Adherence: Missing the Mark - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Adherence: Missing the Mark


Pharmaceutical Executive


Precision, Precision

Even with a very precise, possibly limiting, definition of the problem, the opportunity for improving adherence remains extremely high. Put in the numbers for a broader market—say, statins—and the volume goes well above double-digit ROI for a $5 million spend, while achieving just half of the opportunity.

Is it any wonder, then, that adherence curves look the same month after month, year after year? So 50 percent of patients have near-perfect adherence, as defined by not a single minor misdemeanor over the year. Are these the people we should be following? Should we expect this near-perfect group to be growing? And why haven't we been looking at those who are actually underperforming? What is happening with them? Are they improving with the continued efforts to change their behavior? As long as the problem remains ill-defined, we simply don't know.

A precise definition of the problem is the first step in tackling the adherence challenge. Define it as it needs to be defined; focus on the segment that is under-performing and who provide the opportunity for investment and double-digit ROI. What you actually do with them to address this non-adherent behavior is another kettle of fish.

In the next installment: We've defined the problem, now what is the solution?

Andrea LaFountain is CEO of Mind Field Solutions. She can be reached at


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