doc and patient
The success of healthcare outcomes largely depends upon patients’ adherence to medical treatment. While non-adherence can put the patient at risk of unnecessary further health complications such as relapse or hospitalization, it can also carry a significant economic burden. With the healthcare system facing mounting financial pressure, biopharma must demonstrate its commitment to improving adherence for supporting the local health economy. 

While local pathways are vital to the success of healthcare outcomes, the patient also has a role to play in improving adherence. Physicians can support the patient by assessing their knowledge and understanding of the regimen, creating clear communication channels, and developing trust. Collaboration is key to helping patients make positive choices for their health in an effort to create a culture of prevention as opposed to treatment. 

The patient pyramid aims to shift the population from consuming healthcare services to treat illnesses into creating a society of people who are actively engaged in managing their health. Biopharma can use this concept to tackle the adherence challenge and empower patients to play an active role in improving health outcomes.

Improving adherence: Patient and provider engagement 
Patient adherence is improved when the patient and clinician agree on key factors, for example diagnosis and treatment. This has to involve a number of conversations to resolve any disagreements and understand any reservations the patient may have, thereby creating a patient-physician partnership. 

Educating healthcare professionals
Biopharma can help professionals to support patients by developing patient-centered communication skills for clinicians and nurses, for example through the use of Clinical Nurse Educators (CNEs), who can work alongside physicians to study awareness and motivation. Live and virtual meetings alongside educational tools and e-learning opportunities can inform healthcare professionals and empower them towards a patient-centric approach. 

Patient-centricity: Patient engagement programs
Patients are increasingly seeking better health outcomes and looking to participate in research programs. Biopharma can access such programs to gather patient insights on needs, beliefs and behaviors to inform better study or program design and implementation. They can also enable the development of patient retention programs, allowing biopharma to stay connected with patients in the long term across multiple studies. 

Solidifying patient relationships through digital communities
By identifying appropriate patient profiles amongst digitally connected patients, biopharma can incorporate strategies to build a dedicated patient community and maintain engagement with them. This can help the industry to understand what drives patient behavior, and customize messaging strategies using tools such as Digital Patient Platforms for building adherence. 

Patient adherence in practice
To improve adherence, empowering the patient through education is vital. Programs that provide clear information about diagnosis and treatment, discuss treatment pros and cons, and reinforce treatment value, are likely to motivate a patient to adhere to their medication. Involving the patient in planning their regimen and explaining the results of medical tests is also hugely important. 

Biopharma can work alongside healthcare providers to offer patients:

  • Regular interviews to monitor progress
  • Practical methods of incorporating drug administration into patients’ daily lives
  • Patient self-management advice 
Conclusion

By adopting a patient-centric approach that gets ‘on the same level’ as the patient to understand their lifestyle and motivations, biopharma can support the creation of strong physician-patient relationships. Starting with large-scale patient engagement programs, biopharma can connect with patients both digitally and in person to develop insight to inform patient retention programs. Such insights can be used to educate healthcare staff for implementing a patient-centric communications approach that promotes adherence. This long-term commitment to improving patient adherence within a local health economy can help biopharma to improve the sustainability of the NHS – boosting its relationship along the way.