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Making a difference with patient support

A clear understanding of the patient journey and experience is pivotal in designing patient support programmes

Given that healthcare service providers and patients themselves now expect more from pharma than being simple providers of medication, added-value services such as patient support programmes (PSPs) have become an expectation, not a bonus. So, how can pharmaceutical companies ensure that their PSPs have the greatest impact?

The answer lies in the methodology. The specific implementation of a PSP and its key deliverables will depend on the therapy area, the drug and the audience. This means there is never a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. In order to design the right support programme, it is important to understand the audiences and stakeholders that will benefit from it. What are the reasons that patients do not currently adhere to their medication? What behaviours need to change in order to optimize the HCP-patient relationship? What challenges do the patients experience that are not currently being met? What communication channels do patients in this area prefer?

Well-executed PSPs offer a number of opportunities, including:

  • Improving patient adherence and overall patient care
  • Improving the dialogue between HCP and patient
  • Empowering the patient
  • Providing a stepping-stone to personalised medicine
  • Reassuring HCPs that the treatment is a both viable option for the patient and that it is adequately supported

The right methodology

It is important to note that a PSP is not just about creating materials for patients, but more often involves the development of integrated solutions for doctors, nurses and other carers. Our approach to PSPs starts with driving a deep understanding of the various audiences’ needs. Bedrock’s new health experience agency, Origins, conducts ethnographic research and online intelligence gathering to obtain qualitative insights.

These insights enable the team to develop a communications strategy with appropriate tactics and delivery formats. Each programme has its own set of key performance indicators, for future analysis and refinement over time.

Using this approach we have developed multiple successful patient support initiatives. These range from bespoke patient-led online resources, eDiary applications for rare hereditary diseases, through to a joint programme for HCPs and patients delivered through video, and print-based tactics to aid the use of a medical device.

Case Study


When one of Bedrock’s clients challenged us to design a programme for people with cystic fibrosis, we looked at the whole picture. Who in the multi-disciplinary team needs to be involved to ensure patients receive the support they need? Often physiotherapists, nurses and patients require specific training to ensure that medications are used effectively. As well as taking in account the patient perspective, the information provided had to be suitable for HCPs to help inform, engage and educate.


The solution was to create a complete communications programme. It included materials to educate the patient on how to use their device/drug correctly; ensuring that the physiotherapist and nurse were able to teach and advise the patient on the correct technique, a mode of action animation which complimented the instructional video, clinical and test algorithms, and a host of printed materials.


With a high download rate and improved patient adherence, feedback from HCPs and the client was overwhelmingly positive.

This is just one example of how together, Bedrock and Origins deliver truly patent-centric PSPs. Contact the Bedrock Group to see how Origins can help you gain a deeper understanding of your audiences in order to make a real difference to patient well-being.

8th April 2020



Company Details

Bedrock Healthcare Communications

01252 240200

Contact Website

One Fleet
Ancells Road
GU51 2UN

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