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Is Your Patient Services Program Overlooking the Foundation of Successful Treatment?

Is Your Patient Services Program Overlooking the Foundation of Successful Treatment?

Delving into the patient journey reveals that adhering to a therapy regimen is a significant hurdle for many people. Nearly half of all drugs for chronic conditions aren’t taken as prescribed, and 20% to 30% of prescriptions go unfilled.   

A closer examination of patient medication-taking leads to a pivotal insight: to enhance therapy adherence, one must first optimize therapy initiation. To effectively treat, the journey must begin on the right foot. Leading pharmaceutical manufacturers understand this, as evidenced by the results of the 2024 Patient Services Survey.  According to the data, when manufacturers evaluate Hubs, their key criteria align with a desire to get patients off to a good start. 

What Metrics Do Manufacturers Deem Crucial When Evaluating Hub Vendors? 

It comes as no surprise that facilitating therapy initiation and enhancing adherence rank as top priorities for pharmaceutical manufacturers. The crucial insight, however, is that these objectives are not isolated efforts; rather, they are interconnected elements that together enhance the patient experience and support improved outcomes. 

In evaluating potential Hub partners, today's manufacturers place a premium on vendor performance metrics, ranking them as crucially important- alongside factors such as the Hub's expertise in specific therapeutic areas, technological capabilities, and comprehension of the patient journey. Further exploration into survey findings shows that the most valued vendor metrics are those that facilitate a strong start to therapy and support ongoing adherence, laying the foundation for a positive and successful care journey. 

When asked to identify the most critical metrics for assessing a Hub vendor, surveyed manufacturers prioritized the following:  

  • Time to fill the prescription (ranked 4.0 out of 5)  
  • Therapy adherence rate (ranked 4.1 out of 5)  

It's understandable that a swift prescription fill can significantly influence a patient's likelihood to begin therapy, thus taking a crucial step towards adherence and sustained treatment. The smoother and more positive the initial experience, the greater the chance that the patient's journey will unfold seamlessly. 

Drawing on over a decade of experience supporting patients across numerous specialty drug brands, CareMetx has consistently observed the critical impact of a strong therapy initiation on improving adherence and persistence rates.  

In one of our patient services programs, we drove an 11% increase in therapy continuity at 30 days for enrolled patients compared to those not enrolled. This advantage extended over the long haul: After one year, initiation rates among enrolled patients were trending 25% higher, and these patients remained on therapy for an additional 41 days on average compared to their non-enrolled counterparts. 

Overcoming Barriers  

Navigating the path to specialty therapy can be fraught with obstacles, whether it’s managing self-injectables, arranging visits to alternative care sites for physician-administered treatments, or acquainting oneself with a novel medication. Challenges such as anxiety, depression, and a myriad of emotional hurdles, alongside the social determinants of health (SDOH) that obstruct access to transformative therapies, are significant. CareMetx data across 200,000 patients reveals that side effect concerns prove a major barrier (reported by 51% of patients), while many worry about injections or have difficulty understanding what the treatment regimen involves.  

Acknowledging these challenges, it's clear that manufacturers need more from a Hub than the conventional suite of services related to access and affordability, like benefit verification, prior authorization, and reviews for financial assistance eligibility. To truly "start right to treat right," specialty manufacturers must depend on their Hubs to assist patients in navigating the hurdles to initiating and adhering to therapy, understanding that these obstacles can vary greatly among individuals. 

This shift in expectations shapes the essential features today’s manufacturers seek in their chosen Hub partner. There's a growing preference for a blend of advanced tech-driven solutions and personalized support services. This approach recognizes the complexity and individuality of each patient's care journey, aiming to guide patients towards successful outcomes. 

Survey results demonstrate that manufacturers are increasingly seeking Hub vendors who can offer customized and personalized support. By harnessing various data sources to inform and guide the next best actions at every stage- and through multiple channels- winning Hubs are equipped to help patients overcome challenges related to therapy initiation and adherence. 

The 2024 Patient Services Report delves more deeply into the importance of starting right to treat right, and explores other patient services trends impacting how manufacturers approach their specialty drug programs. For a look at the survey results and insights, download a copy of the report.   

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