Lilly helps docs connect patients to resources with 'Yelp for cancer patients'

Eli Lilly

With public pressure on healthcare providers to prove value, Eli Lilly Oncology is working to help physicians guide patients to services that go beyond the scripts they write.

Recently described as “Yelp for cancer patients” by PricewaterhouseCoopers managing director Tim Pantello at Digital Pharma East, Eli Lilly’s Journey Connections is a digital portal of local services and supports meant to meet the emotional needs of people with cancer and their caregivers. The database of services crosses 12 support resource categories, and so far 1,200 healthcare professionals have signed up for access.

The database began with services and support input by Eli Lilly, but since its debut in 2014, healthcare provider members have also been allowed to add local resources. Practitioners can sign up through Eli Lilly sales reps or directly online at When a patient is in office, the healthcare provider can tap into Journey Connections and create custom printouts for patients and caregivers to take home.

“Whether people with cancer need help with transportation, assistance with legal matters, emotional support, or other resources outside of a practice, Journey Connections allows healthcare professionals to create a customized resource guide to help anyone going through the cancer journey find exactly what they need,” a Lilly spokeswoman told FiercePharma via email interview.

Eli Lilly markets cancer treatment drugs including Alimta, Cyramza, Erbitux and Portrazza, and it's been looking to oncology to play a big role in its patent-cliff comeback. 

Journey Connections also taps into a trend by pharma and a need from physicians. Doctors this year have consistently reported a desire for more digital services beyond product information from pharma, researcher Decision Resources Group said in a blog post. In fact, almost half of those surveyed (48%) said they would visit pharma websites more often if non-product resources were there.