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The final installment of the series, but not the end of the conversation. Shifting focus to enrollment - sometimes even the best patient support plans run into resistance and lead to little or no enrollment in the program. This doesn’t mean that the entire plan needs to be scrapped, but it does call for a different, or at least, more intensive approach to getting the patient to take notice and understand how enrollment can be of benefit.

Step 5 to a successful patient support program

To this end, the commercial field force has a critical role to play in helping the physician and office staff understand how to select appropriate patients for therapy, educate them on the benefits of the patient support program, and then how to easily enroll their patients into the program via the channels created by the pharma client. Additionally, field force reps, clinical educators or specially trained customer service reps can provide helpful patient education materials on their disease state, coping with their diagnosis, and healthy living. Office communication tools like posters or social media campaigns can help make the patient notice the brand and how the support services supporting the product might help.

A Field Service Team model can be very helpful in this phase of the plan, where the rep’s sole responsibility is to focus on how the HCPs manage getting the correct information to patients. But perhaps even before these actions are taken, it is important that it is clear to the physician why this medication is significant to the targeted patient population. There should be clear benefit vs. risk statements and a system for how the prescribers will receive feedback on their patients enrolled into the program. The physician should know such details as the opportunity for improved patient outcomes and how the medication might complement existing therapies rather than compete.  And last, but certainly not least, there should be minimal actions required of the physician to enroll the patient into a support program via multiple channels such as web enrollment, 800 number support lines and traditional fax enrollments.

Speaking of patients, this is the point in time where it is critical to make sure messaging and images are tailored to the patient’s persona. Multichannel opt-ins make it easier for the patient to enroll and providing as much education through product packaging, online websites and associations helps to overcome those barriers.

The old adage “if at once you don’t succeed, try, try again” is really important to breaking down the barriers.

Key to success in trying again is doing so armed with the data and behavioral characteristic insights associated with the patient groups, and making sure that the actions fit within the organization’s overall objectives.  Ashfield has the expertise in all patient and physician interactions to help you reach your goal.

Need more information?

Contact Nareda Mills at

The conversation on Patient Support Programs does not end with this blog series! On September 26, 2017, join Ashfield as we host a one-hour webinar with Nareda Mills to learn more about the five pitfalls to avoid for a Patient Support Program. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and follow up with our experts. Check back for registration details.

Nareda Mills is Senior Vice President at Ashfield Clinical and works diligently in the support of client patients throughout North America.  A former nurse, she draws upon real life experience to assist clients in developing programs to better serve patients and their caregivers with feedback to their administering health care professionals.

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