Improving Access to Mental Healthcare with OptimizeRx Financial Messaging

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The 2022 State of Mental Health in America report highlights that 24.7% of adults with a mental illness in 2019 reported an unmet need for treatment—this number has seen a steady increase every year since 2011.  

One main reason treatment needs go unmet is a lack of insurance coverage. The report also found that 11.1% of Americans with a mental illness are uninsured, and even for those patients who are insured, out-of-pocket costs for therapies may still limit their treatment access. 

How can pharma brands help patients overcome financial barriers in order to start and stay on doctor-preferred treatments?

This is the question OptimizeRx helped one pharmaceutical brand confront. By using our financial messaging solutions to overcome three brand challenges, we generated 300+ new brand prescribers and 13,000 incremental prescriptions in six months for an add-on depression therapy. Below we’ve outlined the top three challenges that the brand faced, and our Financial Messaging program addressed.  

Challenge One: Therapy Awareness

In a crowded treatment landscape with multiple therapeutic options, this add-on depression therapy relied on providers to decide that a patient’s current treatment was insufficient. More importantly though, providers also needed to be aware of the brand option.
During the COVID-19 surge of 2020, the brand could no longer rely on traditional awareness strategies. Beginning in March of that year, call and sample requests began to decline, journal exposures decreased, and direct mail volumes also declined from a peak in January.  

However, the OptimizeRx Financial Messaging program continued to generate HCP awareness and engagement, reaching a peak of 20,000 message views and 15,000 distributions in May. By providing information on the brand savings card directly in the EHR at strategic points in the care journey, OptimizeRx was able to build brand recognition and drive prescriptions among potential treating physicians.  

Challenge Two: Cost Transparency

Even if an HCP believes therapy is the best treatment pathway, they may still opt for generic or lower-priced therapies on the market in order to avoid cost-related adherence barriers. This trend is particularly true if the prescriber is new to the drug and isn’t aware of how the patient’s insurance—or lack of insurance—will impact the price.

There is a way to overcome this challenge. According to a study conducted by Atlantic Information Services, Inc (AIS), 80% of physicians polled were either “more likely” or “much more likely” to prescribe a drug with a copay card. Many brands, like the add-on depression therapy in this case, already have copay cards available. They simply need to put these messages in front of the right providers, at the right time, and in the right place. 

OptimizeRx’s Financial Messaging solutions helped this brand provide HCPs with drug cost and copay information within the EHR workflow, prompting providers to proactively discuss medication costs and relevant savings with their patients. This messaging reduces both physician and patient concerns about medication affordability, overcoming a highly common barrier to prescribing.  

Challenge Three: Pharmacy Triage

Even when a prescribing physician and patient have agreed on the therapy pathway and discussed all associated costs, there can still be a communication disconnect between the point of care and the pharmacy—either the patient doesn’t have the applicable copay cards in hand, or the pharmacy doesn’t accept these financial assistance programs. Both situations result in a frustrated patient who might not be able to afford their doctor’s preferred therapy. 

OptimizeRx utilizes electronic pharmacy triage technology to confirm nearby pharmacies who accept the applicable financial assistance program and stock the preferred treatment. Without ever leaving the EHR, a physician is able to attach the savings offer and submit the prescription to the pharmacy.  

This technology aided in prescriber confidence for the add-on depression therapy. In fact, 90% of HCPs who viewed the financial messaging distributed the prescription to the pharmacy.  

For this mental health therapy, the benefits of OptimizeRx’s Financial Messaging program were three-fold: 

  1. The pharmaceutical brand was able to significantly grow Rx volumes with limited marketing spending. Over the six months they worked with OptimizeRx, the brand made $40 for every $1 invested—or a 40:1 ROI.
  2. This technology also benefited HCPs, allowing them to confidently prescribe their preferred therapy, and giving them the resources to increase patient initiation and adherence at the point of care. 
  3. But the ultimate beneficiary was the patient, who was able to obtain medication to improve their mental health without the added strain of high treatment costs and frustrating pharmacy experiences.

Could an OptimizeRx Financial Messaging program help your brand drive script volumes by increasing HCP awareness and patient affordability? Learn more about platform functionality, physician reach and past results, and see how OptimizeRx can help you meet your goals.