In the digital age of present, patients have never been better equipped with the devices and technologies to take control of their own healthcare needs and outcomes. With the ease of online access to tools such as patient forums, advocacy groups and self-assessment sites to name a few, patients are well informed and able to play a strong role in the dialogue of their own health care matters. This has ultimately led to a feeling of empowerment among the patient community, as well as an expectation to be heard.1
This shift in perspective is leading pharmaceutical companies to focus on patient centric services and technology-based solutions. In a survey of over 200 patient services executives from the US and European industries (Accenture 2016), 85% of companies said they would be raising their investment towards a patient-centric approach over the next 18 months (Figure 1).2
In the same survey, 95% of respondents said they would be planning to invest in patient engagement technologies during the next 18 months (Figure 2), showing the industry trend towards alignment with the ever more technology-focused patient.
Of the top ten patient services cited by surveyed patients as ‘extremely valuable’ (Accenture 2016), those which received the highest patient value included:
- Medication delivery/support (85%)
- Benefit coverage and access support (79%)
- Remote monitoring (79%)
- Patient outreach, reminders, scheduling (79%)
- Adherence program management (77%)
Based on these figures it is not surprising that Pharmaceutical companies are focusing more and more closely on patient programs as initiatives to improve access to, usage of and adherence to medicines. Spending on these solutions has increased by nearly threefold in recent years as companies strive to deliver improved patient outcomes.3
In response to the top two patient rated services above – medication and access support – pharmaceuticals companies are looking towards medicines access programs (MAPs) to allow for a deferred cost of, or cost-free or subsidised access to medicines which do not have the relevant funding in place. For example, free access to medicines for indications which are not included within a funded scheme, e.g. clinical trial, and usually involving life-threatening conditions (compassionate access programs) or free access to medicines which are TGA-approved, however have not yet reached government reimbursement via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) (patient access programs).4 These are examples of the types of patient programs we can expect to see continued industry growth and investment in.
How can we help?
At Commercial Eyes, we have expertise in the development of online and paper-based patient programs, including compassionate access programs, patient access programs, product familiarisation programs (PFPs), patient support programs (PSPs) which can also involve the use of nurse support. We have collaborated with centralised pharmacies to allow for supply management direct to patient and have worked on nominated pharmacy models alike. We are passionate and excited about the upward trend towards patient services and can provide advice, support, assistance and expert project management for programs tailored to our clients’ needs.
For more information on how we may be able to help you develop a successful compliant Patient Program please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science 2017, Vol. 51(4) 460-467
- The patient is in pharma’s growing opportunity in patient services. 2016. Online access July 2018
- Patient Support Programs That Deliver Results. 2015. Online access July 2018
- Managing Medicines Access Programs. 2015. Online access July 2018