Where did my patients go?
A recent article provides meta-analysis that demonstrates that nearly 20 percent of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients do not adhere to their daily oral disease-modifying drugs (DMD‘s). The information also indicates that 1 in 4 patients discontinue their DMDs before 1 year. For the sake of discussion, I am going to assume that this issue isn’t exclusive to DMDs but applies broadly to specialty medications.
Combining these issues creates an interesting picture of patients who are not fulfilling a successful treatment regimen thereby implying they don’t attain optimal outcomes.
D2’s research suggests that the answers, while varied, can be lumped into 2 large buckets, a) complexity and b) connectivity. Simplistically, we must lower the complexity, or ‘friction’ of onboarding patients. While we in the industry might have an understanding of the process, the impact of being told you have a life-changing disease combined with the complexity of managing the onboarding process creates friction and frustration for patients, who end up dropping or simply getting lost in the process. Further once on a drug, they fight a disease they don’t understand, and many times the impact of the drug treatment feels worse than the disease itself. The need to be in consistent contact with these patients with meaningful information is many times the difference between a patient fighting through the challenges to stay on therapy vs. simply being overwhelmed and giving up.
It all comes back to the need for more patient education, reminders and overall simplification which is something we can all support!