There’s an undeniable truth in the pharmaceutical industry: the success of your product relies on the ability of patients, healthcare providers, and caregivers to understand how to access and use it. From reimbursement and financial hurdles to access and adherence challenges, to distribution obstacles, there are a plethora of barriers that manufacturers must devise a strategy to alleviate. And that’s exactly what makes a robust Patient Services strategy a critical part of any launch plan.
Simply put, implementing a Patient Services strategy ensures you can provide patients the help and support they need to find and use your new product. At Two Labs, we take a 5-step approach to developing this vital program:
Pre-Strategy Phase: Research
Before strategy development can begin for any product, there’s an important question we must answer: What does the patient journey look like?
We must understand the diagnosis, how they’re starting treatment, what they endure before starting treatment, and what that ongoing treatment looks like. This will ultimately be used as the foundation for our strategy.
Once we have a clear picture of the patient journey, we dive into benchmarking and competitor analysis. This allows us to gain insights around what services are being offered, look at analog comparisons, understand what’s currently working and what’s not, and uncover opportunities in the landscape.
Phase 1: Create a program model
Using the patient journey and benchmarking research data, we start by developing a Patient Services program model. The services within the model are unique to each product, pulling in insights such as market opportunities and areas of differentiation. After the model is built, it’s taken to the various constituents for evaluation and feedback.
Phase 2: Advisory boards and patient focus groups
This step is all about pressure testing the model we designed. We conduct in person or virtual focus groups with patients and caregivers to pressure test the model, compile the outcomes, and then modify our approach as needed to strengthen the outcomes. It’s not enough for the program to look good on paper – we must understand if the tactics truly fit the needs of both patients and providers in the real world.
Phase 3: Partner evaluation and selection
Vendor partners play an important role in the implementation of any Patient Support program, and ultimately could make or break its success. To ensure the potential partner matches the program needs, we conduct a robust vendor assessment, using custom scorecards that evaluate from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Once a partner is selected, we hold a final site visit to meet the team, check for cultural fit, and confirm service delivery and expectations.
Phase 4: Operational development and implementation support
Managing the implementation of a Patient Support program takes time – something most manufacturers don’t have in excess. That’s why we step in to take the burden off manufacturers, helping to oversee vendors, serving as a liaison, and collaborating with partners in the design of systems and processes.
This step also includes pressure testing the staffing model. We ensure the program is staffed appropriately and that the budget forecast is accurate based on the volume expectations. Finally, we focus on training and launch readiness, working with the selected partner on the training plan and their launch checklist.
Phase 5: Post-launch monitoring and support
Our support doesn’t stop after program launch. We tackle program monitoring on the manufacturer’s behalf, which involves evaluating daily and weekly dashboards. We ensure all the turnaround times, SLAs, KPIs, and other performance metrics are being met, and even participate in call monitoring and calibration. Above all, we make sure there’s adherence to the program design so both the product and the patients are set up for success.
Learn more about our Hub & Patient Services solution by downloading our overview sheet.