(Part 1) Reaching Patients Along The Specialty Medication Journey: Passive Patients

ConnectiveRx recently conducted a qualitative study where we interviewed 23 specialty patients about their medication journey. About half were still actively taking a specialty medication, and half were not.

The purpose of this research was to help ConnectiveRx better understand the specialty patient experience, including the emotional journey from first symptoms to diagnosis and treatment, as well as their personal reactions to their new reality and how they chose to manage their care. This intricate level of understanding helps ConnectiveRx provide more personalized services for pharmaceutical brands to support patient adherence.

Four common personality types emerged from this research. What follows is the first of a four-part series highlighting each of these traits. Brands can utilize these profiles to better understand the differences in patient personalities in order to provide the best communication methods, education and resources that can successfully speak to each personality, with the ultimate goal of helping the patient get on and stay on therapy in their own unique ways.

Going with the flow

Many patients do not feel the need to “interfere” with their treatment, especially when things are going well. They thrive on the routine, and as long as they feel better while on a treatment plan, they are not likely to do anything to change their situation.

Labeled “passive” patients, this is a group that is not likely to conduct their own independent research or challenge treatment decisions made by their healthcare provider. In some cases, passive patients actively work against learning more about their own conditions. As one MS patient puts it: “I would say right now I’m just kind of on a slow river on a kayak. I know someday soon, I might have to start paddling, but right now I’m just coasting”.

Easily swayed away from treatment

On the surface, this person seems to be an ideal patient who will allow providers to make all of the treatment decisions without any pushback. While this may be true, there is a strong danger towards non-adherence when there are disruptions to therapy, especially when the problem occurs out of nowhere, when the patient is responsible for fixing the issue, or when affordability programs are not enough anymore.

Passive individuals generally are not ones who push for information, instead choosing to be reactive to whatever comes their way. Passive patients are not much different, in that taking the steps to reach out to their providers or conduct their own research is overwhelming. Since they may not be looking for information then they won’t be aware that these programs exist and could help them better afford their medication.

Proactive treatment maintenance for passive patients

Passive patients can be easily overwhelmed by new information, so brands should try to keep the process for sharing information as simple as possible. On the flip side, since they will not seek out information on their own, it is up to the brand to present them with the information they need in an easily digestible way. They are generally satisfied with their treatment plans as long as they continue to feel good, their prescription is covered, and they are not required to do much paperwork, if any.

Specifically, brands can provide:

  • Provider-facing in-workflow messaging that speaks to “maintaining their treatment plan”

  • Electronic benefit verification (eBV) and prior authorization (ePA) to speed the start of therapy

  • Annual coverage reverification that catches any coverage changes before they happen

  • Clear language and easy access to affordability programs

ConnectiveRx supports brands and their patients, including those with passive personalities, through a variety of services, including BrandHub, our signature solution offering a single point of access to brand services. Its in-workflow approach allows for seamless clinical and savings information sharing between patients and providers, and it automatically initiates the eBV and ePA processes. We'd love to tell you more about BrandHub, reach out to Inquiries@ConnectiveRx.com for more information.

Let's talk shop.