When pharma brands send patients or prescribers a message about reducing medication costs, how do they know it’s resonating and changing behaviors? The answer will likely be different depending on many factors, including the area of therapy and the patient’s age and/or gender.
Analytics offers brands a window into how their message content impacts the effectiveness of their communication. A relatively recent development, certain service providers can gain greater visibility into patient behavior along the continuum of their treatment journey when brands have both patient support (hub) services and affordability services data available to them. Patients can be assigned identifiers that enable their participation in both programs to be tracked in a HIPAA-compliant way.
For example, if a patient is enrolled in an expensive specialty medication for a severe illness through a hub program and the companion copay program, we can see how that patient is using both programs and provide brands with insights about the effectiveness of their program designs. We can also determine if patients who come in through a hub program have different copay utilization than patients who come in through the brand’s website, for example.
Brands can also glean an increasingly large amount of information about factors impacting patient adherence and use that data to determine how to positively impact patients staying on their medications. We can also drill down to the individual patient level, such as looking at data for a female in her 50s to see how frequently she goes to the pharmacy, the number of drugs she’s taking, and what each drug costs.
The Power of Information
Pharma manufacturers are focused on acquiring new patients while keeping patients from leaving therapy once they start. As the overall patient view shifts to a more holistic approach that examines overall challenges, conditions, and medications, we’re increasingly able to move the needle to improve adherence. Cost is one relatively easy component to address, and copay programs are designed to take the bite out of cost and go a long way to building patient loyalty. Leveraging—and measuring—other patient support programs as well as prescriber education can help keep patients on their medication and focused on overall health.
Sometimes the addition of a simple messaging program with the right message can drive results, such as increased adherence or migration to a 90-day supply so patients don’t have to visit the pharmacy as often. By comparing the results of different message types sent to patients, brands are empowered to develop the most effective content.
The ability to drill into accessible, clean, and useable data to understand where programs are having an impact and with what message is a powerful way to build and refine a campaign. While it won’t necessarily answer the “why,” which takes a lot of digging, adherence data will cleanly answer the “what.” After all, that data doesn’t just represent numbers; it conveys the experiences of people undergoing their medication journeys. Showing drug manufacturers how effectively they get products into those patients’ hands, for as long as they need them, can be a powerful and effective tool.