Three Ways Pharmaceutical Marketers Can Build an Adherence-Centric Digital Ecosystem

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According to estimates from Capgemini and HealthPrize technologies, potential revenue forfeited to medication nonadherence now tops $600 billion worldwide a year. That means that motivating patients to better adhere to their medications numbers among pharma's most valuable revenue opportunities.

Pharmaceutical marketers have already made inroads in this area. Savings cards, educational websites, loyalty programs, nurse managers, and hub services also number among them. When they are executed in a vacuum, however, these efforts are likely to fall short.

To avoid falling short, pharmaceutical marketers should strive to create comprehensive contextual patient-engagement programs by incorporating the following three insights into their planning.

1. Create a Cohesive Patient-Support Ecosystem

Virtually everything that pharmaceutical marketers do after a prescription is written should involve adherence measures. From financial support to on-call case managers, patient engagement plays a major role in such efforts.

By integrating the right combination of services into a single cohesive adherence program, pharma marketers can effectively influence patients at key milestones in their journey to manage their chronic disease states.

For example, pharma marketers could enhance branded CRM programs with consistently new content to more frequently engage audiences and then target those audiences with contextualized messages to improve adherence. They might also integrate their engagement program with savings cards so that they can prompt for refills — based on historic fill data — at just the right moment.

Engagement is a means to multiple ends, which means that engagement programs require multiple touchpoints to succeed. Daily reminders for patients to take their medication might be adequate notification, but reminders connected to something they look forward to are powerful means to influence positive behavior responses and outcomes

2. Get the Timing Right for Patient Touchpoints

Of course, even the most integrated patient-support program needs the right delivery system to reach maximum efficacy.

To help on-therapy patients make healthy decisions and stay loyal to particular brands, deliver messages that engage and reward them at the right time.

Post-prescription hub services, for example, are often available but at times seem disconnected from a patient's daily experience with his or her therapy. An integrated digital experience with quick access to all hub services puts messaging in front of the patient at the moment of highest relevancy. As a case use, deliver messaging on the importance of taking medicines as prescribed for highest efficacy, timed days before a patient is scheduled to refill a prescription. This reinforces the benefits of the therapy and increases the likelihood that patients will refill on time.

3. Deliver on the Promise of Connected Health

Connected health offers a compelling solution to many of the challenges confronting modern health systems. It harnesses technological innovation in order to drive engagement, personal responsibility, informed choice, effective patient management, and cost-effective care.

This type of context-driven interconnected patient engagement is possible with programs like those developed on the HealthPrize platform.

Employing multiple data-transfer technologies — including simple scanning of special QR/bar codes or devices that can pass data via a secure Bluetooth connection — ensures accurate and up-to-date patient information. A flexible and connected health platform can then use that information to deliver timely prompts tailored to patient needs via a website or mobile app across a full range of digital channels.

This is the final component of truly connected healthcare: helping pharmaceutical marketers create an ongoing adherence-centric ecosystem that delivers the right messaging at the right time.

We know that adherence rates for chronic disease medications average just 50%. Improve those rates and you'll simultaneously influence patient outcomes and revenue margins.

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