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social pharma provides information and analysis on developments and strategies influencing the interaction between patients and pharma

Sunday, 16 November 2014

So...you want to be patient-centric?

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Although Patient Centricity (PC) is yet to be fully defined and understood by all stakeholders involved in a "PC"-termed process, it is something that is set to dominate pharma marketing for the foreseeable future. It is no surprise then that it creates such a buzz in the pharma circles. 

However, despite the great interest PC is attracting, if one looks across a wide spectrum of pharma companies, they can see differences arising in how PC is defined and applied. Quite often companies see PC as them being able to provide increased patient support at a post-prescription / post-drug purchase stage (dedicated oncology nurse teams for example) or simply by being more active interacting with patients on social media. In the end, one could argue that true patient centricity requires a company to think about the needs of the patient at the R&D planning stage, use input from patients and physicians at all stages of product development and support patients closely once they become "customers"...

The above description is, or should be, the target for pharma, however, how does one go about designing, implementing and supporting such a process? This question is one that Social Pharma deals with on a regular basis and we would like to share some of our thoughts on the graph below. You can hover over the different "data" points for some more info or scroll after the graph where you can also find a text version of the information that you can easily copy and adapt for your needs. Our suggestions are by no means all-inclusive but we feel they provide a good primer for companies who have decided to adopt PC.

Sample of key PC activitiesActivity type
Sampling programmesMarketing tool
Brand loyalty schemesMarketing tool
Risk managementMarketing tool
Compassionate carePatient-facing
Nursing / Clinical programmesPatient-facing
Call centresPatient-facing
Training and education programmes (internal / external)Patient-facing / Marketing tool

Steps for becoming a patient-centric pharma
Choose a PC-friendly TACOPD, MS, other chronic / orphan conditions offer a good starting place for initiating PC-activities
Experiment with low stakesDepending on company size and reach, select a small region to run pilot programmes and finetune details
Make PC second nature for your companyYou need internal stakeholder buy-in and your staff to think PC-first; the latter will be difficult to implement
Regulators are your best friendsClarify restrictions and test PC concepts with regulators early on; input from US, EU and other regulatory bodies should be used to provide PC frameworks
Understand how to use new techE-health, mhealth, new monitoring devices etc. will attract patient/physician/payor attention and can be very useful if properly used
Be visible on Social MediaPatients and physicians use social media, so should you. Implement social media strategy early on with dedicated team. Train your staff to be SM-savvy
RepeatAfter testing your approach in a therapy area or product, refine and repeat the process for others
We hope the above is useful; let us know your thoughts

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