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Article: 3 practical steps for improving patient support

Emilie Braund and Harrison Gaiger, January 2021

Published in pharmaphorum Deep Dive

practical stepsEmilie Braund and Harrison Gaiger dig down into the top insights pharma companies can harness to make their patient support programmes as powerful as possible. Published in pharmaphorum Deep Dive, December 2020.

The pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted the healthcare landscape and amplified the complex factors that influence and shape patient journeys. Findings from our recently published whitepaper ‘Free thinking: The impact of COVID-19 on chronic disease management and the implications for pharma marketing’ revealed that, in the spring of 2020, two thirds of physicians across Europe felt patient management was severely impacted as a result of COVID-19. Remarkably, global health systems have evolved quickly in an attempt to adapt to the crisis and great strides have been made to continue providing patients with the information and care they need. In our research, 89% of physicians across Europe reported replacing face-to-face consultations with virtual consultations during the first wave of the pandemic. However, in some additional research we conducted with healthcare professionals, over two thirds across both the US and EU feel patients are still in need of additional support to help manage their condition.

Patient support programmes (PSPs) can play an integral role in providing such assistance. Well-developed PSPs offer a number of opportunities to improve disease management, optimise treatment pathways and deliver better patient outcomes. Our research found the following patient needs being fulfilled by effective PSPs:

  • Adherence and compliance
  • General education on condition
  • Help with self-care
  • Advice for a healthy lifestyle
  • Advice on own treatment management
  • Psychological support

In the future, the requirement for greater beyond-the-pill support is only going to increase and personalised care which ensures patients’ individual needs are satisfied will be a key priority for healthcare providers over the next decade. Our research found 61% of HCPs think that, in light of the global pandemic, the need for PSPs has increased. Unfortunately, awareness of the range of programmes available to patients and their caregivers is reportedly low and so they are often not being used to their full potential. According to our research, only half of physicians (56%) believe that programmes developed by pharmaceutical companies are currently helpful at improving patient outcomes.

So, how can manufacturers develop their PSPs to be more effective?

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