There is no denying that the journey towards a patient-centered approach to healthcare is on the fast track today.

Why? With the onset of healthcare reform, there has been an elevated need for value-based and cost-effective treatments - promoting a shift in the healthcare industry to a more patient-centric approach to therapy focused on better and more effective health outcomes. Factoring a growth in specialty pharmaceuticals, the costs of those patient-centric and preventative treatments - and the challenges of obtaining coverage for treatment costs - there is an escalating push to assist patients on getting access to medications and staying on therapy, as prescribed. 

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Read Also: Consumerization In Healthcare Payers Perception: The Patient of One

There are several key factors influencing the momentum toward patient centricity, including, but not limited to:

  • Specialty Pharmaceutical Growth: Growth in specialty pharmaceuticals to treat cancer and rare or chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, HIV and multiple sclerosis is on a rapid rise. Some experts believe that specialty medications will make up 45 percent of drug manufacturers' sales by 2017. These new medications - shown to improve treatment outcomes - come at a high cost, with reports showing specialty tier medications at a cost of $40,500 to $95,000 per patient, per year. Co-pays for drugs on the specialty tier often range from 25 percent to 33 percent.
  • Improving Patient Journeys: The spectrum of patient support services ranges from basic patient education and access to disease management tools to fully integrated relationship marketing. While the majority of patient access and support services today are brand initiatives - providing isolated offerings to get patients through specific challenges along their healthcare journeys- the time has arrived to take a closer look at how to improve the patient journey, as a whole.
  • Bye, Bye Brand-Centric Focus! Hello Patient Engagement: With a change in direction for patient engagement, the challenge today is to transition from the existing brand-centric services model to delivering services and capabilities designed to enable patients to be active participants in their health outcomes, as well as promote a supportive relationship between provider, payer and patient. Adding patient centricity to a vision statement is not enough. Rethinking the way business is done requires a holistic approach to encompassing everything from strategy and patient experience to analytics and insights. Life sciences organizations are developing the right operating models, governance structures and change management initiatives to embrace the increasing requirement to deliver an effective patient-centered approach.

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The IDC Health Insights Perspective Patient Centricity — The Key to the Future of the Life Science Industry highlights how efforts to make clinical trials clearer to participating patients may have much greater implications for the life science industry overall.

As the life science industry continues its dramatic transformation in efforts to regain long-term sustainability, it is becoming increasingly clear that conventional pathways will be insufficient to backfill losses from major blockbuster drug patent expirations. As a result, it is likely that leading innovators in the industry will need to extend their business models beyond traditional markets in pursuit of moving up in the combined life science/healthcare value chain.

What does this mean right now? Essentially, while there is still hope that expansion to branded generics, more personalized therapies, niche blockbuster orphan drugs, and other emerging market strategies will be sufficient over the longer term to restore historical revenue and profitability, it is becoming increasingly clear that, regardless, consumers and patients, and their caregivers in general, must be better engaged for the industry to succeed. 

The direct engagement of patients and their caregivers can be seen as a continuation of broader global advances in consumerization and a continued push toward a patient-centric experience. 

With digital technology disrupting life sciences - enabling new levels of patient engagement and collaborative care strategies based on real-time patient analytics and healthcare data. A digital experience in healthcare today is championing patient centricity, redefining the patient journey vision and optimizing greater health outcomes. 

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