Patient support programs (PSPs) help individuals overcome barriers to therapy access and adherence, ultimately improving health outcomes. These programs include coordinating benefits investigations, providing transportation to physician appointments, and answering questions. Pharma companies can take a cue from patients by listening early and continuously, co-creating solutions, and leveraging insights to drive impactful change. The key is a best-in-class patient hub.

Increased Patient Engagement

Patient support programs (PSPs) such as those done by Pharmacord are designed to help patients promptly address the challenges they face following the diagnosis and prescription of a medical product. Whether it’s to increase adherence, provide financial assistance, or address emotional burdens with a new diagnosis and medication regimen, PSPs can help improve the quality of life for their target patients. However, a significant gap exists in the literature related to strategies and contextual factors that enhance engagement and its impact on patients and the provision of services. While the outcomes reported in several studies range from educational or tool development and informed policy or planning documents to enhanced service delivery and governance, most research is focused on low-level (consultative) engagement. Increasing awareness of manufacturer-sponsored patient support programs is critical to helping HCPs frame conversations with their patients. In addition, pharma can leverage digital options to enroll and communicate with patients directly – such as text reminders of known prescription journey hurdles (prior authorization) and adherence outreach messages – to help drive program participation and utilization.

Improved Patient Outcomes

Patient support programs provide patients the tools and resources to self-manage their treatment and improve outcomes. By helping patients manage their care, these programs can help them remain compliant with their therapy, reducing the likelihood of complications and hospitalizations. By empowering patients to take control of their health, these programs can also increase patient satisfaction and loyalty. Satisfied patients are more likely to engage in proactive disease management and continue seeking treatment from their doctors. However, patient outcomes are often not directly measurable due to data limitations and other considerations (such as privacy). As the industry shifts towards outcome-based reimbursement models, pharmaceutical manufacturers must design and execute a PSP that focuses on actual patient outcomes. Novel patient outcome-focused vital performance indicators, such as treatment fulfillment, patient persistence, and therapy adherence, can help assess the impact of a program on patient outcomes. These KPIs will serve as vital benchmarks to drive new opportunities for improvement and innovation.

Increased Brand Awareness

Patient support programs (PSPs) are an opportunity to deliver value above and beyond the drug itself. By delivering personalized and relevant content, pharma brands can establish a solid emotional connection with their patients and drive brand awareness and loyalty. The success of a PSP requires a deep understanding of patients, their coverage types, and barriers to therapy access. Providing customers with a unified view of their interactions and preferences at every touchpoint, whether a benefits investigation, a purchase, or a response to a question, helps ensure the right message is delivered at the right time. As pharma expands into newer treatment modalities, such as cell and gene therapies, more comprehensive PSPs will be needed to manage complexity. Ultimately, the goal is to deliver a holistic, “beyond-the-pill” approach focused on supporting patients and improving outcomes. Achieving this will require a shift in thinking for pharma marketers and their partners. It’s a time to redefine their role and work together in new ways to build the next generation of patients.

Increased Customer Loyalty

Patient loyalty programs are a strategy that can help to increase customer retention in healthcare businesses. Pharmaceutical companies looking to boost their brand loyalty should take the time to plan and execute the program carefully. This will ensure that it is a success and that customers will be happy with the results. Creating a patient support program requires a dedicated team to manage it effectively. The team must be trained in patient-centric communication and engagement techniques to do this. This is a different type of training than is often given to sales or other customer service teams, and many pharma organizations need help finding the right resources and expertise to do this. Working with a specialized patient support partner can help to overcome these challenges.

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