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Our M3 blogs cover a range of thought provoking topics from trends and challenges to proposed solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.

How well do you know UK GPs? (Part 1)

April 2024

It is well-documented that general practitioners in the UK are experiencing very high stress levels, with 71% of UK GPs finding their workload extremely or very stressful (The Health Foundation, 2024).1 Much of this is driven by high patient caseloads. In addition, however, the rapidly expanding landscape of therapy options presents GPs with the daunting task of not only grasping these new treatments, but also integrating them confidently into their practice. How can pharma companies support GPs in doing this? The first step lies in generating a deep understanding of primary care in the UK.

Knowledge is power

Data from a recent GP Omnibus survey run by medeConnect researchers paints a challenging picture (see fig. 1). Fewer than half of UK GPs feel that they have at least a good knowledge of the most important recent advancements in key areas such as cardiology, dermatology, diabetes, neurology, respiratory medicine and women's health, and only about 7% feel able to advise colleagues on new treatments in these common disease areas. A key question arises: how can these apparent knowledge gaps be best addressed?

Figure 1: 45% of UK GPs report having a full understanding or good knowledge of recent advancements across a number of core disease areas

Trial, not error

To answer this question, the medeConnect research team asked the GP Omnibus respondents to identify the key pieces of information they would need to prescribe a new treatment for the first time. The average GP respondent selected between six and seven different types of information, out of a possible list of 14 (see fig. 2) – a major communication and learning challenge, given GPs' notoriously heavy workload. However, it is a challenge that can be mitigated by doing timely and targeted research.

Figure 2: UK GPs, on average, would like to have 6-7 different types of information before trialing a new treatment

Work smarter, not harder

GPs are a big audience in the UK, and highly diverse in their working preferences. When asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a range of statements that described how they like to work, there was little consensus across the group (see fig. 3). However, one thing is clear: one size does not fit all.

Figure 3: UK GPs are highly diverse in their working preferences

Our researchers' advice in this situation: "work smarter, not harder". Pharma companies in the UK, especially ones bringing new products to the primary care market, can scarcely afford to waste time and resources on ineffective comms. By contrast, months of wasted work – and entire budgets of ineffective marketing investment – can be avoided by deploying targeted research upfront.

medeConnect's GP Omnibus: a unique research solution for GPs in the UK

How confident are you that your assumptions about your audience are correct, and what is at stake if your assumptions are wrong? Have you and your team truly built your marketing strategy on recent and relevant facts and data?

medeConnect's GP Omnibus offers monthly access to 1,000 UK GP respondents, recruited in a regionally representative way across the UK. It is the optimal solution for checking GP opinion in a robust, cost-effective and compliant way.

Fill in the contact form to learn more ›


  1. health.org.uk

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