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Pharma and physician partnerships: Overcoming barriers

Pharma And Physician Partnerships: Overcoming Barriers

Pharmaceutical companies have aspired to make medication adherence programs more effective for years. A report from Credit Suisse shows that increased adherence could substantially increase revenue from 2020–2026 for leading pharma companies such as Merck, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Allergan, and AbbVie.

Pharma marketers know one of the best ways to gain patient buy-in and trust is through physicians, and have long partnered with them on medication adherence. But according to Mark Degatano, a pharmaceutical industry analytics expert who is on the advisory board of AllazoHealth, pharma needs to offer physicians solutions that address the whole patient.

Aligning with physicians to treat the whole patient

“A physician is treating the whole patient for all of their conditions that they may have, whereas a pharma company is aligned to a specific therapeutic area or particular condition,” he says. “Pharma is not as motivated to look at the whole physical state of a patient. And that can present a problem.”

Degatano says because pharma adherence programs are focused on individual brands and the conditions that they treat, physicians who are treating patients with multiple conditions can get overwhelmed with trying to keep track of different companies and programs. Pharma should be “making it easier for physicians to address their patients’ adherence problems by providing them resources that are aligned to treating the whole patient.”

Some companies with multiple brands for chronic conditions have done just that, he says, creating a common platform. While tailored to specific conditions, each program “has a great deal of similarity in terms of enrollment forms, working resources, branding elements and so forth. This makes it easier for the physician to promote adherence across their patient population, and makes it easier for the patients if they’ve got multiple conditions.”

Overcoming barriers to collaboration

Pharma needs data to provide more tailored adherence solutions to physicians and patients. “If the physician would be willing and able to provide more in-depth information to the pharma company, so that the pharma company could better align their interventions accordingly, that would be helpful,” Degatano says. “That kind of bridge has not been crossed frequently.”

The main issue preventing collaboration, according to Degatano, is physician concerns about sharing data because of HIPAA and privacy concerns. While there is a good amount of engagement and cooperation between physicians and pharma in certain life-threatening disease areas such as cystic fibrosis, “for the bulk of conditions and treatments, barriers to collaboration need to be overcome before strong connections can be made,” Degatano says.

Using AI to offer better value to physicians

Although HIPAA and privacy barriers prevent pharma from getting a more holistic view of patients, the industry can still access patient data from third-party sources, as well as physician scrip data.

Pharma companies have embraced using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze this data to better target their marketing efforts to physicians, delivering the right message at the right time, with credible information that is designed to improve patient care. Pharma companies use AI to create better value for physicians.

About AllazoHealth

AllazoHealth uses artificial intelligence to make a positive impact on individual patient adherence. We help pharmaceutical companies optimize their patient support programs to overcome barriers to adherence for at-risk patients. The result: better patient outcomes, increased persistence, and stronger brands.

Case Study: Leading pharma brand achieves increased days on therapy

AllazoHealth AI Engine

Learn how AllazoHealth used AI to optimize patient engagement in a leading pharmaceutical company’s patient support program.