The Adherence Fight: A TKO? - Pharmaceutical Executive

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The Adherence Fight: A TKO?


Pharmaceutical Executive


Round 3: HealthPrize Technologies

Like Knowledge Clinic, the people behind HealthPrize recognize the value of cooperation when it comes to putting on the gloves and going up against patient non-adherence. At first glance, the company's website seems a bit too ... fun ... to be taken seriously as a contender in the adherence fight. But such an approach might be just the motivation patients need. In a world of boring lectures about medications, overbearing reminders to talk to your health professional, and promotional DTC, HealthPrize's simple idea of offering money and rewards for adherence gets right to the point in a way patients can understand.

"Medication adherence can be viewed in the same light as other 'healthy behaviors' like exercise or healthy eating, where an 'on-again/off-again' pattern is common," says the HealthPrize white paper. "Most adults are educated enough to know that it's a good idea to exercise regularly. And most adults have access to free forms of exercise, like walking. Yet, how many adults still have trouble following through?"

The concept is simple: Patients find out about the HealthPrize website through their physician or pharmacy, and sign up to play educational games, earning points that are redeemable for physical objects, gift cards to top retailers, and the chance to enter sweepstakes for cash prizes. The idea here is that patients will respond to immediate, short-term satisfaction items such as gift cards, while at the same time learning more about their condition and the importance of taking their medicine as directed. "What we're trying to do is leverage concepts and lessons learned from consumer marketing and behavioral economics ... and make the process engaging and fun for the patients so that they remain on therapy for a longer duration of time," explains John Ruvane, VP of sales and business development for HealthPrize.

"There is fundamentally a value problem at the heart of the medication adherence crisis," says the white paper, echoing Blackwell's perspective on the subject. "In other words, patients don't take their medication enough because they don't value it enough. High value—or more accurately, high perceived value—is what makes a person remember to brush their teeth every morning (they don't want bad breath at work), or remember to catch their favorite television show every week at the right time (they enjoy it), or pay cash out of pocket for their dog to visit the veterinarian (unconditional love is treasured)."

To tie in with HealthPrize's goal of teaching patients to value their medication, the company recently announced a partnership with PSKW, a marketing company that focuses on brand loyalty and provides patient copay assistance programs for its pharmaceutical clients. "PSKW has great power in getting physicians to write scrips for branded medications that have a copay card associated with them," says Tom Kottler, CEO of HealthPrize.

"I believe the physician will intrinsically feel good about providing the prescription with a copay card because they know how important copay is to the patient, so they feel like they're providing something of value to the patient," explains Steve Freeman, chief operating officer of PSKW. Once PSKW provides the copay discount program and the physician prescribes the drug, the patient then opts in to use the discount card. Through the PSKW/HealhtPrize partnership, the next step at the point of contact (either the physician's office or the pharmacy) is for the doctor or pharmacist to make the patient aware of HealthPrize. In theory, PSKW's discounts will get the patient to fill the initial scrip, and driving them to HealthPrize from there will motivate them to stay adherent, filling subsequent scrips regularly.


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