2. So I think that if we can improve your weight loss, that will improve your sugar, and that will improve your metabolism and blood pressure and everything else. I think that will be a very good start.
Patient: I would so like that. I've tried everything else, so I would really be interested in that.

Prescription Drivers 2
HCP: We can either increase the dose of Ozempic to the next level, or we can try a different medication called Mounjaro. Mounjaro is almost the same class of drugs, but it gives you more weight loss. Studies have shown that it is better at controlling weight as compared to Ozempic. So do you want me to switch you to Mounjaro?
Patient: I want to switch.

Patient Engagement in Treatment Discussions

Diabetes patients are typically active participants in treatment discussions, partly due to the nature of a treatment approach that often involves lifestyle and diet modifications. Patients often seek information about dosing and safety. Clear and direct responses from HCPs are critical to reassuring patients of the treatment approach.

Patient Engagement 1
Patient Should I do that weekly?
HCP : It's a weekly injection, so definitely. For sure. Yeah. So we'll show you how to do that. Proper cleaning, injections, and all that. Do you have any questions for me?
Patient: How do you follow up with labs after starting the medication?
HCP: Yeah, I would definitely do the blood work that we'll do. Right. A prescription for the lab work to draw your blood work in four weeks.

Patient Engagement 2
Patient: When will the side effect start? Like, will it be immediately when I couple of days, or how?
HCP: Usually the day you start the medicine.
Patient: Okay. And then what do I do? Call you.
HCP: If you're a little bit queasy and you're okay and you can tolerate it, you're okay. If it's really not for you, just call me.

By understanding the intricacies of treatment discussions at the point of care, pharma brands can help facilitate better treatment plans for patients and HCPs with an improved focus on treatment outcomes.

ZoomRx’s HCP-Patient Conversation research enables life science companies to hear what’s actually happening at the point of care with their target patient populations.

Click here to access a recent white paper where we look at just how little time patients get to speak during clinical appointments.

Want to learn more about how ZoomRx is leveraging our Ferma AI engine to improve our qualitative research analyses? Click here to read more.

Get in touch with us for more information.

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