SRx Health

Patient Support Programs: A Complete Guide

How patient support programs could help you or a loved one.

Patient support programs, also called PSPs, help patients get the medications they need. They can also help you learn how to take your medication correctly. This improves the chances of successful treatment. Most PSPs are run by drug companies. Meanwhile, others are managed by government or nonprofit organizations. They might also be called patient solutions, patient assistance, or patient services programs.

Table of Contents

1. Who Can Benefit from Patient Support Programs?

2. What Do Patient Support Programs Offer?

3. What to Expect When You Sign Up for A PSP

4. Do Patient Support Programs Work?

5. What Are the Challenges Associated with Patient Support Programs?

6. What Is the Future of PSPs?

7. How Can I Connect with a PSP?

Who Can Benefit from Patient Support Programs?

You may benefit from a patient support program if you need complex medical treatment. Examples of these treatments include:

  • Gene therapies
  • Cell therapies
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs)
  • Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)

Generally, support programs focus on helping patients who:

  • Have one or more chronic health conditions. They may benefit from disease management services.
  • Take medication that has potentially severe side effects. Monitoring the patient helps ensure safety during treatment.
  • Have difficulty affording medications prescribed by their doctors. In this case, you can access assistance like discounts and savings programs.

What Do Patient Support Programs Offer?

Every patient support program is different. However, they typically offer one or more of these services.

Financial Assistance

Many PSPs offer medication discounts and rebates. You may even qualify for free prescriptions.

You can also get help with insurance reimbursement. With some plans, you need to pay in advance for your medication. Then, you send receipts to the insurance company, and it pays you back. Advocates of patient support can assist you with this process.

Patient Education

Patient support programs often have call centres for medication assistance. Pharmacists, nurses, and healthcare providers will answer questions about your health.

Some PSPs have a dedicated nurse educator. This person offers individual or group education about diseases and medications. They may also help coordinate care with your primary and specialty doctors.

Help Staying on Medications

Sometimes, side effects and other issues can make it hard to stick to treatment. Patient support programs address this challenge with provider check-in sessions. The nurse or pharmacist will call, text, or visit to see how it’s going with your medication.

Many patient support programs host support groups for others like you. They may have the same chronic health condition or take the same medication. Building these relationships can potentially improve your treatment outcomes.

In addition, PSPs can help you get the medications you need. They can find infusion and injection sites if you take those types of drugs. They may offer home delivery or other solutions, which can help if you struggle with transportation. Some patient support programs even have staff members that visit you at home.

What to Expect When You Sign Up for A PSP

Overall, patient support programs try to improve health care for their clients. Their staff members provide important information when you’re first prescribed a new drug. They stick with you throughout your treatment to enhance your experience.

Each program has its own patient journey. For example, the SRx Health patient support program follows this process:

  • A representative calls you when they receive your prescription from your doctor.
  • When you connect, they assist with the paperwork and reimbursement you need for coverage.
  • They also schedule vaccines, blood work, and other requirements for treatment.
  • As you begin treatment, we connect you with nursing care, infusion services, and other specialists as needed. We also streamline the communication between you and your doctor.
  • While you’re taking the medication, we ensure you have the best possible treatment outcome. This includes follow-up and support from our staff members.

Do Patient Support Programs Work?

Research shows that patient support programs can improve treatment outcomes. In one study conducted by Iqvia Consulting:

  • 90% of patients had better medication adherence after one year in a program
  • 75% maintained adherence at the two-year mark
  • 61% had improved outcomes after treatment when enrolled in a program

Deloitte reports that PSPs build a trusting relationship with your doctor. In turn, this may improve your healthcare outcomes. They also found that working with these programs can help you feel empowered to manage chronic illness.

Patient support program professional speaking with patient
Credit: Mart Pproduction | Pexels

What Are the Challenges Associated with Patient Support Programs?

Patient support programs struggle with a lack of patient awareness. One study by FierceHealthcare found that fewer than 25% of patients said they’re very familiar with PSPs, and 18% said they’re somewhat familiar. Knowing these programs exist is the first step to getting help with your medications.

Some patients also face challenges with program enrollment. If it’s too difficult to sign up, they can’t access the available benefits. For this reason, programs that connect with patients directly tend to have better outcomes.

What Is the Future of PSPs?

You will probably see more about patient support programs in the coming years. Expanded versions supplement primary and specialty care. Also, many experts predict an increase in holistic support services. Rather than one-time assistance, PSPs strive for an ongoing therapeutic relationship.

Wearable devices that track your health are also set to become more common. This technology allows remote monitoring of vital signs and other health data that could affect your treatment outcomes. For example, if you take drugs to treat high blood pressure, a spike in your heart rate could alert program staff that you need help.

How Can I Connect with A PSP?

You can reach out to the drug manufacturer to learn more about patient support services. Pharmaceutical companies have an online portal or toll-free number for patients to seek help.

Your healthcare provider may refer you to a patient support program. They may suggest this service when prescribing a new medication. For example, at SRx Health, we reach out to you when your doctor contacts us. To learn more about our patient support services, contact a SRx pharmacy nearest you.

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