Specialty Rx Offerings Not Rxs Only

I’ve spoken about this for a while, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear one of the Chief Medical Officers in the industry make this point to a large number of manufacturers. He was talking about lots of the changing dynamics in the industry from personalized medicine to new research. He talked about the challenge of adherence and how we needed to think differently. He even suggested that pharma should start talking with payers much earlier in the pipeline so that their research tracked metrics that the payers cared about.

At the end, one of his summary perspectives was that they should stop thinking about just bringing a drug to market and think about how they bring an offering for the condition to market which centers around a drug. This goes back to what the book BLUR presented years ago. You have to blend products and services to create offerings.

In the case of specialty, you have a very sick patient who often has a symptomatic condition that they are living with everyday that might affect their ability to live or potentially debilitate them. It affects their family. And, there may be additional co-morbidities associated with the condition.

Right now, there are solutions that try to engage these patients especially in clinical trials or when a drug is first launched, but over time, that “energy” decreases. It’s important to think about these specialty patients from an experience perspective.

  1. Diagnosis – What happens after they’re diagnosed? How much do they really remember from the physician encounter? Do they understand the drug they’ve been prescribed? Do they know where to go to find more information? Do they understand what resources are available to support them?
  2. First Fill – Do they understand the drug’s side effects? Do they believe that this is going to help them? Do they know how to get the prescription? Do they understand how to use the specialty pharmacy?
  3. Ongoing Therapy – Do they continue to refill the medication? What are their barriers (cost, convenience, literacy, beliefs, side effects)? Can they afford the medication? What support is there (financial, education, counseling) and how do they access it? Does their physician understand the disease? Have they gotten engaged with a community or support group?
  4. Changes In Condition – As they progress, what should they expect? How do you monitor these changes? Do these changes have an impact on the drug or strength? How does adherence affect this?

This creation of a solution blending services and pharmaceuticals creates some new ways for a manufacturer to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Imagine the power of going to the physician, pharmacy, or PBM and telling them that you have a solution which does the following:

  • Provides a highly effective drug (cue traditional data)
  • Improves awareness and understanding of the condition for the patient
  • Decreases the likelihood of abandonment
  • Helps the patient with their out-of-pocket costs
  • Increases the patient’s likelihood of refilling
  • Helps the patient become an e-patient and engages their support system
  • Provides ongoing monitoring of changes in their condition

Interested? I have some ideas if you’re a brand manager.

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