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A guide to targeted pharma strategies

Pharmaceutical businesses that need to discover locations with the largest unmet needs must rely on new data.

A guide to targeted pharma strategies
Claims data and other mainstream sources can provide pharmaceutical corporations with insights into healthcare utilization and clinical information. (File)

By Juilee Dandekar

With the healthcare industry gearing toward becoming more patient-centric, the pharmaceutical industry now places patients at the center of every stage of drug development. Traditionally, drug development focused more on trying to treat/cure a disease but lacked the perspective of what the patient experienced as part of the therapy. The lack of direct frontline connection with patients and high emphasis on clinical research is now changing to bring patient preferences and needs at the heart of the drug development process. The goal has now evolved, with not just pharmaceutical companies but also payers ensuring value for patients throughout the treatment journey. While most companies recognize this need, the evolution to a full-fledged patient experience mapping will take a while. Nonetheless, the priority and a strategic roadmap have been identified.

Patient experience is a generic term that includes various aspects of a patient’s interaction with the healthcare system, such as health planning, routine examinations, medical treatment, and post-treatment services. To advance drug development and evaluation, patient-focused drug development incorporates patient experiences, final outcomes, and needs with great emphasis on quality-of-life measurements.

What’s Propelling this Process?

While the obvious impact of all these initiatives on the topline will take a while to show, the intangible inputs to the development process will help in the long run. To begin with, patients’ acceptance of a drug and the way they view a company change positively when patients realize they are at the heart of the process. With payers continuously monitoring the patient satisfaction metrics, the onus to ensure the product lives up to certain benchmarks is on the company. Regular mapping of patient experience also helps companies understand if they are on the right track and deliver in line with payers’ and patients’ expectations.

The flood of data generated by Real World Evidence (RWE) also drives the mapping of the complete patient experience. Claims data and other mainstream sources can provide pharmaceutical corporations with insights into healthcare utilization and clinical information. Emerging data sources, such as electronic health records, genetics, laboratory, and biomarker testing data, can provide a far more comprehensive clinical perspective of patients. Pharmaceutical businesses that need to discover locations with the largest unmet needs must rely on new data. Recent developments in the industry have made it possible to link RWD sources at the patient level, thereby permitting quantification of the cause-and-effect relationship between activity and impact indicators. While not directly characterizing patient experience, these causal relationships can give the details necessary to tailor and optimize services and goods for patients. Using technology from firms such as HealthVerity, LiveRamp, and DataVant, businesses can close the loop between patient involvement, behavior, experience, and impact.

With several pharma companies now focused on rare diseases and personalized medicine, proximity to patients has become increasingly important in understanding their unmet needs and designing drugs or solutions to improve their quality of life.

While pharma companies played a role behind the scenes all along, with the shift to patient experience mapping, most companies are at the forefront in terms of patient education and experience programs, engaging with customers in real time, and helping patients be better educated and more confident of the treatments they undergo.

Finally, to connect patient-focused investments with patient experience and business outcomes, pharmaceutical companies need to work toward building an organizational culture of putting patients at the center of the drug development process.

Future

Patient-centric innovation is going to become the mainstay strategy for all pharmaceutical companies. There will be an increase in patient-centered clinical trials in which patients’ perspective is incorporated in developing new drug compounds, and their voice is indeed heard. Collaboration to improve the overall healthcare experience benefits patients and healthcare organizations. By improving processes and developing a more patient-centric product, the pharmaceutical industry stands to gain while providing patients with the necessary care. Ultimately, it is the correct action to take.

(The author is Vice President – Healthcare Growth Advisory, Aranca. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)

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