Your brand is preparing for launch, and it’s time to develop a strategy for your Patient Services Program (PSP). Even if you already have one or more PSPs in place for your company’s other brands, it is important to make sure you don’t incorporate a one-size-fits-all approach for your PSP. In order to develop a PSP strategy that meets all of the brand, stakeholder and patient needs, there are multiple important considerations you should evaluate. Here are 5 crucial considerations to make when determining the right PSP for your brand, and more importantly, for patients.
Step 1: Define your profiles
The optimal place to start developing a PSP strategy for a launch brand is making sure your product and patient profiles are clearly defined. Aligning your PSP offerings with something as basic as physician administered vs. patient self-administered will ensure that you are developing a program that will serve the patient best. For a brand with potential multiple indications, be cognizant of anticipated variances in patient profiles due to the different disease states. In the future, your PSP strategy may need to account for these different patient populations and therefore call for varying levels and types of services. As you build your PSP, keeping these variables in mind will ensure your program will be flexible and configurable.
Step 2: Conduct primary market research
Establishing accurate wants, needs and desires of prescribing physicians and patients who will utilize your product is a critical and logical next step. Establishing services that will support patients throughout the entire treatment journey may prevent your brand from experiencing high levels of drop-off or low levels of initial enrollment.
Step 3: Ensure your strategy integrates into the larger system
Market Access is an integrated system, therefore developing your PSP strategy shouldn’t happen in a vacuum. You must take into account the PSP’s impact on payer and trade strategies. Ensuring your strategy is cohesive with other strategies in all of the market access functions is paramount in establishing appropriate patient support services. For example, an orphan therapy that has a small patient population may require a specialty pharmacy to handle all support services in addition to fulfillment responsibilities – while a product with a larger patient population might require outsourcing all support services to a partner who has the ability to coordinate with various channel partners. Looking at the full market access picture helps ensure your brand is successful and your PSP strategy supports stakeholders from the moment a prescription is written to when and where it is fulfilled and administered.
Step 4: Let your strategy guide your contracting
Once you have the first three steps completed, your focus should turn to contracting and establishing metrics and partnerships that will best support your PSP strategy. Determine your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and craft your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and then use that information to assist with partner selection. Choosing partners who can adequately meet your necessary metrics is crucial. Will you need a stand-alone partner? Or due to your patient population, product profile and services needed, can the services be contracted through specialty pharmacies? Whether you are setting your KPIs, determining the details of your SLAs or deciding on partner relationships, use the information you gained from steps 1-3 to finalize your strategy so that your program is ready for implementation.
Step 5: Set your PSP up for future success
The final step is one that is extremely important but often overlooked. Once your PSP is up and running, you should implement a quality assurance program. Choose one that will monitor and report on the operation and health of your PSP. This will help you be prepared to pivot when necessary to address evolving stakeholders needs. A comprehensive quality assurance program will provide real-time data that measures your metrics while identifying trends, outliers and opportunities for improvement. Ongoing monitoring and comparisons over time will also demonstrate the effectiveness and relevance of any SLAs with partners or internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for PSP program components that are handled in-house. As your patients move through their treatment journey, their needs may shift, and you want to ensure that your PSP strategy shifts with them.
Following the above five steps will allow you to craft a smart and predictive PSP strategy for your brand.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in marketing and sales, market access, channel design, sales training and sales management, and has been involved in over 25 product launches in sales, marketing or consulting…