As the classic marketing saying goes, it’s much cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. Loyalty in a healthcare context is often called adherence. And if history is any guide, the phrase “improve medication adherence” will make its way into most 2024 pharma brand plans. Why is that?
For starters, adherence can lead to improved patient outcomes and increased market share and revenue for pharma manufacturers. Then there are knock-on effects of better adherence, such as improved outcomes that reduce healthcare costs and increase brand loyalty; brand differentiation from competitors by offering companion solutions that enhance patient adherence; and the impact on provider and payer perceptions of a treatment’s long-term effectiveness and ease of use.
Scale also matters.
Many pharma brand teams and their agencies have created their own digital adherence solutions, yet they often share some common problems. The first problem is scale. Even in specialty categories where patient populations can be relatively small, brand managers need to ask themselves if they are reaching the majority of patients taking their medication. Adherence solutions can be expensive to develop, and their costs must be amortized over the number of patients regularly using them—so the more users, the better—in terms of cost-per-patient and insights gained from how those in the population are using the solution.
The second issue is that most adherence solutions are tailored for the use of a single product, or at best, a few products in a company’s portfolio. Since many patients have comorbidities and take more than one prescription medication, this often means downloading and learning how to use several ‘point solutions’ that probably don’t share data or functionality across the products they are taking.
Another problem with brand-specific solutions is that they usually address only some of the reasons patients don’t take their medications as prescribed. These include forgetfulness, lack of motivation, limited understanding of why they are taking the medicine, and managing side effects. Other factors such as medication affordability, running out of medicine and difficulty ordering refills, or disruptions to a person’s daily routine are often simply not mitigated by these solutions.
Introducing a more holistic—and practical— approach to adherence
GoodRx, a leading resource for healthcare savings and information, recently enhanced one of its adherence solutions that overcomes these common problems. Medicine Cabinet is a comprehensive solution designed to help patients seamlessly manage their medications. The solution gives people easy-to-use tools to keep track of their prescriptions, get refill and daily pill reminders, find low prices, and earn rewards for staying on track. By making prescription management easier, smarter, and more relevant, Medicine Cabinet better enables consumers to stay adherent to their treatment plans and manage their overall healthcare costs.
Medication adherence is key to improving health outcomes, managing chronic conditions, and decreasing spend in the healthcare system. An estimated 50% of all American adults struggle to take their medications as prescribed,1 and lack of affordability is a contributing reason why 20-30% of prescriptions are never filled. Adherence becomes even more challenging when patients have multiple prescriptions.
Medicine Cabinet is designed with these consumers in mind, allowing them to seamlessly manage prescriptions across the entire patient journey – at the doctor’s office, at the pharmacy, and at home. It combines GoodRx prescription discounts with a set of personalized tools that are designed to keep consumers more engaged in their own care.
Patients using adherence solutions are more engaged in their health
In fact, early data show that GoodRx users who engage with Medicine Cabinet are almost four times as likely to claim prescriptions at the pharmacy than non-registered users. Furthermore, these users are managing more prescriptions within the GoodRx app, leading to over 40% more prescriptions filled than non-registered users in the first six months after first filling a medication. These data showcase the value of Medicine Cabinet in helping GoodRx users adhere to and manage more of their medications.
“It’s no secret that an important part of staying healthy is sticking to your prescribed treatment plan, but that’s often easier said than done. Tracking a variety of medicines and remembering when to take them is a real challenge. But for many Americans, it gets even harder juggling refills, navigating multiple pharmacies and managing costs,” said Mark Hull, Chief Product Officer of GoodRx. “With Medicine Cabinet, we are addressing these hurdles by making medication management easier and giving consumers more control over their prices, leveraging much of the prescription history consumers already have on GoodRx. While other solutions focus solely on alerts, with GoodRx’s Medicine Cabinet people can actually save more money just by adhering to their medications.”
New features available in Medicine Cabinet include:
- Action Center: Highlights important things patients need to do to stay on top of their medications
- Best pharmacy recommendations: Analyzes a patient’s entire list of prescriptions to identify the pharmacy offering the lowest overall price on GoodRx, so they can maximize their savings.
- Daily medication & refill reminders: Helps ensure patients never miss a dose or a refill
- Prescriptions Dashboard: Prescriptions filled using GoodRx automatically populate in the Medicine Cabinet, saving time and manual data entry. Patients see the prescription number, physician contact info, date of next refill, and even the correct pill image. Patients can also add prescriptions filled outside of GoodRx
- Rewards program: Consumers earn GoodRx Rewards points every time they use an eligible GoodRx coupon, complete a daily check-in, or pick up their refills on time. Points are redeemable for discounts on prescriptions or digital gift cards from hundreds of retailers.
Medicine Cabinet demonstrates GoodRx’s steadfast commitment to promoting access and affordability by making the healthcare system easier to navigate. As a unique solution that marries prescription information with discounts, interactive features, and rewards, Medicine Cabinet encourages consumers to be more engaged in their own care. And pharma marketers and their agencies can consider Medicine Cabinet as part of a brand’s ‘portfolio of adherence solutions,’ freeing them up to focus on other aspects of their educational and promotional mix.
Click here to learn more about GoodRx solutions to improve medication adherence.
1 “Overcoming Barriers to Medication Adherence for Chronic Diseases,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), February 21, 2017. chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.cdc.gov/grand-rounds/pp/2017/20170221-presentation-medication-adherence-h.pdf