Friday, June 10, 2022

Five Ways Tech Can Transform Your Program Delivery

Today’s guest post comes from Edward Hensley, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer at AssistRx.

Edward offers five ways life sciences companies can use technology to transform their patient support services and thus differentiate their products.

To learn more, sign up for AssistRx’s free webinar Specialty Pharma’s 2022 Patient Support Trends: Progress Check.

Read on for Edward’s insights.

Five Ways Tech Can Transform Your Program Delivery
By: Edward Hensley, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, AssistRx

All specialty pharmaceutical stakeholders have seen patient support programs evolving alongside the industry’s growing adoption of technology. This transition is accelerated by market entrants, an increasingly digital society and, most influentially, competition.

Eighty-four novel active substances (NASs) were launched globally in 2021—twice the launches in 2016. Of the 72 NASs launched in the U.S. in 2021, more than 60% received first-in-class designation by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The number of drugs at the human clinical trial phase globally exceeds 6,000, up 68% from 2016. Emerging biopharma companies (EBPs) are behind 65% of molecules in research and development (R&D) and half the NASs launched in the U.S. in 2021.

There are more EBPs entering the market, higher R&D investment in new drugs, growing NASs and a coming boom of biosimilars and generics. As such, life sciences organizations should be assessing their patient support programs to ensure differentiation in the market today and tomorrow.

Here are five ways tech can transform your program delivery and differentiate your product:


To transform program delivery, your patient support program should be able to intake the prescription where the HCP is (e.g., fax, EHR) and automatically trigger therapy initiation e-Support Services. Additionally, the prescription should be able to be triaged without having to contact the HCP or patient for additional information. This can be done with a partner that is a covered entity and offers the right technology.

For example, AssistRx’s technology-driven access and fulfillment solution, CoAssist, can intake an e-prescription from the EHR, automatically triggering e-Support Services to speed access to therapy. Our proprietary e-Support Services include e-Consent, Advanced Benefit Verification (ABV), e-Prior Authorization (e-PA), e-Enrollment, Financial Assistance Access (i.e., e-Copay and e-PAP) and Patient Services Access. Leveraging direct connectivity to payers/PBMs and other data sources, AssistRx solutions deliver comprehensive patient coverage information in under 30 seconds using five patient identifiers, as well as PA decisions in minutes.


A recent study found only 21% of physicians accurately estimated patients’ out-of-pocket (OOP) drug costs even when presented with the drug’s price and patient’s coverage. This underscores the need for comprehendible price transparency, payer access requirements and affordability program options at the point of prescription.

Technology like ABV can transform your program and differentiate your product by empowering HCPs with comprehensive patient coverage results at the point of prescription. ABV goes beyond other e-BV solutions to include payer/PBM name and type; employer; BIN and PCN; member ID, group ID, relationship; effective/termination dates; deductible amount, remaining and exemptions; patient OOP cost maximum, minimum and remaining; formulary tier status; drug access restrictions and coverage notifications. ABV not only facilitates more accurate financial conversations, but also alerts the HCP and patient to required next steps like a PA.


Our industry is rife with siloed EHRs, one-off platforms, and vendors that cannot or will not integrate with others. This can delay therapy initiation and foster poor HCP and patient experiences.

Using technology like AssistRx’s Advanced Clinical Documentation solution empowers stakeholders with access to richer, relevant patient information. Powered by integrations with leading healthcare data exchange providers, this real-time solution provides the patient’s full care team with visibility to treatment plan, current medications, lab test results, etc. This technology can transform your program by creating more informed decisions and improved outcomes.


Complementing ABV is the need for real-time electronic PAP and Copay solutions. These solutions should be delivered in real-time and modularly to meet patients and HCPs where they are and at their time of need.

Beyond screening and enrollment, an end-to-end e-PAP solution should facilitate differentiated experiences by capturing all information in one workflow and performing enrollment in real-time. Further, all e-PAP solutions including a non-commercial pharmacy for dispense should be housed under one roof to accelerate fulfillment.

e-PAP technology should also deliver ongoing PAP audits to identify patients who’ve obtained coverage and transition them to paid-for scripts. ABV can also be leveraged to achieve this. For example, AssistRx saved one client $2 million by leveraging ABV for automated batch re-enrollment and transitioning patients who received coverage to commercial script.


Education and adherence are critical to differentiating your product. A stratified approach through targeted touchpoints and omnichannel delivery yields the highest impact. With so many varying adherence risk levels, communication preferences, and scenarios like disease progression, your technology must be able to seamlessly evolve.

Some patients prefer communications through text, whereas others prefer phone calls. Some programs may require shifting communications from a caregiver to a patient over time. Regardless of scenario, your adherence technology can best transform your program if it can reach multiple stakeholders through multiple channels at multiple times.

Technology can only transform your program when designed and deployed in the right way for your product. This requires a patient solutions partner that has both the technology capability and expertise to create tailored, nimble patient support programs. Implementing these solutions now can not only differentiate your product from current drugs on the market but also the coming onslaught of competitors.

To learn more, sign up for AssistRx’s free webinar Specialty Pharma’s 2022 Patient Support Trends: Progress Check.

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