Physician knowledge surveys have increasingly been requested of drug manufacturers in the post-authorization setting as part of risk minimization plans. Surveys in pharmacovigilance require considerable time and resource, and result in low response rates and questionable representativeness. After EMA consultation, an educational programme was initiated with ecancer to evaluate the potential of online communities in measuring knowledge of drug safety risks. Here, we describe the baseline survey used to measure basic knowledge of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) risks among prescribers of bone targeting agents (BTAs).
Clinical experts developed 8 multiple choice questions on BTAs and ONJ risk as described in the summary of product characteristics. BTAs included denosumab, zoledronate, or pamidronate. Invitations were sent out to ecancer and ECCO members. Eligible were physicians who treated ≥5 new/continuing adult patients with bone metastases from solid tumours in the last 3 months (mos), currently practicing as an oncology specialist in the European Union, Switzerland or Norway, and prescribed a BTA in the last 12 mos. Responses for eligible and ineligible were compared.
Among visits to the online survey, 87% completed the questions: 336 eligible/ineligible respondents from 52 countries, 292 from 26 European countries. Ineligibility was driven by the criterion of treating ≥5 patients in last 3 mos. Eligible respondents (n = 182) had higher level of correct responses than those who did not meet eligibility: mean 81% vs. 73% (p
Online professional communities offer a pragmatic and efficient approach for recruitment of physicians for knowledge assessments. Basic knowledge of ONJ risks was high overall in this ecancer proof of concept. The strategy can achieve responses representative of today’s physicians who seek information online. These findings may be compared with knowledge among physicians who may not seek information online.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
J-J. Body: Consultant for Amgen Inc. O. Nicolatou-Galitis: Consultant for Amgen J.M. Sprafka, A. Liede: Amgen Inc. Employee, including stock ownership D. Niepel: Amgen GmbH employee, including stock ownership All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.