When it comes to patient intervention programs to promote adherence, what are the best tactics? The right answer may be “all of them” – but it also depends on who is setting up the program. Pharmacies, payers, or pharmaceutical companies often have different program goals and differ in their access to patients.

Pharmacy intervention tactics

According to US Pharmacist, effective interventions by pharmacies include face-to-face counseling, text messaging, simplifying medication regimens, using adherence packaging, minimizing adverse effects, helping with access, and engaging team members.

To inspire trust, pharmacists should maintain a blame-free environment and praise patients for achieving goals. Pharmacists should also engage in motivational interviewing and empathetic listening, to identify and address adherence challenges.

In-person education of patients has been shown effective in the Asheville Project, a longitudinal pre-post cohort study set in 12 community pharmacies in Asheville, N.C. The program used in-person pharmacist education to improve adherence, ultimately leading to improved clinical outcomes and reduced adverse events and costs. These outcomes were demonstrated for a variety of diseases including asthma, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.

Payer intervention tactics

Payers can utilize all the tactics mentioned for the pharmacies, but outreach can be directed at providers as well as patients.

For example, a study in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy looked at how a multichannel adherence intervention affected members’ medication adherence and health plan quality performance measures for two Medicare Advantage Part D plans. The intervention included a daily prescriber-directed 90-day retail refill component and a weekly member-directed refill reminder component. For the 90-day refill component, populated prescription letters were sent by fax to prescribers of members who had filled a 30-day prescription. If their prescribers approved the refill, members were notified that a 90-day refill was available at their retail pharmacies. For the weekly refill reminder, weekly scans of pharmacy claims were used to identify members’ refills patterns, and members who were seven days late were sent the letter. The study found adherence increases for both plans using the interventions.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona (BCBSAZ) started using mobile messages in 2019 to target patients with cardiovascular chronic disease, respiratory chronic disease, and diabetes. The program covers 13 drugs and is aimed at aligning patients with BCBSAZ’s formulary. As an added incentive, members who fill their prescriptions on time receive $45 to $50 off their copay. BCBSAZ hopes that offering the discount will overcome patient “message fatigue.”

Pharma intervention tactics

Pharmaceutical companies often don’t have access to in-depth patient data that payers, providers and pharmacies have. So their medication adherence programs are usually brand-focused, educating patients about a drug or encouraging access. The most favored tactic used by pharma companies is call centers, or what McKesson calls the patient engagement center.

Daniel Sontupe, associate partner and manager of the Value Builders at the pharmaceutical advertising agency The Bloc, says pharma companies can drive adherence by promoting patient health. He writes that his agency partnered with the Commission for Case Manager Certification to create “brand-agnostic” case management tool kits that help “pharma manufacturers meet patients where they are with materials to help support disease control and health-management goals.” Additionally, “Emails, texts, FaceBook messages, and tweets provide further avenues for all-encompassing patient engagement.”

How AllazoHealth’s AI improves patient intervention performance

AllazoHealth’s AI (artificial intelligence) technology makes patient interventions more effective, no matter which tactics pharmacies, payers, and pharmaceutical companies utilize.

AI accurately predicts which patients are at risk for non-adherence or other gaps in care, and who are likely to respond to outreach. It then personalizes patient outreach by channel, content and timing to deliver the most effective engagement.

Case Study: Leading national pharmacy achieves 2.3x greater uplift in patient fill rate

Learn how AllazoHealth used AI to help a national pharmacy improve cost efficiency for their patient interventions.