29.09.2023 | Insight

GLP-1 agonists and SGLT2 inhibitors commanded the most attention from eHCPs globally

By Cameron Bassindale

Among the conversations of over 50,000 online healthcare professionals (eHCPs) discussing type 2 diabetes globally online, in both English and Spanish, 13 treatments were mentioned at least 100 times each. These conversations focused on a variety of treatments and drug classes; four of the five SGLT2 inhibitors currently available and the majority of the GLP-1 agonists were spoken about, as well as more well-established treatments like metformin and basal insulin.

In terms of volume, metformin was the single most discussed product with 3,335 mentions from global eHCPs within the online type 2 diabetes conversation during the course of the study. This high number of mentions is due to the fact that in 2022 eHCPs were celebrating one hundred years since the discovery of metformin, and discussed how it remains a first-line treatment. 

In terms of treatment class within the online conversation, GLP-1 agonists were the most widely spoken about products. Mentions of five specific GLP-1 drugs were made a total of 7,163 times. In second place were SGLT2 inhibitors, with four products being spoken about almost 4,700 times by eHCPs. Combining conversation around both SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 agonists they collectively accounted for almost 75% of the conversation amongst the most mentioned products. 

Although GLP-1 agonists collectively received the most mentions from eHCPs online, SGLT2 inhibitors had an average net sentiment (+4) double that of GLP-1 agonists (+2). This is due largely to the positive sentiment expressed towards Invokana; it received the highest net sentiment of any single product in this study. A physician in the US stated that “the best thing for my DM2 was Invokana”, in a conversation with other eHCPs online.

At the other end of the scale, eHCPs expressed reservations about DPP-4 inhibitors, receiving the lowest net sentiment (-4.5). This is accounted for by the revelation that the FDA and Merck MSD “discovered how its blockbuster diabetes medications have become contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical”, as well as concerns over Januvia’s pricing. This trend was reflected in analysis of eHCP expressed sentiment towards manufacturers, in which Merck MSD received the lowest net sentiment.  

While product conversation makes up a relatively low volume of the overall physician online conversation, what they do say is often meaningful and can provide powerful intelligence for healthcare communications.

The analysis in this article is drawn from CREATION.co’s Global Top 50 Digital Opinion Leaders (DOL) 2023, which studied more than 320,000 posts from more than 50,000 online HCPs. Find out more about DOLs in Type 2 Diabetes in our T2D Exploration Webinar.


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Meet the Author

Cameron Bassindale

Cameron’s academic background in Social Sciences is helping to inform his development of world-class insights, led by weaving stories to help shape and inform actions taken by key stakeholders in the Pharmaceutical industry.

When he’s not watching his beloved Arsenal FC, Cameron can usually be found with his nose in a book or out for dinner with friends.

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