Why is it being used more if it isn’t that good?
Not gonna lie…I first read this as “why isn’t it being used more if it is that good?”
Then I wrote a lengthy rebuttal.
Upon further review, I now realize that you are questioning the employees who posted negative reviews of the technology, not the adoption rate of the system sales…
O well…since I took the time to write it, here’s what I would have said in response:
This is something that flabbergasted me when I first started selling medical devices 10+ years ago. If my solution was better, why wouldn’t providers flock to it?
That’s when I learned some hard lessons.
First, doctors are very busy people. Getting their attention is damn hard, especially if you are a new company. Imagine walking in and saying “hi, I’m from Novocure”. They’d be like – who? Medtronic? J&J? Bristol Myers? No? Get the hell out.
I got that one a lot.
This problem is 3X harder now that the Sunshine Act is in full effect. The old way was to take a doctor lunch/dinner/golfing to grab their attention. A lot of that is now MUCH HARDER to do, which isn’t such a huge problem for companies with established relationships and dominate market share, but it is a terrible development for new companies with innovative technology that want a providers attention.
Second, even if you can grab their attention, this is a medical device, not just a pill. When something is so totally different there are legitimate concerns about everything. How do I order it? Who trains the patient? What if they call my staff for questions? What if it doesn’t work? Let alone trying to understand/believe how TTFields work in the first place. That’s a big leap for some people to make, especially for doctors who are treating patients that are expected to live only a couple of months.
Third, reimbursement wasn’t there in the beginning. Last year was a big year on that front as they signed up a lot more insurers. Medicare/Medicaid is still not on board, though Novocure is providing these products with the product for “free” (they are billing medicare but not collecting…they hope to collect eventually, but they cannot guarantee it).
Fourth, there’s something magical about 5-year clinical data. Novocure didn’t have that in their hands until April of this year (https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/04/03/heres-why-novocure…). That data could go a long way at converting the skeptics.
Despite all of that, the number of active patients on Optune grew 59% year-over-year last quarter. That’s pretty good in my view. However, the company still has a looooooooooong way to go to convert the nonbelievers.
FWIW, the medical device that I use to sell – OmniPod by Insulet (PODD) – has been on the market for 13 years. Its market share in the U.S. today?4%
You could easily ask why more providers are not using it today. The answers lie above. Despite that, PODD’s revenue has grown every year and the stock is up 212% since IPO. Not bad, eh?