The use of specialty therapeutics is rapidly rising, creating significant growth opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturers that are positioned to deliver strong value to patients and other stakeholders. Yet, the ability to meet patient needs throughout their care journey isn’t without its challenges. These challenges place greater demands on both pharmaceutical manufacturers and the Digital Hub providers they partner with to support their patient services programs.
To gain a better perspective on the latest patient services trends and how they’re impacting the selection and deployment of Digital Hubs, CareMetx surveyed leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies across the United States, along with a smaller sample of healthcare providers and industry consultants. Our participants spanned the spectrum of roles that influence patient services, including medical, commercial, sales, marketing, research and development, market access, procurement, and senior leadership.
One key theme that clearly emerged from our research was the growing need for patient-centric solutions that allow specialty drug and medical device manufacturers to deliver greater value.
Manufacturers Prioritize Initiation, Adherence, and Satisfaction
One of the primary objectives of our study was to understand the priority areas of focus for manufacturers and consultants when evaluating and selecting patient services solutions to support specialty drugs and medical devices. For most, the greatest priorities revolve around patient therapy initiation, adherence, and overall satisfaction.
Specifically, over the next 18 months, their top priorities include improving patient adherence and use of complex therapeutics, and achieving greater patient satisfaction with both the therapy itself and the overall experience.
By surveying a diverse group of roles, CareMetx gleaned valuable insights on how the various stakeholders within a pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical company differ in the priorities that influence their views on patient services solutions.
For instance, among professionals directly involved in bringing new therapeutics to market—such as the R&D and commercial teams—there is a strong desire to educate patients and providers on the availability of new and efficacious drugs. Perhaps not surprisingly, medical teams place more importance on seeing patients adhere to the prescribed treatment plan and optimize the therapy dosage. (For a closer look at how each function’s priorities differ when it comes to patient services solutions, request a copy of the survey report: Patient Services Trends Point the Way to Better Hub Provider Partnerships and Stronger Outcomes.)
Three Key Value Drivers Emerged
As with any investment, when manufacturers invest in a patient services solution to support the launch of a new specialty drug or medical device, they expect to derive strong value. But that term can mean different things to different people.
To better understand how manufacturers define value in the context of an effective patient services program, CareMetx drilled down into the specific factors that drive this decision. What emerged from the research are three key drivers of value for patient services solutions.
A Holistic View of Therapy Initiation
It’s common for patient services solutions to address the portions of the patient journey that reduce cost-related obstacles to initiation. For instance, most programs handle benefit verification and facilitate financial assistance programs like co-pay cards. But paving the way for successful initiation goes far beyond reducing cost as an impediment.
As the respondents shared with us, the most valuable patient services solutions approach therapy initiation more holistically, recognizing that many other challenges can stand in the way of patients getting off to a positive start. Manufacturers expect Hub providers to take a more comprehensive approach to supporting patient initiation, addressing the many other obstacles that often keep patients from starting a specialty therapy successfully—from difficulties using self-injected drugs to a lack of transportation to get to an infusion site, for example.
An Integrated Solution
Manufacturers and healthcare providers recognize that patients find the healthcare system difficult and confusing to navigate, time-consuming and inefficient to work within, and frustrating to deal with. As a result, they seek patient services solutions that use an integrated approach to minimize pain points. For example, Digital Hubs that can provide a seamless experience for patients and physicians by integrating the various, often disparate systems and data sources involved will go a long way toward improving the patient journey.
Data that Supports Insights
A patient services program can generate great stores of data about critical points along the patient care journey, such as benefit verification and prior authorization. Yet, that data provides little value unless it enables drug and medical device manufacturers to glean meaningful insights that they can leverage to improve their therapy programs. For example, manufacturers see great value in gaining more visibility into how their drug programs are performing against the most relevant metrics and the ability to use data to drive insights that inform future investment decisions.
Noticeably absent from these value drivers is any mention of the cost of a patient services solution. Among the broad spectrum of participants in the CareMetx survey, few placed a high priority on cost-related factors, such as reducing their patient care services expenditures. These findings suggest that when manufacturers evaluate patient services solutions, they seek a high-value option that will deliver strong results, driving cost further down the list of criteria.
The Role of Best Practices
A best practices approach can help specialty drug and medical device manufacturers achieve greater value from their patient services programs, ensuring that Digital Hub providers are aligned with the drivers of value across the entire patient journey.
The CareMetx survey report reviews five proven best practices that can assist manufacturers of specialty therapeutics and medical devices in gaining optimal value from their patient services programs. You can learn about these best practices by downloading the report: Patient Services Trends Point the Way to Better Hub Provider Partnerships and Stronger Outcomes .