A redesigned follitropin alfa pen injector for infertility: results of a market research study
Carole Abbotts1, Cristiana Salgado-Braga2, Céline Audibert-Gros3
1Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Consultancy, London, UK; 2Fertility and Endocrinology Global Business Unit, 3Business Intelligence, Merck Serono SA, Geneva, Switzerland
Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate patient-learning and nurse-teaching experiences when using a redesigned prefilled, ready-to-use follitropin alfa pen injector.
Methods: Seventy-three UK women of reproductive age either administering daily treatment with self-injectable gonadotropins or about to start gonadotropin treatment for infertility (aged 24–47 years; 53 self-injection-experienced and 20 self-injection-naïve) and 28 nurses from UK infertility clinics were recruited for the study. Following instruction, patients and nurses used the redesigned follitropin alfa pen to inject water into an orange and completed questionnaires to evaluate their experiences with the pen immediately after the simulated injections.
Results: Most (88%, n = 64) patients found it easy to learn how to use the pen. Among injection-experienced patients, 66% (n = 35) agreed that the redesigned pen was easier to learn to use compared with their current method and 70% (n = 37) also said they would prefer its use over current devices for all injectable fertility medications. All nurses considered the redesigned pen easy to learn and believed it would be easy to teach patients how to use. Eighty-six percent (n = 24) of the nurses thought it was easy to teach patients to determine the remaining dose to be dialed and injected in a second pen if the initial dose was incomplete. Compared with other injection devices, 96% (n = 27) thought it was "much easier" to "as easy" to teach patients to use the redesigned pen. Based on ease of teaching, 68% (n = 19) of nurses would choose to teach the pen in preference to any other injection method. Almost all (93%, n = 26) nurses considered that having the same pen format for a range of injectable gonadotropins would facilitate teaching and learning self-injection.
Conclusion: In this market research study with infertile patients and infertility nurses, the redesigned follitropin alfa pen was perceived as easy to learn, easy to teach how to use, and well accepted.
Keywords: infertility, gonadotropin, follitropin alfa pen, prefilled pen device, recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone
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