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Establishing and Integrating Patient Centricity into Your Pharma Organization

Measuring patient centricity can be a tall ask for pharmaceutical and biotech organizations. However, patient centricity demonstrates short- and long-term value in the pharma and life science landscape. Outside of the socially responsible outcomes of knowing that research, therapies, and products are making a difference in patient lives, there are financial requirements to adapting patient centricity as a core organizational value.  

3 Opportunities for Patient Centricity in Pharma

Drawing from our experience and work with life sciences clients, Clarkston has identified three key opportunities to drive value through patient centricity in pharma: Patient Adherence, Employee Engagement, and Reduced Corrective Spend. 

Patient Adherence  

Patient focus is inextricably linked to an organization’s longevity in the longer term, although the correlation is more variable in the short term. Increasing factors like trust, stakeholder engagement, and patient outcomes will inherently increase the sustainability of revenue over time. Investing in resources that offer top-tier patient services and provide connection to the patient in a way that feels relational and not clinical is key to keeping them on their treatment. For example, in a study on patients with schizophrenia, patients placed more value on qualities like independence and capability for daily activities while healthcare providers (HCPs) overvalued qualities like decreased psychotic symptoms and decreased hostility.  

Patients are the end-user at the center of all product development and delivery. ​If the patient isn’t kept at the forefront, key outcomes for the patient may be misunderstood. Working to bridge the gap by offering language and communication tactics to HCPs to best form a relationship with patients will create the foundation for excellent patient experiences and improve adherence.  

Employee Engagement 

Patient centricity connects employees to their purpose at work, which is directly connected to employee engagement and retention. In an industry dedicated to saving and improving lives, pharmaceutical employees demonstrate a clear sense of purpose and motivation to make a difference. According to a Great Place to Work Study, 80% of biotech and pharma industry employees believe their work is meaningful, and another 88% say they are proud of what they accomplish.  

Engaged employees drive positive business outcomes with reduced turnover and absenteeism, and in turn, increased quality outputs and positive financial results. As the industry becomes more patient-centric, the bar is set higher for employee expectations, but can also result in a highly engaged workforce, therefore creating a positive cycle.  

Reduced Corrective Spend 

Holding the patient at the focus of all business decisions will lead to the development of products, therapies, devices, and packaging that are best fit to serve the patient. Incorporating patient insights earlier in the process prevents costly errors and rework.  

For example, a client of ours developed packaging that was convenient for manufacturing but required the patient to take doses multiple times a day. This dosing requirement didn’t mesh well with the patients’ lived experiences and lifestyles. It was difficult for them to open the pill packaging, and having to do this multiple times a day affected their adherence. After receiving patient and market feedback, the client had to rework its solution to develop more appropriate packaging, and over time, a slightly different indication, too, in order to better meet patient needs. This delayed consideration of the patient until after the product launch resulted in additional spend and rework. The client’s dedication to patient centricity did eventually lead to a better product for the patient, but not without a cost due to them not incorporating patient opinion and truth earlier in their process.  

Driving Value Through Patient Centricity 

Patient adherence, employee engagement, and reduced corrective spend are all methods by which the value of establishing and integrating patient centricity into your organization can have a direct impact on your bottom line.  

In addition to these three key benefits, there’s the opportunity to leverage the information and insights that your organization’s functional teams likely already have. Further leveraging insights to drive value for the patient may not have as direct of a result on your bottom line, however; those insights are a success driver to infuse patient truth into all stages of the product lifecycle. Assessing what information you already have with a new lens more directly focused on patient needs will result in a more informed process and in turn increase patient adherence, decrease corrective spend, and motivate employees as they’re working directly with patient truth and insight in every step of their daily work.  

For strategic advice on promoting patient centricity in your organization and propelling your organization along the patient centricity maturity model to drive impact and transformation, please contact us today to learn more about our Strategy Consulting Services.   

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