Gauge acceptability of new drug formulation and device

A pharmaceutical manufacturer was simultaneously developing a liquid formulation for a drug (currently only available as a pill), as well as a new delivery device to administer this liquid formulation.

Challenge

The manufacturer wanted to evaluate the usability and acceptability of the new formulation and prototype device, as well as, gather insights for further development.

Approach

We conducted one-on-one, in-depth interviews with participants currently taking the medication in pill form. We asked participants to complete a simulated-use scenario using the prototype device. We collected feedback on ease of use, physical attributes, need for instructions, and overall acceptability of the device. We also captured participant data around the new liquid formulation, including appearance, taste, and color.

Outcome

While the device was relatively easy to use, feedback about the acceptability and usefulness of the device for daily use was largely negative. Participants nearly unanimously cited the size of the device as a major deterrent (especially as it related to portability, storage, disposal, etc.) and were also hesitant about the potential taste of the medication.
Due to these issues, it was not recommended that development of the device be pursued for this medication unless substantial changes were made.