Designed to leverage the pharmacist-patient relationship and help drive compliance.
A mid-tier pharma client had recently launched a lipid lowering agent. The product was introduced in the market with much fan-fare having a product profile of dramatically lowering LDL while raising HDL. The product was adopted by physicians as standard of treatment and used as first line therapy.
Post launch, it became apparent that a particular side effect was leading to drastic non-compliance rates.
Non-compliance rates were as follows:
- 50% Patient non-compliance at 30 days
- 80% Patient non-compliance at 60 days
The client had a relatively small sales force (approx 500 sales reps) as compared to the competitive set (three top 5 pharma companies). The marketing department believed that they had a good product and good story to tell in the marketplace. They believed that a Direct-to-Patient program to educate the patient on the importance of staying on therapy would be beneficial in changing their lipid profile.
Their dilemma was two-fold:
- How to maintain and grow Rx's with a physician audience who had become wary of prescribing the product.
- How to effectively communicate the positive outcomes that would be achieved, if patients remained on therapy.
BrightSpan created a Direct-to-Patient program that was targeted to a group of HVPs: CDs and PCPs in large lipid clinics. The physician portion of the program was delivered in-office by client's sales force. Targeted physicians received an overview of the Direct-to-Patient program designed to educate patients about their condition, wellness and treatment with a review of the potential side effects and steps to take to reduce or minimize events.
Physicians were encouraged to opt-in and register newly diagnosed patients who had been prescribed client's product. Each newly diagnosed patient who was registered into the program was sent a welcome communication that was received 2-5 days after initialization of therapy. The welcome communication letterhead contained the name of the program along with the name and address of their physician. A key program goal was to re-enforce the physician/patient relationship and to leverage this in communicating the importance of staying on therapy. Patients received information on the proper way to initiate therapy; what liquids to take with the medication, and what liquids to avoid, as well as the proper time of day to take the medication. Included in the registered patient communication was health and wellness information regarding the importance of exercise and healthy eating.
Registered patients would receive timed communications (due to previously established non-compliance rates, a timed communication was developed and sent within 5 days of a possible side effect) on a monthly basis for the first 6 months of therapy. This extension of the office visit provided patients with product and treatment information at critical points on the therapy continuum.
The program was an overwhelming success.
- A total of 20,000 physicians participated in the program registering a total of 80,000 patients.
- Compliance rates increased form 80% non-compliance at 60 days to 80% patient compliance at month 8 on therapy.
- Physicians reported a decrease in the number of patients calling their offices to switch medication.
- Physicians reported lowering of HDL levels on average 20% from baseline