Did you know that 73% of patients think pharma companies have a responsibility to provide patient support services?

There’s no denying the journey towards a patient centered approach to healthcare is on the fast track today. The challenge now is to transition from the existing brand centric services model towards delivering services and capabilities that enable patients to be active participants in their health outcomes, as well as promoting a supportive relationship between provider, payer and patient.

Here are the 7 steps in the patient journey, and how pharmaceutical companies can offer patient support services at each stop along the way.


1. Pre-Diagnosis

The Patient Journey begins before the official diagnosis. During this initial step, patients might feel anxious and nervous while going through multiple tests, examinations and visits to physicians. As a pharma company, you can provide patient education through content on websites like WebMD and MayoClinic, popular sites for patients to seek information about diseases. 

2. Diagnosis

After an official diagnosis from their physicians, patients often feel anxiety, shock, fear and denial. They are confused about their diagnosis and have no clear understanding of their condition and treatment options. Furthermore, patients do not know how to talk to their doctor, family or friends about their diagnosis. By supplying online and offline patient education materials, discussion guides and connections with the proper support resources, you can help the patient to have the right conversations with his or her healthcare provider and to identify the right therapy.

3. Obtaining Insurance Coverage

Navigating insurance can be confusing and frustrating for patients. Therapy may not be covered or the patient may be underinsured or not insured at all.  Pharma companies can help their patients to obtain the right insurance coverage with call center counseling, online support services, and reimbursement support. moreover, the manufacturer can act as a provider consultant offer support services.

4. Access to Therapy

A physician reported that he could not understand why one of his prostate cancer patients did not respond to therapy and eventually died. He found out later that the patient decided to stop taking his medication because he didn’t want to put such a huge financial burden on his family. Treatments can be costly and out of pocket fees may prohibit patients from starting or continuing therapy. Patient Assistance Programs, co-pay and discount programs to pay for part or all of their therapy help patients to start and remain on the path of the patient journey.

5. Treatment

During the treatment stage of the patient journey, patients experience significant impacts on their physical, emotional, and financial state.  Time constraints, family obligations, social stigma and work balance can be difficult to manage. By offering disease management tools and information, peer to peer support, nursing services, and even social media support, pharmaceutical manufacturers help patients feel more comfortable with their treatments.

6. Adherence

Adherence can be another significant roadblock in the patient's path.  Adverse side effects, medication misuse and forgetfulness can cause patients to drop off therapy leading to failed outcomes. With traditional and modern techniques, pharma patient access services can provide medication and refill reminders, distribution services, nursing support for drug administration pharmacy counseling, and even transportation services to therapy centers.

7. Continued Support for Healthy Living

Staying healthy requires a behavioral commitment, as well as new and more productive relationships with healthcare stakeholders. Pharma companies have seized the opportunity to partner with patients, providers and payers to develop innovative approaches to keeping patients healthy.



CONCLUSION:

The challenge now is to transition from the existing brand centric services model towards delivering services and capabilities that enable patients to be active participants in their health outcomes, as well as promoting a supportive relationship between provider, payer and patient.



For more insight into patient centricity, check out our white paper:
The Patient Centered Approach: What's Now? What's Next?
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