The Case for Better Medication Programs: How to Evolve Tech- Enabled Patient Support

Medication non-adherence has major implications for the U.S. healthcare system, often causing otherwise effective therapies to fail. Non-adherence accounts for up to half of treatment failures, about 125,000 deaths, and nearly $300 billion in added healthcare costs each year.

These staggering numbers have sparked a renewed—and necessary—focus on adherence programs in recent years. But do the most dedicated programs still miss the mark? To demonstrate optimal therapeutic efficacy, a drug needs an adherence rate of  at least 80 percent. But many therapies never see that kind of engagement. In fact, medications for chronic conditions have an estimated adherence rate of just 50 percent.

Clearly, gaps exist. And they will only widen as the specialty drug market grows, therapies get more complex, new technologies emerge, and the industry shifts toward value-based care. Manufacturers that have the foresight to consider these factors and adapt fast enough will see enhanced outcomes for patients.

Evolving patient needs
As therapies become more complex, they can also be more confusing for the patient, their caregivers and providers.

And while barriers to medication adherence are unique from person-to-person, one   thing remains the same: Healthcare is deeply personal. That's why Lash Group devotes substantial training resources to active listening and motivational interviewing so that   our clinicians feel ready for every phone-based patient encounter.

“We have a lot of patients who are scared," says Amy B., a Lash Group nurse educator who works on a program designed to support pediatric patients and their caregivers. “They're just dealing with the newness of everything and don't know what to expect. I  tell all my patients that I will be their advocate, that I'm going to help them through this process."

Evolving adherence programs
Infusing a patient-centric philosophy into effective adherence programs takes expertise and experience. At Lash Group, our teams design and deliver technology-enabled programs that tap the promise of tech so that it augments the human experience. Take, for example, Lash Group's new collaborations with AllazoHealth and Medisafe. The former uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to assess a patient's likelihood of non-adherence. Then, it suggests potential interventions based on previous  outcomes. With that intel, programs can align their approach to preempt non- compliance.

As a digital companion tool, Medisafe follows an omnichannel communication model to track the patient through their therapeutic journey. The patient records doses, side effects and more in a mobile application. Triggering events, such as a missed dose, keep support program clinicians actively engaged in providing care for patients who  may have become at risk for non-adherence.

And because no two patients are alike, it's not just the technology or the personalized support that must evolve to meet patients' changing needs. Adherence solutions must help patients push past the barriers that make it all too easy to give up. The programs that truly help patients take several "next-level" factors into account:

  • Instead of trying to replace providers, nurse educators provide the support and answers patients need beyond traditional in-office interaction. “Being able to

have a dedicated line or an alternative option, with someone who has been trained on the medication that can address patient questions, really puts patients and caregivers at ease" says Dale Hanna, Product Director for Adherence Solutions at Lash Group.

  • Program teams optimize patient insights, using the right methods of communication and timing to reach patients where they're at.
  • The patient support provider is on top of trends and changes in technology, continually evolving and investing in its adherence solution for an enhanced patient experience and better outcomes.

Ensuring success
Behind every successful hub program is a team of experts working toward one goal: partnering with the manufacturer to help the patient start and stay on therapy. “If your organization is focused on ensuring patient outcomes are at the center of your launch, adherence services are right for your product and your brand," adds Michael Craig, Vice President of Strategy and Market Development at Lash Group.

Choosing the right partner for adherence services can be an overwhelming task. Consider a support program provider's history, clinical team, training and skills, and ability to tailor a program to your product and patient needs. Do they rely on industry- leading technology to support the patient experience? How flexible is the technology platform?

Are their clinicians experienced? What training do they receive? Ask how your partner  will ensure the program will reach patients. How will support continue to evolve as there is more data? While finding the right solution may seem daunting, you're trusting this team with a service that is essential for your patients' long-term therapeutic success.

Find out what else is possible with the right partner at