Please note, this article contains references to Ashfield Engage which has now become Inizio Engage
Patient adherence is always top of mind when launching a new medication. This is particularly true of specialty medications and biologics where the patient path to adherence can be fraught with challenges.
Patients may be unduly anxious from a possibly arduous journey to diagnosis. Add to this the many complexities inherent in obtaining and using this new medication, and there is potentially enough impetus to create a non-adherent patient population.
That’s why the first 30 days post-diagnosis are so critical to your launch success. Anything you can do to help alleviate anxiety and navigate the treatment experience during this time period will put the patient on solid footing and ultimately lead to better engagement and adherence.
“50% of patients responding to the survey found the therapy discussion to be a highly stressful period in their disease journey, women more so than men.” 2021 Nuvera PURE REPORT
To address this, many pharmaceutical companies have put our patient support programs in place to educate and support the “whole” patient along the disease and treatment journey. These programs put our Clinical Educators in place ready to welcome patients as soon as they start treatment.
“The welcome call is a critical component of a successful patient engagement. Here, not only do we set the stage for ongoing engagement with our Clinical Educators, but we educate patients on what to anticipate, and how to best navigate this journey.”
– Nareda Mills, Global President, Patient Solutions, Ashfield Engage
During these initial engagements, we work to address how patients might be feeling and what they might be facing in terms of the disease and treatment, making sure not to dispense any medical advice. Patients may need education on how to use their medication, but typically they also want to understand the disease progression, how the medication addresses the condition, what are possible side effects and what can be done to mitigate those side effects. We strive to help patients understand what to expect in terms of what their future days may actually look and feel like, and what questions are best answered by their physician.
“Over 50% of patients surveyed felt the most important aspect of the welcome call was explaining the process and establishing expectations for the onboarding process over the coming weeks.” 2021 Nuvera PURE Report.
We recognize that too much contact can create more anxiety, so we make sure to balance outreach to meet the needs of the individual patient. In addition, we make sure that patients and their care partners have a multitude of ways to reach our Clinical Educators or find more information about the disease and prescribed treatment. In-person visits, phone, chat bots, video chats, email, instructional portals, web sites – are all viable engagement channels established to satisfy the behavioral and psychosocial needs of the individual patient.
The numbers tell an undeniable truth – an effective patient support program can improve adherence. 92% of patients enrolled in patient support programs and working with our Clinical Educators stay on their treatment, whereas 63% of patients without a support program abandon treatment. Having a patient support program in place to address patient education and support needs – as soon as they are diagnosed and on treatment – matters. Ashfield Engage is the partner to customize and deliver these programs.
Learn more about “Adherence in the patient treatment journey: making the most of the first 30 days.”