Positive coverage spurs GPs to welcome Bonviva’s arrival

Roche and GlaxoSmithKline’s recently launched osteoporosis treatment Bonviva appears to have found early favour with GPs, according to PRWeek’s latest Brand Watch chart.

Almost half (95) of 202 GPs polled recalled seeing, hearing or reading something about the brand – which launched in the UK
in September and is a rival of Merck's Fosamax – in the past three months.

An ad in a medical journal (64 per cent of GPs) was the most-cited source of information, followed by medical sales reps (33 per cent).
Two thirds of these GPs felt messages about the brand, which is being promoted by Virgo Health PR, were generally positive. Only a handful felt the messages were negative.

Just under two thirds of GPs said that although they had not yet prescribed Bonviva, the information they had seen made them likely to do so in the future. But more than a quarter did not prescribe Bonviva and were unlikely to do so in the future.

Positive clinical trial results and hospital recommendations were considered by just over half of those GPs as most likely to get them to start (or increase) prescription of the product.

Positive coverage in the professional press was also an important factor in this context, cited by 40 per cent of GPs.

GfK HealthCare director Gary King said: 'Having just launched, it would appear that Bonviva is set to do well. Around two thirds of GPs say they are likely to prescribe it, with this support underpinned by the highly positive flavour of the message received.'

Other factors that GPs said were likely to encourage them to start or increase their prescription of Bonviva were a positive experience of treating patients with the product (27 per cent) and being visited by a sales rep.

Bonviva – called Boniva in the US – is what is known as a bisphosphonate treatment for post-menopausal osteoporosis. It helps rebuild bones, making them less likely to break so helping to protect patients from future fractures.

Virgo Health promotes the treatment both in the UK and internationally.

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