Sharks for Adherence

Casey McDonald

Casey McDonald is Senior Editor, Pharmaceutical Executive.

Casy McDonald looks forward to CBI's Patient Adherence and Access Summit in Philadelphia.

 
Attendees will scrutinize “Shark Tank” style pitches for innovative adherence ideas at this summer’s PAAS 2015 in Philadelphia. The format hopes to give the audience a good look at what’s new and innovative in the field at this year’s Patient Adherence and Access Summit.
 
One of the sharks judging the competition and hopefully helping the summit’s attendees sort through some of the trends and fads with today’s medication adherence programs will be Robert Nauman, Principal at BioPharma Advisors Network.
 
A headlining topic at the PAAS2015 will clearly be disruptive innovators in mobile and tech that may disintermediate drug makers adherence efforts. Diabetes or blood pressure monitoring apps, using gadgets like the Apple watch, for example, none of these techs are regulated, and innovation is coming at rates that are infinitely faster than pharma can play at, said Nauman. Patient monitoring is going to be something the technologists take on, and as a result pharma may just forgo big patient support programs.
 
For now though, Companies are still trying to solve adherence problems for their brands, but over the years, throughout much of the industry, pharma’s commitment to adherence can be described through numerous “fits and starts”, explained Nauman.
 
In the past, the major pharma players have hired adherence Czars and given the issue attention in two or three year spurts, but they’ve never made the radar of mainstream marketing groups, he noted. “Part of the adherence quandary is that these programs are heavily regulated, and as such, they’re not valued as independent programs,” Nauman added.
 
Content produced by adherence teams appears to not be valued by patients, because companies have issues communicating side effects and adverse events and because they fear bridging into medical liability issues. Every few years firms look at their adherence programs and ask whether they should be investing in these efforts at all.