The Adherence Fight: A TKO? - Pharmaceutical Executive


The Adherence Fight: A TKO?

Pharmaceutical Executive

Setting Up the Match

Source: Integrated Benefits Institute (EE = Employees)
Internal alignment within drug companies that strengthens the case for investing in adherence programs is another challenge; efforts that are disaggregated and fail to show a link between investment and outcome are victim to being seen as just another public relations exercise that makes the programs targets for budget cutters. "Patient adherence initiatives often lack a thorough understanding of the root causes of discontinuing treatment, or fail to engage patients sufficiently and to address the issue holistically," says the Capgemini white paper. "Individual tactics are tried by different brands and then discontinued as budgets and priorities shift, before their impact is known."

Round 1: Building in Metrics

— Daria Blackwell, Founder, Knowledge Clinic
FICO's Health Care Practice division is now taking the same demographics tracking and analytics it has used since 1958 to come up with credit scores and applying those skills towards calculating non-adherence risk.

"FICO has, for the past 10 years or so, been providing data-based marketing solutions in the healthcare space," explains Todd Steffes, vice president of healthcare practice at FICO. Over the last few years, Steffes says, FICO's healthcare clients have been more focused on consumer marketing, and on how to better understand patients—including their reasons for non-adherence. "That's where this idea came from," says Steffes. "Could we apply our predictive modeling skill sets and the methodologies around how we do the credit scores toward the pharma space and help answer those kinds of business questions?"

The process of creating a Medication Adherence Score (MAS) began by partnering with pharmacy benefit manager MedImpact, which has access to claims data for patients across the country. Because the information from MedImpact is strictly demographic, it's all de-identified and HIPAA-compliant. FICO then used that data to determine which mixes of demographics were adhering to their medication in certain therapeutic areas. After a base study of 12 months, FICO can now use that data to predict the likelihood of adherence in other patient groups with similar mixes of demographics.

"What you're doing is looking at those initial patients—how they actually adhere and actually perform—and then analyzing their attributes and identifying which mix of those attributes is really predictive towards how they performed. That creates a scorecard that allows you to do the same analysis—using just publicly available data—for future patients," explains Steffes.

The upshot? FICO can then take this predictive data to pharmaceutical marketers, managed care organizations, and eventually physicians—all those who are at crucial points of contact with the patient—to help develop strategies to target the specific patient populations that are least likely to adhere.


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