PSP Challenges For Pharma Companies In Their Quest For Patient-Centric Solutions

Patient Support Programs (PSPs) serve as a transformative force within healthcare, benefiting patients, pharmaceutical brands, and the health system alike.

For patients, PSPs offer comprehensive support that extends beyond medical treatment, fostering adherence to therapy, providing education, and ensuring emotional well-being, which collectively lead to improved health outcomes and quality of life.

Pharma companies benefit from the enhanced patient engagement and compliance facilitated by PSPs, which can result in improved treatment efficacy and better patient management. At the systemic level, PSPs contribute to the sustainability of the health system by optimising resource allocation, reducing hospital readmissions, and ultimately lowering healthcare costs through better-managed care. Unfortunately, tapping into all of these benefits can be a challenge for many companies.

The Obstacles To Implementing Patient Support Programs (PSPs) That Work

  1. Awareness and Perception: A significant barrier is the lack of awareness about PSPs among patients and providers, as well as scepticism regarding the benefits of participating1. Research from Phreesia’s PatientInsights platform revealed that 3 in 5 patients had little to no knowledge of available PSPs, while a meagre 3% of potentially eligible patients actually utilise PSPs. Closing this awareness gap is vital for the success of PSPs as they require patient engagement and retention to be more effective and beneficial.
  2. Measuring Effectiveness: Determining the impact and effectiveness of PSPs on patient outcomes and healthcare costs can be challenging, requiring robust evaluation methodologies and long-term data collection. The adoption and implementation of robust patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) remains challenging for most companies because of the various considerations involved, including the validity, reliability, and responsiveness of instrument quality, as well as floor and ceiling effects and cross-cultural adaptation. Economic evaluations also present a challenge, requiring a comprehensive analysis of various costs and benefits, both monetary and non-monetary using standardised approaches.
  3. Regulatory Challenges: Pharmaceutical companies face increasingly stringent regulations that they must adhere to in the development and implementation of PSPs. This includes ensuring compliance with pharmacovigilance standards and managing the large volumes of data generated by PSPs, as determined by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This makes the processes not just complex, but also time-consuming. Failure to comply with regulations can invite lengthy investigations spanning years and incur huge financial penalties.
  4. Resource Constraints: PSPs require significant investment in terms of financial resources, staff training, and infrastructure, which can strain pharmaceutical company budgets. However, efforts to limit costs can result in inadequate staffing and a lack of resources, which pose significant barriers to the successful implementation of PSPs. After all, a PSP that is not well-utilised undermines the entire effort and can damage the commercial viability of such programmes. This is evident from the reported 3% enrolment rate of potentially eligible patients PSPs that cost the industry over $5 billion a year.
  5. Integration with Healthcare Systems: The difficulty in integrating PSPs with existing healthcare systems and workflows can pose a challenge, as it requires alignment with clinical processes and electronic health records. For example, research published in the journal Implementation Science revealed that the most commonly reported challenges in the implementation of Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) in hospitals were the fit of CDSS with workflows and ensuring the system’s technical design meets the necessary dependencies. Additionally, such programs must be customised to fit the context of the user’s role and clinical setting.

Through proactive measures and strategic collaborations, pharma companies can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of PSPs, ultimately improving patient outcomes and delivering greater value to stakeholders. This calls for the use of innovative approaches, leveraging digital health solutions and data-driven strategies that address barriers such as awareness gaps, regulatory compliance, resource constraints, and integration with healthcare systems.

Transforming Healthcare
With Digital Solutions

Our products are used by healthcare providers
and leading pharmaceutical companies to improve
patient management