Partnering with Patients and Physicians to Enhance Access and Improve Compliance: Working Locally to Help Patients Get the Medicines They Need
While Bristol-Myers Squibb sets a global price for each of its medications, pricing policies are adjusted based on local conditions, payer and competitive environments, unmet medical needs, affordability and humanitarian concerns. Patient assistance and support programs take various forms in different countries around the world, including in China, India, Russia and the nations of South America.
Sales of company products for hepatitis B in China remain the largest in the world by volume. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Delivering Hope program has supported projects in China and India that focus on awareness, prevention and care for those affected by hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). In China, Delivering Hope has supported the training of more than 133,000 health workers on HCV and nearly 4,000 more on HBV.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has developed a number of market-specific initiatives in India to expand access to its medicines and make them more affordable. For example, programs offer special incentives on drug prescriptions for certain products.
The company uses a third-party patient support agency, Oasis, to manage certain patient-related efforts, including programs to improve compliance and medicine availability for hepatitis B, diabetes and CML patients. In these programs, the Oasis agency delivers medicines to patients and also provides disease education materials and counseling services. Patient support materials are available in English and translated into nine additional languages used widely in India. Another diabetes management program, Path2Care, has been piloted and managed through a third-party with the goal of improving compliance and patient outcomes. A similar approach is being studied for use in Brazil with rheumatoid arthritis patients.
In addition, Bristol-Myers Squibb supports screening camps in India to help diagnose cases of hepatitis B and type 2 diabetes for underserved patients.
In Argentina, Peru, Chile and Colombia, the company’s single patient use (compassionate use) programs for oncology medicines, along with physician support programs, help physicians gain access to rheumatoid arthritis, oncology and hepatitis B products for their patients.
Infusion and nursing support services for IXEMPRA™ (breast cancer) and ORENCIA® are also becoming more widely available throughout South America.
In Brazil, Bristol-Myers Squibb improved access to Bristol-Myers Squibb medicines by providing patients and physicians with disease awareness programs and supportive services, which included discounts to eligible patients on diabetes products. In addition, as part of the supportive services, Bristol-Myers Squibb has worked with the medical community to develop a robust program for adherence that involves training nurse practitioners, pharmacists and others involved in care in best patient practices. To ensure increased access to our medicines, Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to seek approval to place our drugs on government reimbursement lists.
Bristol-Myers Squibb support of Fundacion “Apoyarte” provides unbranded web-based information to patients and health care providers about hepatitis B and HIV treatments, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and transplant medicines in regions with a scarcity of medical resources. In the first three months , nearly 7,000 patients visited the website. This “virtual care” program also uses telemedicine, virtual classrooms and learning modules to strengthen disease awareness for health care providers and improve the delivery of care.
Also in Colombia, the “Mi Salud” program has helped patients gain access to treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Drugs in other therapeutic areas are also being added to this program.
A program, PASOS, connects patients with rheumatoid arthritis with a third-party agency to help them complete government forms and accelerate access to medicines. The program is credited with reducing treatment wait times from four months to just one month.
The indigenous Indian population in this country has high rates of hepatitis B. Company-sponsored efforts to screen people for the disease and help them gain access to treatment involve traveling to extremely remote locations, including areas deep in the Amazon rainforest where medicines are delivered by boat and canoe.
Bristol-Myers Squibb aligns with the Russia Health Care 2020 initiatives, aimed at significantly improving the overall healthcare standards, increasing life expectancy and reducing overall mortality. As part of this effort, Bristol-Myers Squibb has begun to implement an online exchange program to update HCPs in more remote areas on HIV care.
Furthermore, Bristol-Myers Squibb actively supports numerous activities to improve patient therapy adherence in HIV, CML and HBV.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has been involved in diabetes disease awareness activities and partners for example with the International Diabetes Federation on initiatives to improve Diabetes care in Russia.
Through the “Bridging Cancer Care” program of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, seven initiatives to improve cancer care in Russia are supported by Foundation grants. The grants, totaling US$ 1 million, focus on improving the capabilities of nurses in cancer care.
Supported by a strong local Clinical Operations team, Bristol-Myers Squibb also performs numerous clinical trials in Russia for its innovative new drugs, interacting with the leading scientific medical institutes in Russia and sharing the latest therapeutic insights.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has used video conferencing to educate physicians on the appropriate use of new diabetes medicines. This approach helps to overcome logistical challenges associated with bringing international speakers to local physicians.