Interview: Expert Roundtable on Adherence - August 2020
With Mark Bard, Lisa Flaiz, Eric Peacock, Ari Schaefer, Tim Fisher, and Jonathan Lanznar
How Tech is Making Adherence Easier
A 12 minute watch. This video is a summary of a conversation between the DHC’s Founder Mark Bard and Lisa Flaiz, Eric Peacock, Ari Schaefer, Tim Fisher, and Jonathan Lanznar. The discussion focused on the topic of adherence during a dynamic environment, the impact of a pandemic on patient behavior, and how we can connect different parts of the system. Panelists discuss ways digital technology can be applied to inform and empower patients, resulting in improved adherence. A transcript of the video is also available below.
Then we’ve got two individuals, two experts from Klick. Klick’s been a great partner of the DHC over the years. We’ve got Ari Schaefer, Managing Direct, significant experience on the client-side as well as strategy. Then Tim Fisher, VP of Behavioral Science, helping us understand some of the behavioral components of adherence and what’s happening out there. Then we’ve got Jonathan Lanznar of – with Truveris, Vice President with Truveris is going to help us understand how all these pieces start to come together in the connections. I’d like to turn it over to Lisa to kick it off with what’s the state of adherence today?
The second is, in that place, a lot of them are – and in the absence of good information, a lot of them are making their own decision. At MyHealthTeam, we have all these social networks for people of chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and MS. These are things where they’re typically taking an immunosuppressing drug. They’re saying, okay, do I actually want to do that while this virus is out there? Is that safe?
There’s so much more to what’s going on in that patient’s mind. Thirty-five percent of all of our members have some form of depression because they’re dealing with a chronic condition. They might have pain as well. When you have depression, you’re not going to have good outcomes, even if that drug is working. Treating the entire patient, particularly right now, is really critical.
In their hearts, they have to believe this thing is going to work for them. They have to be educated on what to expect. I think what you use social for is go there and educate them transparently. It doesn’t have to be pushing a drug; it’s just setting the right expectation through education.
Secondarily, we talk a lot about the patient outcome being self-aware. Are patients able to understand whether or not the medicines are helping them in the way that they’re supposed to? Helping create a feedback loop where patients are able to see their outcomes improving even incrementally for certain conditions, particularly in the urology space, that’s an important part of building up these adherence challenges.
I think this goes back to the fact that there’s not a one size fits all type of approach that’s going to fit there, but you need to take an approach that’s going to piecemeal everything together and meet the patient where they are. We can’t say, come to us; we have the adherence. You have to meet them where they’re actually operating, where they’re working, and the whole context of their entire health, not just the individual brand or product that they’re on.
One of the most important findings we had is, particular in the time of COVID, is that you need to bring to them what sounds obvious, but it’s disease specific COVID information. Am I at greater risk of getting COVID? Am I at greater risk of getting it because I take [11:00] modifying therapy that’s immunosuppressing? When you have doctors walking through that drug by drug and explaining what is known, that really helps them. That helps educate them.
You can also proactively educate them about symptoms they should be thinking about and keeping track of and how to talk to your physician about it. We just have to show people here’s things you should bring up with your doctor. Then I think proactively identifying some of those opportunities where perhaps they’re not raising other hurdles to adherence.
For example, somebody in our social network says, I’m now unemployed. I can’t afford my therapy; guess I’m going off the drug. We can’t assume that they actually know about copay assistance; most do not. You have to use that opportunity right then and there to basically say, all right, I’m going to figure out how to point this person to the copay assistant program that they have. I think it’s about giving them information that they can bring both to the doctor and their payer to empower them.