Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S., causing 1 out of every 4 deaths, according to the CDC, and killing 17.7 million people worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 85 million Americans are living with at least one form of CVD. Enormous efforts are being made to lower those statistics, and healthcare organizations are emphasizing the importance of implementing heart health programs.
One of the largest sectors that can benefit from heart health programs is pharmaceutical companies. As the cardiovascular patient base grows, more new drug therapies are being created to keep up with the expanding demand. Countless pharmaceutical CVD products have been put on the market over the past decade, and some 200-plus drugs are in clinical trials, according to PhRMA.
1. Removing barriers and engaging the consumer
Although patients know their medications are important, most patients don’t understand how pharma manufacturers can play a part in their treatment.
When it comes to costly medications, comprehensive patient-support programs can help both patients and providers by removing financial, clinical and utilization barriers to access and thereby supporting long-term medication therapy adherence.
Patients may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of medication therapies that are on the market today. They may also be overwhelmed by the lifestyle changes they face and the information they must juggle and consider as they manage their condition. If a pharmaceutical company has established themselves as a partner in the fight for heart health, that overwhelmed patient will most likely be more interested and engaged in the pharma company’s products and services.
2. Improvement of therapeutic approaches
Direct patient engagement provides insights that can be used in order to improve physician-patient interaction, treatment protocols and development of next-generation medication therapies.
Studying patients’ psychographic segmentation profiles can allow physicians and pharma companies to understand which patients are more likely to adhere to medications and how to motivate desired behaviors among other patients.
Behavior change is an integral part of heart health and CVD treatment plans. Psychographics pertain to people’s attitudes, values, lifestyles and personalities, and are the key to understanding healthcare consumers’ motivations. Segmenting people by these characteristics allows you to target and deliver communications and care management programs that resonate more effectively and increase the likelihood of behavior change.
3. Better medication adherence
Studies show that nonadherence to medications occurs in more than 60 percent of cardiovascular patients. The immediate discharge period is a high risk time for medication nonadherence—nearly 1 in 4 patients is either partially or completely nonadherent in filling their prescriptions following discharge, according to the American Heart Association.
Nonadherence in the form of not filling the prescription written leads to a significant increase in 1-year mortality after hospitalization for myocardial infarction, AHA studies show. Additionally, failure to follow instructions or refill a prescription has been shown to increase mortality, hospitalizations, and overall healthcare costs.
Medication adherence is an ever-growing segment in containing unnecessary medication costs. Engaging patients with heart health programs can encourage individuals to take their medication and to reach out for support before choosing to stop a medication if they begin to notice minor side-effects, etc.
Using Technology for Heart Health Programs
Digital solutions, such as PatientBond’s cloud-based platform for digital patient engagement, can provide patients with automated support. Technological support can take many forms: automated reminders for taking medication, access to nurse practitioners, email or text messages with additional heart health support, specific medication information, etc.
Pharmaceutical companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors by zeroing in on effective patient engagement by offering credentialed heart health programs. Click here to learn how the American Heart Association and PatientBond are collaborating in order to solve Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) hospital readmissions and preventing the progression of cardiovascular disease, and look to work with pharmaceutical companies who seek to help patients with CVD live healthier lives.