Mobile Health Apps Could Support Novel Rx-to-OTC Switches Suggests New Research from PinneyAssociates

Categories: Data Management and Analysis, Mobile Health, Rx-to-OTC Switch

Americans concerned about blood pressure may be more likely to try an OTC blood pressure medicine that had a companion mobile health app, and over 50% of participants in an online survey indicated they would be willing to pay more for the OTC product when it had a companion mHealth app.

“Results of our survey suggest that consumers are eager for mobile apps that will help them manage common diseases, which can help to enable Rx-to-OTC switches of products by supporting appropriate self-selection and actual use,” commented Michael Hufford, PhD.

Dr. Hufford presented the results of this PinneyAssociates survey at the 2017 Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Annual Executive Committee (AEC). Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an online crowdsourcing marketplace, PinneyAssociates was able to quickly recruit hundreds of people who were concerned about their high blood pressure and have them complete a brief survey about their interest in, and willingness to pay for, an OTC blood pressure medication with or without a companion health app.

“For Rx-to-OTC switch, the easy switches are behind us,” commented Saul Shiffman, PhD, at the 2017 CHPA Regulatory, Scientific & Quality Conference (RSQ). “Apps are more suitable in the context of complex Rx-to-OTC switches, for managing ongoing use and for products that treat chronic asymptomatic conditions.”

If an app is to be used as part of a switch, testing of the app needs to encompass if the app works as intended relative to the Drug Facts Label (DFL), usability by the intended population, and demonstration of an evidence-based approach. Recently, the FDA has been encouraging sponsors to embrace digital health innovations. (see here and here) As Dr. Gottlieb recently noted in “Fostering Medical Innovation: A plan for Digital Health Devices (June 15, 2017), “To encourage innovation, FDA should carry out its mission to protect and promote the public health through policies that are clear enough for developers to apply them on their own, without having to seek out, on a case-by-case basis, FDA’s position on every individual technological change or iterative software development.”

PinneyAssociates’ presentations at CHPA AEC and RSQ can be found here and here, respectively.

To learn more about our Rx-to-OTC Switch Services, click here.