Friday, March 08, 2019

Delivering an Enhanced Patient and Prescriber Experience for Personalized Therapies

Today’s guest post comes from Rob Brown, VP/GM of Pharmacy Solutions at McKesson Life Sciences.

Rob provides insights on designing patient-centric channel strategies. He also reviews the role of centralized hub services with an integrated specialty pharmacy.

Click here to download McKesson’s case study. It describes how an emerging biotech company streamlined access for patients with an acute complex condition.

Read on for Rob’s insights.

Delivering an Enhanced Patient and Prescriber Experience for Personalized Therapies
By Rob Brown, VP/GM of Pharmacy Solutions, McKesson Life Sciences

Today, medical innovation is moving at an incredible pace, driving toward more precise and personalized treatment options for patients. Across the specialty medication landscape, a strong pipeline of targeted therapies holds promise for patients facing a wide range of complex and chronic conditions, including cancer and rare and orphan diseases.

For the life sciences industry, this shift toward more complex and personalized therapies presents new challenges: How do we reach the right patients and prescribers? What kind of support do patients need across their treatment journey? How can we deliver this support in an effective, coordinated and efficient way?


As biopharma companies shape commercial strategies for these personalized therapies, patient support services play an integral role in delivering an enhanced patient and prescriber experience and driving the best outcomes for patients.

Though each therapy carries unique complexities, there are three key areas where patients typically need support:
  • Access. Investigating the patient’s insurance benefits to understand coverage for the therapy and navigating prior authorization requirements that could impede a patient’s ability to access their prescribed therapy
  • Affordability. Helping patients understand and manage treatment costs and provide information about the different types of financial support available, including checking eligibility for co-pay support, availability of foundation funding or enrollment in patient assistance programs
  • Adherence. Providing both clinical and behavioral support to help patients and their caregivers navigate treatment plans and manage potential physical and emotional side effects that could prevent patients from remaining on their therapy


For biopharma companies designing their channel strategy, certain characteristics of the therapy are key to determining the right approach to ensure holistic patient support:
  • Indication–Does this therapy treat an acute, sub-acute or chronic condition? How quickly does the patient need access to therapy?
  • Population size–What is the anticipated annual patient volume?
  • Treatment landscape–What is the expected standard of care for the patient population this therapy will treat? Is this a crowded space or is this therapy one of the first available?
  • Payer coverage–Will payers cover the therapy? Will the claim be processed under a patient’s pharmacy or medical benefit? Is it likely that they will require prior authorization or a bridge supply if delays are anticipated?
  • Care coordination–Does the therapy require diagnostic testing? How and where is the therapy administered? Is there a titration schedule as the patient establishes their maintenance dosing? Does the patient need training on how to administer the medication?
  • Dispensing channel–Is there an opportunity for providers to dispense the therapy? Will the therapy be available through specialty pharmacy?
Based on these characteristics, there are a wide variety of solutions to support biopharma companies in improving access, increasing affordability and driving adherence for their therapies.


At one end of the spectrum, driven by large patient populations and highly competitive treatment landscapes, a centralized hub model can streamline the patient experience. Higher referral volumes support the need for a full-scale team, specializing in benefits investigation and patient assistance enrollment. Based on the patient’s coverage information, this team triages to the provider or specialty pharmacy for clinical counseling and dispensing. The hub can also provide ongoing adherence support including behavioral coaches and nurse educators.

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At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a need to provide this same enhanced experience for patients and their providers for targeted therapies with smaller patient populations. An integrated specialty pharmacy and patient access services model provides personalized, high-touch support and rapid access to therapy while ensuring consistent specialty pharmacy service and streamlined access to data.

Specialty pharmacy and patient access teams are co-located, with distinct operations and systems. This separate but highly aligned approach allows for consistent training and boosts collaboration, communication and teamwork to streamline provider and patient interactions and increase speed to fill.

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As biopharma companies prepare to bring their oncology or complex care therapy to market, the right channel strategy and partner can make all the difference. Selecting commercialization partners with specific expertise in the condition your therapy treats, and a broad spectrum of access, affordability and adherence solutions ensures patients and providers get the support they need and the experience they deserve at every stage across your product’s lifecycle.

Through our Life Sciences business, McKesson offers a wide range of patient access and dispensing services, including centralized hub support and integrated specialty pharmacy and patient access services.

Discover how our specialty pharmacy, Biologics by McKesson, helped an emerging biotech company streamline access for patients with an acute complex condition through PharmacyElite™, our integrated specialty pharmacy and patient access offering. You can also learn more about our commercial solutions for adherence and affordability through RxCrossroads by McKesson.

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