A Complete Guide to Understanding What is a Patient Support Program (PSP)

What is a PSP?

A Patient Support Program (PSP) can include a variety of initiatives aimed at improving patient outcomes. These programmes are structured initiatives, designed to provide comprehensive assistance and guidance to patients navigating complex healthcare journeys by fostering collaboration between drug manufacturers, healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers within the UK healthcare system. The evidence so far already demonstrates the positive impact of PSPs on patients, healthcare providers, and pharma companies with improved adherence, treatment outcomes, utilization of health services, and reduced costs.

What do PSPs offer?

In the UK, Patient Support Programs (PSPs) have evolved from programmes that simply offered information helplines to patients, into programmes that provide comprehensive patient-centric service. This can include integrated systems that deliver educational resources to enhance patient and caregiver understanding of medical conditions and treatments, self-care guidance, as well as tools for monitoring and enhancing treatment efficacy, symptom tracking, treatment adherence, assistance with navigating health systems and accessing specialized services, personalised counselling, mental health services, and opportunities for community engagement.

All of the services made available through PSPs are in the form of additional support for patients but are not meant to substitute services already guaranteed and provided by the National Health Service (NHS). Instead, these services help reduce pressure on the health system, which is already stressed by staff shortages and the rising incidence of long-term conditions that affect over half of all patients as per the NHS England, GP Patient Survey.

Do PSPs work?

PSPs for numerous chronic conditions have been evaluated over the years, demonstrating significant benefits. A review of several studies that was published in the peer-reviewed journal The Patient, revealed that 3 in 4 studies found that PSPs achieved their objectives, including improved clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and reduced costs.

Another review of more than 60 studies noted that the vast majority of PSP studies reported “at least one significantly positive clinical outcome.” Treatment adherence was the most significantly improved clinical outcome, while 64 percent of the studies examining humanistic outcomes such as quality of life and functional status reported significantly positive outcomes.

Challenges associated with PSPs

Despite the clear benefits of PSPs, pharmaceutical companies have to deal with a variety of challenges in PSPs development and implementation. Encouraging patient engagement and retention presents difficulties due to awareness and motivation barriers, with a report indicating that 3 in 5 patients have little to no knowledge of such programmes.

Fitting PSPs into the infrastructure of the NHS, while meeting compliance standards also requires careful navigation to ensure PSPs adhere to legal and ethical guidelines, adding complexity and potential barriers to implementation. Additionally, measuring program effectiveness requires robust methodologies, which can be difficult to develop and implement because of all the variables involved.

Our PSPs: The Future

Looking ahead, key areas of focus for successful digital Patient Support Program (PSP) partnerships include driving behaviour change through personalization, enhancing configuration capabilities for scalability and integration, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and prioritizing value-based care delivery to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

I want to launch a PSP, are there any ready technology solutions for this?

As a company looking to launch a Patient Support Program (PSP), you need a technology solution that's robust, scalable, and customizable to meet your patients' needs. With Avegen's HealthMachine™, you have a complete framework ready to be tailored to your specifications. Their digital platform offers pre-built functionality, data security, compliance, insights, and analytics, engaging user experience, and seamless integration with third-party systems. With features like multi-lingual support, electronic health records, reminders, downloadable health reports, symptom tracking, and more, HealthMachine™ provides a comprehensive solution for launching your PSP efficiently and effectively.             

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