With value-based care, patient outcomes are the new currency. Product efficacy and safety are not enough to keep pharma relevant in today’s landscape, especially in chronic diseases in which patient behavior and decision-making are critical to achieve optimal outcomes. The challenge is to convince physicians that a product profile is no longer the path to success.
As the patient’s role in decision-making expands, pharma is missing an opportunity to provide “value beyond the pill.” Pharma marketers must think about the overall experience of a product and how it may lead to better patient outcomes. When the patient experience supports engagement and facilitates decision-making, pharma brands will become differentiated and valued.
Two imperatives will accelerate pharma’s role in delivering optimal patient outcomes.
1. Take an integrated approach to change patient decision-making and behavior.
Most marketers acknowledge the importance of patient behavior. They create patient-directed tactics, such as doctor discussion guides and adherence programs. However, marketers must recognize that the patient experience begins before the product is prescribed. Patients are more successful with a product when they feel supported and participate in quality conversations with their provider.
Case Study One
Situation: Research demonstrated a gap in communication between patients and providers in treatment conversations about a rare disease. While patients were not accepting of an infused therapy that clinically may be right for them, providers were not presenting the therapy in an optimal manner.
Solution: Behavioral experts at MicroMass worked with KOLs to create an evidence-based framework. This led to point of care tools and web-based training to help providers bridge the communication gap with their patients.
Outcome: Overall communication significantly improved, and providers reported a 56% increase in acceptance of therapy.
2. Use evidence-based strategies that go beyond patient education.
Pharma relies heavily on information and facts to help patients understand their condition and medication. However, knowledge alone does not ensure optimal patient outcomes. To drive behavior change and improve patient outcomes, pharma must let go of the belief that knowledge is power. Pharma has an opportunity to leverage evidence-based strategies that effectively enhance the patient’s motivation and skills and build on the education patients receive through their healthcare team.
Case Study Two
Situation: Most mobile apps for diabetes only provide information or tracking behaviors.
Solution: Create a mobile experience that incorporates evidence-based techniques and leverages gamification principles. For instance, innovative mobile apps—including one we have in development for diabetes patients that is currently being tested in a clinical trial—can help build real-world problem-solving skills for lasting behavior change in patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients practice everyday decision-making and receive feedback.
Outcome: 89% of patients surveyed found the diabetes app to be somewhat or very valuable in helping them manage their diabetes.
It’s time for patients to be recognized as key decision makers. Pharma must accept this and move past a landscape in which treatment decisions are based only on product information. There’s an opportunity for pharma to carve out a path to better patient outcomes. The question remains, is pharma willing to participate?