You’ve invested millions in the development of your new drug or therapy and have successfully completed clinical trials. Now you are ready to launch. Data has been collected, efficacy is understood, side effects have been noted. But the important question remains: is your target patient population prepared? Have you put a plan in place that addresses how they are being impacted, not just physically, but socially and emotionally when they are taking the medication?
Supporting the patient from the very outset, putting the patient first, is paramount to adherence and the medication’s overall success. What resources you put in place at the outset – whether with an interim action plan or one that is tied to the medication’s life cycle, will drive overall success.
All therapies have their unique attributes, and not all will require the same level of support. However, at the very least, one should take advantage of the opportunity to help patients understand the reason for their medication and how to properly take it to improve adherence and concordance.
Having nurse teams available to bridge the gap in your patient support structure will help enrich medication adherence. The feeling of reassurance that you are not alone in this process, have the resource to rely on whenever information is needed, or even just someone to talk to, has been found to be very successful.
Nurse teams help patients with such concerns as:
- Overcoming some unpleasant side effects or difficulties they may be experiencing with taking the medication.
- Helping patients overcome any obstacles or barriers.
- Obtaining access to the medication through specialty pharmacies and helping to secure necessary reimbursements.
Once the patient is on-track and has overcome barriers to therapy, feedback can be sent to the prescribing physician to close the loop. Ongoing communication can add to the patient remaining at the center of the treatment continuum.
Supplementing novel adherence technology platforms to this nurse support strategy adds a layer of visibility to the healthcare providers involved. There are numerous advantages to the nurse teams utilizing adherence technology platforms such as:
- Only reaching out to the patients that are falling behind in their medications, and not intervene with patients that are already adherent.
- Acting on the patients in real-time instead of waiting for the patients to initiate the conversation for early intervention.
- Preventing retroactive action if, for example, nurses are only checking up on a bi-weekly basis.
There are an infinite number of reasons why a patient may not stay on a therapy. Failure to put the patient first should not be one of them. Integrating novel technologies along with enriching support strategies is the best comprehensive approach to combat medication non-adherence.