Patient Support Programmes Create Better Result

Patient support programmes (PSP) which involve patients paying part of the fee for their prescription drugs, provide better outcomes than programmes that allow patients to obtain their medication entirely free, eyeforpharma’s Patient Summit conference heard.

Patient support programmes offer some monetary support, plus nursing support, and requires patients to pay some additional drug costs to produce “the best patient outcomes I have seen,” Terri-Lynn Ledger, product manager for patient programmes, inflammation at Amgen Canada commented.

“Patient investment from an emotional, cognitive and financing perspective is necessary for better patient outcomes,” she noted, adding that “less financial support is more.”

Support schemes are completely about the patient, and patients must be shown the value of registering in a PSP, and the programme should be presented to them as optional, commented Ms Ledger.  Buy-in to the arrangement by allied health care professionals, especially prescribers, is important, and one of the strongest supports for patients when helping them follow their treatment schedule is through regular telephone interaction with nurses.

Whether it is the nurse or the patient who makes the contact, “there is a lot of power in that nurse call,” Ms Ledger informed the attendees.  This is not necessarily restricted to the content or the context of the call, instead “it’s the emotional connection,” Ledger added.  For the same reason, patients also favour a phone conversation as opposed to an email or text.

Helping patients follow their treatment schedules has been labelled as the next cutting edge healthcare innovation, and the charges of non-adherence to healthcare systems internationally are huge.  However, with the on-going rise in patient access to health data worldwide through digital media, and as information exchange platforms grow, the capability of healthcare systems to teach patients on medication and the significance of adherence will also rise, managing partner at M2 Worldwide, Colin Wheeler, informed the conference.

Within industry, fresh technologies will change executive thinking surrounding patient adherence, while the sector is at last acknowledging the new generation of adherence professionals and embracing the belief that it is cheaper to keep a new customer than gain a new one, he added.  Gaining new patients costs drug makers an average of 62% more than retaining them, and non-adherence inflicts an average loss of 36% per drug in terms of possible sales, while non-adherence also produces losses of brand equity, due to wrong assumptions of a drug’s inefficacy, he cautioned.

A recent report from Capgemini advised pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that they “need to start measuring what they leave on the table for each non-adherence percentage point, and to reorganise better to address the issue,” noted Mr Wheeler, who added that “this sums up where we stand at the moment.”


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