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Improving Persistence: Brand Team Dos and Don'ts


Pharmaceutical Executive

In Part 4 of a 4-part series on brand teams, this article discusses the tactics brand teams and partners should follow to improve medication and persistence.

“If persistence is the gold standard by which brand teams measure success investing the right amount of time in the right type of resources is critical. In part 4 of this 4-part series, we will discuss tactics brand teams and partners should follow to improve medication persistence.”


Gone are the days of driving market share by simply having more field representatives call on the same number of physician offices. Physicians simply don’t have the time. Drugs are more complex than ever, and patients access more, often inaccurate, information from outside influences, including “Dr. Google.”

In the current market landscape for pharmaceutical brand teams, achieving higher levels of patient persistence will require collaboration and partners within every aspect of the patient journey with a firm focus on real-world outcomes. Here are three big ideas and to-dos brand teams can implement to make a positive impact on persistence and patient outcomes.


Market Access Solutions

Managed care organization formularies are shrinking. To get on formulary and stay there, the pharma brand team must move beyond brand message and engage in activities that support overall patient needs. The most critical to-dos are to educate, support, and listen, especially to individual patients’ real-world access and adherence issues. And, if your team is solely dependent on pivotal trials, your team is behind. If you are missing real-world data on persistence and product performance, get it. Your customers, including MCOs, are going to demand it as the shift from fee-for-service to outcomes-based payment accelerates.

The big idea to drive market access: it is imperative to consistently demonstrate real world patient value to achieve and maintain optimal position on formulary.


Patient Education Solutions

We are seeing an increase in direct-to-consumer, non-branded marketing programs implemented by pharma manufacturers. But patient ‘connectedness’ needs more than a newsletter or engagement portal. It should be supported by reputable sources, including clinical assistance independent of the brand, to clarify what the drug does, why compliance is critical, and refute inaccurate outside influences. As discussed in earlier articles within this series, patients face at least three pivotal moments in their journey after the prescription is written: the initial fill, the first refill, and staying on therapy over time. Patients need clinical services support throughout their journey at pivotal moments to improve adoption, compliance, and persistence.

The patient education solution big idea: regardless of therapeutic arena or brand, your contribution to the patient’s success with your product needs to provide the opportunity to engage the patient and personalize their education at each of these pivotal moments.


Performance Solutions

We view the advent and evolution of outcomes-based contracts as a phenomenal opportunity for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Collaborating with providers and payers to drive a value-based, aligned-upon outcome for all stakeholders is something the healthcare continuum needs. Creation and provision of real-world data through clinical services staff and partners will provide fundamental foundational support to support and accelerate this shift.

All stakeholders agree that success in a value-based world does not end at product approval. Brand teams must demonstrate that their therapy is safe and effective for the patient in the real world. How do you as a brand manager define performance? What performance measures do you track which are directly related to the patient outcomes? What performance measures do your internal and external partners track? Are they aligned on what to measure and how to measure it?

For example, recently our partner Chattanooga CARES achieved greater than 90% adherence as measured by viral-load for a population of patients in its HIV program for the first time. This would not have been possible without first aligning on what to measure and how to measure it. Co-creation and implementation of a customized patient education solution embedded in our collaborative care management program has resulted in a successful partnership as evidenced by achieving and maintaining viral suppression for patients enrolled in the program.

The performance solution big idea: successful performance must include real-world patient outcomes and be measured at the partnership level. To put it another way, brand team investment in collaborative care is a requirement for success in value-based care and outcomes-based contracts.


Jake Caines is Senior Director of Commercial Strategy and Performance at Curant Health.


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