Low adherence and compliance is a problem that plagues not only life science companies but also whole health systems, including patients who suffer needlessly and payers who fall short in driving desired outcomes.
In answer, companies show new determination to create patient-centric initiatives that will supplant the traditional, formulaic approaches of the past. Dedicated patient engagement teams are rising in prominence, and programs focused on healthcare consumers are working with larger and larger budgets. New tools, especially on digital and mobile platforms, create exciting opportunities for patient education, engagement and relationship management.
This report provides data for patient-focused organizations to build or reinforce their adherence and compliance programs — and to address the hurdles that make these undertakings such challenging endeavors.
Build Strong Programs
Patient engagement ultimately comes down to effective programs. Use the report’s benchmark data to marshal critical financial and staffing resources, choose appropriate channels and tools, and drive implementation across markets.
Empower Patient Teams
Dedicated patient teams increase any organization’s ability to understand end users and address real consumers’ wants, needs and fears. Track the departments and subfunctions involved in the development of dedicated groups, and understand their structures and reporting lines.
Formulate Patient-Centric Strategy
Look inside companies as they manage the difficult evolution toward patient-centric operations — and explore common external and internal challenges that face any group trying to improve patient engagement.
Companies Included in Patient Adherence Programs Research
The research includes quantitative benchmarks and qualitative input from 18 pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and clinical research organizations. Furthermore, 10 specific programs are profiled in detail in the report's 4th chapter.
The following excerpt is a key finding from the full report’s Executive Summary.
Create a Dedicated Team to Sustain Adherence Efforts
Companies are increasingly forming dedicated adherence teams. The majority of surveyed companies (71%) have a dedicated adherence team, as seen in Figure E.1 [appears in full report]. Companies without dedicated teams typically house adherence efforts under marketing or brand teams and use staff on an ad hoc basis.
Companies have not always recognized the importance of having dedicated adherence teams. Indeed, the majority of companies surveyed have only recently developed dedicated teams.
Of the 12 companies with dedicated teams, only two have had their teams in place longer than three years, and both of them are vendors that specialize in providing adherence support to pharma companies.
Six companies have had teams in place between one and three years.
Four have only established groups within the past year.
The recent move to develop adherence teams reflects the shifting focus of the pharma industry’s resources from purely bringing products to market to establishing support for the target users: the patients. This is a timely shift, as never before have patients had access to as much information — whether accurate or not — about their health.
One interviewed executive pointed out that current approaches to adherence and compliance tend to revolve around their internal points of origin. In other words, if a program stems from the commercial side, its strategy is commercially driven — with a focus on tools such as sample drop programs and refill reminders. Approaching the issue from the perspective of health economics and outcomes research, however, may require outcomes tracking and behavioral profiling. “Depending on where the decision maker sits in the organizations,” he said, “the level of interest and what they’re interested in are very different.”
Stand-alone patient engagement groups avoid such issues by centralizing expertise, implementing best practices, pooling resources — and driving organizational understanding of adherence success in key patient populations and markets.