When you create a new biopharmaceutical, you hope it will change people’s lives. After all, it could be potentially curative for people living with rare or hard-to-treat diseases. But making sure patients actually see success with your drug isn’t as simple as getting it to market.

As a biopharma company, you should continuously try to improve patient outcomes. You can do this at every step of the patient journey. Below are four ways your biopharma company can improve patient outcomes and change more lives.

1. Create a data and analytics strategy

You want to reach the people who need your biopharmaceutical most. And you want to make sure it’s used in the most effective way. To do these things, you need a complete picture of each patient who uses your drug. Do this by collecting and analyzing data. Derek Rago discusses this in “Why Data and Analytics are Critical for Your Oncology Strategy.” Rago is the vice president and general manager of data, evidence and insights for McKesson Life Sciences. He lists three main steps you should include in your data and analytics strategy:

  • Data gathering. Gather data from each point in your patient’s treatment journey. Consider things like patient access and genetic test results. Look into their medical history. Take into account social determinants of health and their adherence rates with other medications.
  • Platform for synthesis. Your data will come from many different sources. It will come from medical records, claims and reimbursement systems, pharmacy management systems, and more. You need a platform that can take all of this information and process these different types of data. That will help paint a holistic picture of each patient.
  • Expert analysis. You then need people to look at the data you’ve collected and tell you what actions to take. These people may include biostaticians, epidemiologists, economists, pharmacists or oncologists.

Having a complete picture of each patient’s journey will help you see areas for improvement at every step of the treatment process. You might make changes to how your drug is administered. You might find ways to improve adherence for different populations. Making these small changes can help more people see better results with your treatment.

2. Partner with a specialty pharmacy

Biopharmaceuticals offer plenty of potential, but they aren’t without challenges. The cost of your specialty drug may be high. Insurance coverage can be an issue. And patients may need to receive your treatment in a unique setting, such as a hospital or specialty clinic. All of these factors can create potential access and adherence barriers for patients.

One way to improve access and adherence is partnering with a specialty pharmacy. Brandon Tom discusses this in “Partnering with a Specialty Pharmacy to Improve Patient Outcomes.” Tom is the vice president of commercial services for McKesson Specialty Pharmacy Solutions. He explains that a specialty pharmacy can provide services both before a patient begins a treatment and after they’ve started it.

A specialty pharmacy can help with these tasks:

  • Benefits investigation
  • Prior authorization
  • Claims submission
  • Patient assistance
  • Patient education
  • Adherence monitoring

By helping with these tasks, a specialty pharmacy can help more patients afford your therapy. And through patient education and adherence monitoring, you can make sure patients are using your drug properly. When you improve access and adherence, you improve patient outcomes.

3. Consider your drug’s distribution logistics

Maintaining the integrity of your specialty drug is critical for patient safety and the overall efficacy of your treatment. To ensure it arrives to patients safely and securely, think about distribution logistics. Christopher Armstrong discusses this in “Establishing the Right Distribution Strategy for Your Specialty Drugs.” Armstrong is the vice president of distribution operations for McKesson. He explains that certain factors can improve patient outcomes by helping you deliver your biopharma drug in a safe, timely manner. Consider these factors:

  • Temperature requirements. Does your drug need to be kept at a specific temperature?
  • Storage and shipment. What packaging will your drug need to stay safe and effective?
  • Inventory management. How can you properly manage your inventory to prevent drug shortages and make sure patients get their drug on time?

When you consider these logistics, patients get their medication on time and in a safe, temperature-controlled state. The quality is never compromised. And patients don’t have to worry about delays in treatment, which may affect their health outcomes. The right distribution partner can help you manage all three of these areas. In turn, you get peace of mind that patients will see more positive outcomes from your therapy.

4. Collect real-world evidence (RWE)

If you want to improve patient outcomes, it’s not enough to have a one-and-done set of clinical trials before your drug is on the market. During clinical trials, patients usually meet specific participation criteria. Not only that, but adherence stats could be skewed because these patients were reminded to complete their treatment. To find ways to improve patient outcomes, you need to know about adherence rates and medication efficacy in the real world.

Sarah Alwardt discusses this in “Using Real-World Evidence to Improve Biopharmaceutical Drug Outcomes.” Alwardt is the vice president of health informatics and health economics outcomes research for McKesson Life Sciences. Using real-world evidence (RWE) can improve patient outcomes in several ways. It all starts with what it tells you, such as:

  • Treatment patterns. What is the drug treatment pattern for a specific diagnosis on your drug? What drugs are commonly used as first- and second-line therapies?
  • Drug performance. What are typical clinical outcomes of patients receiving this drug?
  • Adherence and patient engagement. Are there barriers to adherence and engagement, like cost or patient education?

When you gather this real-world evidence, you can address any barriers to positive patient outcomes. You may be able to improve the formulation of the drug itself or think of ways to improve patient engagement or adherence.

By using the strategies above, your biopharma company can continue to refine your drug so it helps more patients. From gathering data and partnering with a specialty pharmacy to distribution planning and collecting RWE, thoughtful steps can go a long way in improving patient outcomes with your biopharmaceutical treatment.

Related: Learn more about McKesson’s specialty drug distribution services for pharmaceutical companies

McKesson

About the author

McKesson editorial staff is committed to sharing innovative approaches and insights so our customers can get the most out of their business solutions and identify areas for operational improvement and revenue growth.

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