Developing a PSP Strategy that Identifies and Addresses Unique Therapeutic Challenges
By Mike Scott, Partner & David Frey, Senior Consultant
When healthcare providers are faced with the need to initiate or switch therapy for patients with chronic medical conditions, a key goal is to optimize clinical response and tolerability. When the efficacy profiles of treatment options are comparable, most healthcare providers and patients consider the ease-of-administration and formulation as key factors, along with ease-of-access, insurance coverage and dosing schedule. However, the more sophisticated the therapy, the more patients want and need to feel supported by their provider, and often just as importantly, by the product’s Patient Support Program (PSP). This increased need for patient support can elevate a PSP up the list of deciding factors. For infused and injectable therapies, if a comprehensive PSP with adequate provider support isn’t available, prescribing practitioners and their patients may select an alternative treatment option that does offer strong support for the practice, the patient, and (if appropriate) the patient’s caregiver.
A global biopharma company was launching a first-in-class infused biologic. They asked Protean to help them develop a PSP strategy that would provide the necessary access and support services that would help patients start and stay on this preventative IV infusion. The primary challenge was several competing self-administered therapeutics were already on the market. These subcutaneous injection formulations had been available for 1-2 years and were widely prescribed and accepted by patients. A second challenge was the medical specialty treating this patient population often had little to no experience with prescribing and/or administering IV infusions in the outpatient setting. Many also had little to no experience coordinating infusion therapy – which often takes place at free-standing outpatient infusion centers or in hospital-owned infusion centers.
Keeping these two challenges in mind, Protean conducted primary qualitative market research with healthcare providers and patients essential to identifying and addressing the unique challenges of an IV therapy with this medical specialty and patient group. Our research helped us to better understand all perspectives and allowed us to identify major areas of need with assisting patients with insurance coverage determinations and facilitating access to the product, whether it would be administered in the office or at infusion centers.
By developing a strategy focused on the key market research findings, Protean developed an end-to-end solution that proactively addressed all challenges. Our strategy was especially effective because it addressed patient concerns and provider challenges head-on by:
Identifying infusion centers closest to provider offices and treatment centers
Developing an infusion center locator, searchable by zip code that could be incorporated into the product website
Aligning with infusion centers already approved by major insurance carriers
Developing a “product journey” and a “patient journey” to identify key leverage points where the company’s PSP could offer resources and support
This project was one of the more comprehensive PSP strategies Protean has developed within the infusion space. We developed strategies for our client for all access stages, including overseeing the entire RFP process for PSP partner selection, building out a nursing support call center and a field reimbursement team and creating all of our client’s Patient Assistance Program (PAP) and copay assistance financial modeling. In addition, we conducted beta-testing and met our client’s timeline. Finally, we assisted with implementation of the program during a period that included unprecedented and unexpected societal, marketplace and legislative shifts.