A few of us braved the snow storm to attend the first day of the Beyond the Pill conference meeting in Princeton, NJ. While I’m looking forward to the larger meeting today, yesterday’s intimate discussion was great. Those of us to met informally had some very interesting conversations about:
- Adherence programs – when should they be developed for the patients, for the providers and clinicians and for the caregivers?
We acknowledged that while the patient is often ultimately responsible for taking their medications, there are roles that providers and clinicians can play to help educate patients about their medications, why it makes sense for them to take it and the benefits medications may provide.
Too often we just talk about medication risks and don’t present the real benefits a drug may have on the patient clinically, mentally and socially.
- Service design technology – what are the competing internal vs. external needs? What are the needs of internal groups such as: sales vs. marketing vs. commercial vs. scientific affairs?
While some of these needs may be conflicting, where can we find overlaps to be more efficient and make the jobs and lives easier for our colleagues? Other questions that arose from the group under this topic included: when are things reimbursable? What is the uptake and how can that be influenced? What is the sustainability of programs or technological platforms once they are developed and rolled out?
One other topic that stuck out at me was Pharma collaboration. And when I say collaboration, I mean collaborating on adherence programs for a disease and working together on a non-branded campaign. It’s possible to build non-competitive platforms and develop campaigns that would most likely be accepted by physician groups and healthcare systems as it wouldn’t be “buy more pills” but “what pill is the best for your patient” conversation.
So, who knows what today will hold but I must say that the first pre-conference, conference discussion really did go Beyond the Pill.