5 Steps to Building Your Next Patient Support Services Model
Introducing new Archbow team member, Honora Gabriel
As our organization continues to grow, so does the breadth of expertise we’re able to share with our clients. Honora Gabriel joined Archbow Consulting at the first of the year, bringing with her a rich background in Patient Support Services acquired over the course of her career.
We asked Honora to share her insights on the best way to approach building a new Patient Support Services (PSS) program in today’s environment. While some PSS models are being constructed faster and better than ever before, the need for a clear brand strategy, defined project milestones, and well-organized communication remain essential. With the right approach, a good team, and a realistic timeline, pharma companies can successfully support their patients in new and exciting ways.
But what is the right approach? Honora’s take is below.
Five steps to building your next Patient Support Services Model
By Honora Gabriel
1. Start with the end in mind. The Archbow team talks about this a lot because it’s one of the most important things any commercial team can embrace. This one step can truly be a game changer. To do it well:
Keep patients at the center of all your conversations, goals, and deliverables
Remember that each product has unique patient populations and prescriber bases, and they both have individual needs
Don’t draft a plan that looks just like your competitors’. Instead, ask your team what your brand needs to accomplish and then design services around those goals
2. Define access channels. It’s always an amusing (and alarming!) exercise to compare perceptions of access services. A brand team will usually tell you that their services are a well-oiled machine while their HCP and patient customers often describe something more like a traffic jam. To avoid this disconnect, it’s vital to align on what makes sense for each channel – across specialty pharmacy, retail, buy-and-bill, etc. - and then to carefully bring those together. Simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, customers will often thank you for it.
3. Align key stakeholders. When you invite stakeholders on a decision-making journey with you, you are more likely to secure buy-in and support. Working in tandem, you can ensure that the same goals stretch across the organization. As you gain alignment and continue to re-align, tell everyone. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Follow these best practices to keep it simple and consistent.
4. Define which services are needed to execute on brand strategy. Patient and caregiver engagement are critical to keeping patients on therapy. Today, it’s more than just understanding insurance benefits - it’s understanding how patients approach compliance to therapy for their goals, not yours. For example, a grandparent may have a goal of being able to dance at their grandchild’s wedding. Finding a way to help that patient reach their personal goal will realize more success than focusing on just a medication possession ratio. How can a program support individual patient goals? It’s all about relationship building.
5. Compare your wish list to the realities of timelines and budgets. While we all want to offer the best patient support for our product, it’s a fundamental industry truth that not everyone needs a best-in-class program. Remind your team that you don’t need to buy a Rolls Royce when a Honda is a good fit. After you complete steps 1 – 4, take a hard look at your budget and make the necessary adjustments. Success comes easier to those who don’t start under a time crunch and over budget.
Following these steps will align your team on the path to taking the best care of your customers. Some teams have the bandwidth to organize internally around these initiatives, and others seek outside consulting help to ensure the best outcomes. If your team can use support, Archbow Consulting is here to help.
Want to congratulate Honora on her new role? Send her a note here.