Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2018 - 18
F E AT U R E
In a patient study, Deloitte found that only 19% of patients
report being aware of the services provided to them by the
manufacturer of their prescription medication.
"For a long time, we have talked about who 'owns' the
patient, which is a very paternalistic way to view health
care," said Chris Zant, principal, Deloitte Consulting, LLP.
"Instead, the pharmaceutical industry needs to talk about
how we collaborate to support the patient, and new digital
health platforms actually enable us for the first time to
make that a reality."
what data they need and whether their hub has the systems
in place to achieve the goals.
Identify gaps in the patient experience
Understanding the current gaps in the patient
experience and how to fill them is another critical step.
Are patients facing long delays in starting therapy because
of a slow prior authorization process? Are patients falling
off therapy at the same point in the treatment regimen-
and if so, could more frequent touchpoints help improve
adherence? Pharma companies should also look beyond
clinical care when considering the patient experience. For
example, could providing caregiver support programs or
assistance with transportation help to improve the patient's
quality of life? Having visibility in the patient experience
is critical to understanding how a pharma company can
Patient services hubs
For pharmaceutical companies, the answer to two
key questions "How do I better understand my patient's
journey?" and "How do engage my patient in a deeper
relationship with my brand?" can often be found in their
patient services hub. Because hubs interact with and gather
data from patients, providers and payers all at the same
time, they can be ideal sources of data-and some hubs are
investing in tools to help their pharma partners harness
this data. The challenge is aligning pharma's needs with the
right hub services, technology and team.
"Driving value for patients requires end-to-end visibility
into the patient journey." said Dave Rosner, principal,
Deloitte Consulting, LLP. "This is particularly challenging
for pharmaceutical companies in the specialty segment.
Hub services companies are uniquely positioned to help
specialty pharma bridge that gap and improve outcomes
by using digital tools to facilitate interaction between the
company and the patient."
Understand the reimbursement landscape
A clear understanding of the reimbursement
landscape can help to determine what type of support
patients will need. Will most patients be on government
or exchange-based systems, or private insurance? Will a
prior authorization be required? Will the drug be a 3rd or
4th line therapy? Will a significant portion of patients be
uninsured? Will co-payments be a barrier for patients?
Payers are constantly evolving their approaches to specialty
medicines, so being nimble when designing assistance
programs for patients is advised.
The ability to harness meaningful data and insights
through the hub will ultimately enable the pharmaceutical
industry to deliver better patient programs, which will
result in better patient outcomes. And while these patientcentric programs are particularly relevant for specialty
drugs today, in the near future, manufacturers of nearly all
prescription products will need to adopt an increasingly
Below are a few recommendations for optimizing patient
engagement using hub services:
When evaluating how to use hub data to deepen patient
engagement, pharma companies should start with their
objectives. Are they hoping to improve access to their
product? Drive adherence? Do they plan to use patient
data to enhance their reimbursement strategy? Support
future regulatory filings? Refine commercialization efforts?
Defining objectives will allow drug companies to determine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Fillman is VP/General Manager, Cardinal Health
5. Oncology Insights, June 2017, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions.
6. Deloitte research study, 2015-2017
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