Objective
Research the market for a Herpes Zoster vaccine.

Scope of the study
Number and type of Respondents needed – 150 – different combinations per markets of GP/ Family physicians/ Geriatricians/ Dermatologists/ retail pharmacists; 150 Patient completes aged 55 + (as they are most likely to get Herpes Zoster)

Markets
Emerging markets: Turkey, Poland, Brazil, Mexico and Taiwan

Methodology
Clients wanted Online. However it had to vary depending on the market and target group (owing to cultural differences, most effective ways of getting things done etc), as below:

Turkey, Poland and Taiwan Physicians – Recruitment over the phone, then online as links sent to qualified respondents to complete

Turkey and Poland Patients – Recruitment over the phone, main interview was a combination of over the phone and face to face due to lower rates of internet usage by the target age groups

Brazil Physicians – over the telephone and main fieldwork online by the physicians

Brazil and Mexico Patients and Caregivers – Recruitment over the phone and interjecting at public places. Interviews at central location. Heavy reliance on referrals

Mexico Physicians – Recruitment done physically by going to hospitals and either taking appointments or interjecting. Interviews done by taking appointments

Taiwan Patients and Caregivers – Face to face in markets, malls etc. Referrals as well
Logistical and Operational Challenges faced

Such as availability of respondents in a specific market, employing new technologies, cultural differences, need to adapt Methodologies to suit markets. As these are emerging markets, we ran Qualitative and Quantitative Pilot interviews to structure the main fieldwork accordingly

Turkey Physicians – majority of physicians don’t personally administer vaccines to the patients, so the patients are sent to qualified nurses for the vaccines. As the screening and certain questions in the survey had to do with administering vaccines, the corresponding questions had to be modified accordingly for the market.

Turkey Patients – income brackets and quotas had to be changed taking into account lower pensions, lower proportion of women earning pension (as they didn’t work) from the target age group

Poland Patients – pensions are very low (amounts) in Poland; and most people above 50 years are retired so income brackets and quotas had to be changed taking these into account

Brazil Physicians – private vaccination centres are prevalent there so about a fourth of the total was required from physicians working in these clinics. Also, as most physicians worked in a mix of public and private sectors, we needed an overall good mix.

Brazil Patients and Caregivers – respondents from the relevant age groups are primarily not used to computers so recruitment was done as a mix of phone and face to face, and the recruited respondents were asked to come to a Central location to be interviewed.

Running Caregivers surveys for patients over 65 years as they tend to get their children to make medical decisions for them
Mexico Patients and Caregivers – Running Caregivers surveys for patients over 65 years as they tend to get their children to take medical decisions for them

Taiwan Physicians – in Taiwan the main regions are split according to the 3 main cities and their respective suburbs/ surrounding rural areas. Most dermatologists or their offices aren’t involved in administering vaccines themselves (over 95%) so the quota taken out; Geriatricians are a relatively new specialty area so the universe is quite small. Questionnaire and quotas accordingly changed to include family physicians whose majority of patients are above 50 years old.
Privately employed physicians only as public/ govt employed physicians are not allowed to prescribe the vaccine in question (as it is not on the national schedule).

Taiwan Patients and Caregivers – mostly middle class society, so income quotas and income based questions had to be adapted accordingly.

Conclusion
Running Qualitative in-depth Pilots with target groups as the first stage provided a deep insight into how things work in these emerging markets, help formulate the study

Once the study was ready, Quant Pilots run as well so as to take in depth feedback from recruitment + interview teams and respondents – helped fine tune the study

Needed to take into account longer than normal fieldwork period due to the low feasibility of Online studies and physicians take longer and more coaxing to complete because of their very important status in the society.

Local knowledge was vital to help design the studies to ensure successful and smooth running

The outcome
Because of the Pilots and feedback, the studies progressed very smoothly as they were in tune with the local cultures, methodologies, incomes, etc. Some of them closed way ahead of schedule.
Feedback from the clients and respondents – client was happy with the outcome and study was completed within agreed timescales.