Ease of Enrollment, Efficiency Key Factors in Oncologists' Perception of Patient Assistance Programs

Tony Berberabe, MPH @OncBiz_Wiz
Published: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014

Biopharmaceutical companies that administer patient assistance programs (PAPs) well in terms of service and support parameters seem to benefit from a halo effect among their oncologist customers, according to “PAP Utilization in Cancer Care,” a Cogent Reports survey from Market Strategies International, a market research company. The survey suggests that this can lead to more prescriptions for the medications that these companies manufacture.

In general, the study confirmed that the design and implementation of company-sponsored cancer PAPs is important to patients and their caregivers, reimbursement specialists, and treating oncologists and hematologists. Those PAPs that provide more favorable access to their medications can help providers gain additional clinical experience—including the appropriate use of the drugs within the treatment regimen.

This would seem to echo similar findings from a J.D. Power survey issued last year titled, “Evidence that Relationship Marketing Still Matters in Oncology Pharmaceutical Sales.” In that study, researchers found that a key point of differentiation among oncologists about the highest-ranked manufacturers is the pharmaceutical company’s commitment to addressing patient needs and working well within the medical community.

In the Cogent Report, ease and efficiency for patients during the application process to enroll in the programs “was a remarkable differentiator among the different company-sponsored patient assistance programs,” said Rob Delghiaccio, vice president of the Life Sciences division at Market Strategies International and author of the study. “This issue was top of mind for the majority of participants who faced difficulty or barriers in the PAP enrollment process.”

The “PAP Utilization in Cancer Care” report provides guidance to manufacturers for designing, administering and implementing PAPs to meet the needs of their continuously evolving patient, caregiver and healthcare provider stakeholders. The study was conducted among a sample of oncology patients, caregivers, reimbursement coordinators, and practicing oncologists and hematologists. Providers had at least four patients per month who are enrolled in a cancer PAP. Patients and caregivers were screened based on enrollment and participation in a cancer PAP within the last year.

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