Brandon Salke
Pharmacist in Charge, General Manager of Operations
Optime Care

The patient-first service model is a sticky strategy that drives patient and physician satisfaction. By “sticky,” I mean that the approach has unique advantages that build lasting relationships with patients and physicians. Both benefit from better outcomes, while supporting the manufacturer’s revenue goals in three important ways.

1. Consistent compliance

The revenue model of rare and orphan drugs is rare itself, vastly different than that of a mass-market therapy. It’s a matter of patient acquisition versus long-term compliance.

For example, nearly half of American adults have hypertension, providing the manufacturers of blood pressure medications with a large market to serve. For these drug makers, acquiring new patients is key to achieving their revenue goals.

However, if you manufacture a therapy targeting a rare or orphan disease, your market isn’t in the millions. It could be thousands or even a few hundred. Instead of having multiple therapies on the market—as hypertension does—your rare or orphan disease may have as few as one: yours.

Starting as many patients as possible on your medication always will be important. However, keeping them on it month after month—year after year—is essential for supporting quality patient outcomes as well as your financial goals for the therapy.

The patient-first model helps drive this level of compliance over the long term. As patients build relationships with their care coordinators and specialty pharmacists, they see a committed team invested in their well-being. Therefore, if patients have adverse reactions or side effects, they know where to turn for help and are less likely to stop taking the medication.

2. Better bonds with patients

A more informed patient is more compliant. That’s why the patient-first model strongly emphasizes education, particularly as a patient is just starting on a therapy. That means taking the time to thoroughly explain how the medication will affect them, including managing potential side effects.

A mass-market approach isn’t built for such individualized attention. Patients with rare or orphan disorders have more questions and concerns than a high-volume call center is equipped to handle.
You can’t put a stopwatch on these patient interactions because they’re invaluable to maintaining compliance and patient peace-of-mind.

“Patient first” means just that: you care for patients the way each wants and needs, 24/7/365.

3. Physician relationships built to last

For physicians, a truly patient-first model encourages them to consistently prescribe a particular therapy (and choose it over another, if more than one is available). Physicians build this loyalty because they see the hands-on, high-touch service their patients receive, which improves patient satisfaction while driving compliance.

Physicians see the benefit with their own office staff as well, who need to spend less administrative time starting and keeping patients on a therapy. For example, if the payer requires preauthorization, Optime Care can alleviate the burden of obtaining it. Additionally, if patients need co-pay or other financial assistance, we streamline and manage access—so the physician’s office staff doesn’t have to.

At Optime Care, we see this stickiness in action every day. For example, one therapy we supported had three competitors. Because of our patient-first model, more physicians chose that therapy over the others. In fact, our client was able to serve more than 60% of all patients with this particular rare disorder over a 10-year period. That level of performance—with three other product options in the marketplace—is simply unheard of.

The patient-first strategy supports your revenue goals by making your rare or orphan drug stick in the marketplace.

To learn more, download our white paper, “How to create a patient-first strategy.”

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