To examine the relationship and care management between Alzeihmer’s patients and their carers we undertook a series of ethnographic interviews across the UK. Looking at all sides of the debate, we interviewed nurses, neurologists, carers and caring relatives and drafted a patient management and treatment framework from which to explore the options for a injectable medication for Alzheimer’s disease.



With an increasing array of devices and treatment options available in the diabetes area, GPs and diabetes specialists have many choices but often prescribing approaches are limited. This study looked at perceptions of the latest injectable treatment options and specifically the points of reference for the prescription of GLP-1s and the barriers and motivations that underpin prescribing.

Understanding physicians perceptions around the use of biosimilars and the drivers for use, RA Partners interviewed different physician specialities to understand if prescribing choice is driven by reasons beyond financial considerations and what the expectations of efficacy are for this new and growing market. The division in opinion between those who believe “why prescribe panadol instead of paracetamol” to others who believe that biosimilars offer no tangible benefit beyond branded products so why prescribe biosimilars and take a risk, was stark. A market that needs clear segmentation.

Managing cholesterol is a top public health priority in the Western world and the need for better products to assist will continue as emphasis on point-of-care tests grows. The prescription of statins is becoming an increasingly polarised debate. It appears highly likely that the pro-camp will continue to win, and that statins will be ever more widely prescribed.

Whilst home-test cholesterol kits appeared over 20 years ago, there is an established market led by a small and increasingly consolidated handful of companies providing products. RA Partners undertook a study to evaluate the opportunities for a new device in the field offering non-invasive diagnostic measurement.

The majority of business interest is in seasonal and pandemic vaccines, but as the public health argument for influenza B intervention is becoming more apparent so companies are expressing an interest in developing universal vaccines and antivirals. However, whilst interest in Type B antigen development is evident among global vaccine manufacturers, details from public sources are opaque. RA Partners conducted a global market assessment of therapeutics and vaccines targeting influenza B, cross-checking public sources against private and manufacturer opinion. Conflicting evidence was frequently found and the scarcity of public information on the development of vaccines with a specific Type B component was found. The picture for neuraminidase inhibitor focussed antivirals in clinical development was found to be fractionally less opaque than for vaccines.

Developing a position for an abdominal aortic device we conducted interviews with surgeons across Europe and the US to understand perception of device features, benefits, and define the unique value of the device against the competitive landscape. We then filtered all the information into an attribute map and value hierarchy to enable the creative development of effective messaging by the contracted ad agency.

Positioning a new product in a crowded market is always an exciting challenge. A recent project was to find the brand position for a new endovascular medical device for the descending aorta that not only cut through to the unique value for the surgeon, but also created common space with other devices to create a coherent product and portfolio position. To develop the brand position RA Partners conducted a series of interviews, workshops and discussion groups internationally with cardio-vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists.

A recent desk research project and academic interviews to evaluate the global market size for therapeutics and vaccines targeting HRV highlighted a lack of start ups working in the field. Using a combination of published sources and interviews we created a database of clinical leads and interviewed many scientists working in the field.

Interestingly, while scientists have known about Human Rhinoviruses Type A and B for a many years, 30% of colds are caused by Type C. Human Rhinovirus Type C was only discovered in the past few years, as gene sequencing technology has improved. Researchers have come up with drugs that work against HRV-A and HRV-B by attaching to the surface structures, but the HRV-C surface is different and the drugs don’t bind. The current challenge is to grow HRV-C in labs so study is possible. Until then the common cold will sadly remain.

Carer experiences – ethnographic interviews

Candid interview with a family discussing their experiences of caring for their young daughter who has RTT. Part of a wider ethnographic study to examine the role of carers and the challenges they face accessing services.