It Takes a Village: Patient Support Strategies That Really Succeed

Dear House Rules,

How can we move the needle on our complicated biologic brand? As a company, we provide excellent HCP learning opportunities and offer helpful education to patients, but the numbers are stagnant, despite a growing target market. What are we missing?


Need Another Way In

Dear Another,

The bar is becoming higher all the time in terms of support services to drive value for customers and differentiate brands from the competition. Patients are no longer impressed by standard offerings to improve access (such as co-pay cards, reimbursement hotlines, and insurance verification services) or to streamline fulfillment (starter kits and direct-to-patient shipping.) Even education, appointment support tools and patient-physician discussion guides have become cornerstone tactics to drive patient adherence. However, there is still room to improve on many of these, by making the services easier for patients to find, understand, and use.

To effectively develop value-added services, pharma companies must deeply understand customer needs and define services that truly address them. Below are just a few examples of services that your company might be able to offer to enhance your patients’ experience with your brand.

Teletherapy: With more people living longer with more complex illnesses, one burgeoning area is therapy services. Companies such as Talkspace, Betterhealth and Lantern offer teletherapy through multiple digital channels to support patients dealing with illness. Through text, audio, and video messaging, patients can be paired with therapists in real time.

Telehealth: Another example is Teva, which has invested in the telehealth company American Well to connect patients with doctors for live, on-demand video visits via mobile or Internet. This will allow physicians to reach their patients more efficiently and collaborate with other providers to provide a higher quality of care.

Virtual Communities: Many pharma companies have begun building online communities for various disease states (witness Biogen’s Cystic Fibrosis group.) As they become more common, these communities can differentiate brands by offering personalized support, such as one-on-one interactions with nurse educators and support coordinators; activity trackers and apps that communicate symptom progression to care teams; and personalized communications regarding local events and lifestyle tips. Patients are looking for community-based health information on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Google Hangouts.

The key for marketers is to link back to strategic objectives and develop composite metrics that consider both activity and impact. Also key? Teaming up with an agency that understands how emerging media can enhance pharma strategies—and that provides stellar creative execution as well.

About Xavier Creative House

Founded in 2013, Xavier Creative House (XCH) is an award-winning healthcare creative agency specializing in pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device. XCH’s global team of brand builders and healthcare marketers, tech-savvy go-getters, and innovative dream-vetters are passionate about the big idea that changes behavior in the healthcare marketplace. They believe life is about connections and that healthcare is about life. That is why XCH delivers bold and evocative creative solutions, amplified by meaningful technology, to energize brands and authentically connect with patients and HCPs.

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For more information, contact

Sunny White
Founder & CEO of Xavier Creative House