Medication non-adherence costs are skyrocketing. Approximately50 percent of patients do not take their medication as prescribed,costing pharmaceutical companies an estimated $637 billion inrevenue each year. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies arefeeling pressure to differentiate themselves from the competitionin the eyes of providers by offering value-based, “beyond-the-pill”services. In light of these trends, pharma companies are partneringwith vendors and payers to deliver value and improve adherence.

Most of the large pharmaceutical companies are working withvendors to power their patient support programs. The programs aimto improve patient adherence and engagement for chronic conditionsthrough education and support. While the various patient programshave similar goals, they seek to differentiate themselves withunique offerings. For example, for basic diabetes education, most pharma companies offerweb and print content with topics ranging from blood glucose tonutrition and activity.

Since cost is a common barrier to patients staying on theirmedication, most companies include financial support, as well. Somepatient support programs differentiate themselves by including anelement of human support. These programs offer call centers, whichgive patients the ability to ask specific questions. Some pharmacompanies go to the next level, offering one-on-one coaching withcertified diabetes educators, where patients can receivecustomized, educational and therapeutic support from a clinician.At the same time, some patient programs are incorporating a digitalstrategy with apps aimed at improving education and adherence.There are a variety of apps being offered through the programs;some have handy medication reminders, while others have the abilityto track activity, food, and/or blood glucose meter data in orderto drive insights.

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