3 patient-centric strategies to enhance care for complex conditions

Perspective: Connected care | Capability: Pharmacy | By: Carelon

Advancements in drug discovery and development are driving new therapies for patients with complex conditions at a rapid pace. But specialty drugs often come at a high cost, and patients with diseases such as cancer, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS) who rely on these medications shouldn't have to struggle to access them.

How can our industry adapt a patient-first mindset in specialty pharmacy? Here we offer three patient-centric strategies for healthcare leaders looking to advance more effective and efficient care for those with complex conditions.


1. Drive affordability


Cost is a major worry for those relying on specialty medications. These patients should be focused on their health journey, not figuring out how they are going to afford their treatments. It’s simple: We need to make these drugs more affordable.

Leaders in healthcare should be focused on driving affordability throughout the industry. Each decision we make should work toward lowering costs for patients and members. For some, that may be educating patients on the cost of their therapy options, so they can make an informed treatment decision. For others, it may involve negotiating for the best prices, or working in the lab to create more affordable versions of original biologic medications with the same safety and effectiveness, also known as biosimilars.

2. Increase accessibility

Patients' questions and concerns aren't limited to work hours. Diseases don't stick to a 9-to-5 schedule, and neither should our care support. When you're battling a complex disease, your life-dependent question might come at midnight, and that’s why accessibility is crucial.

Health leaders can extend support by ensuring that expert clinicians, digital tools, and trained care navigators are available around the clock. Having a physician or pharmacist available to patients 24/7 could be a game-changer. Quick, expert responses not only have the potential to save lives, but also to boost medication adherence, prevent adverse reactions, and enhance overall patient safety.

3. Promote collaboration

Lastly, patients with complex illnesses deal with multifaceted, whole-health issues that go beyond the doctor’s office. It's a tough challenge that no single part of the healthcare industry can tackle alone. Chronically ill patients need, and deserve, simultaneous guidance and support from all stakeholders — providers, payers, researchers, manufacturers, and more — all working together. Collaboration is key to providing holistic care and advancing our industry.

In healthcare, we have a unique responsibility to create positive, lasting change that benefits patients now and in the future. It all begins with a mindset that puts patients first, at the center of our shared decision-making. We’re working every day to make that happen.


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