Rob Basemore, President, Janssen Biotech
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Developing a Patient-Centric Business Model
Rob Bazemore, President of Janssen Biotech, discusses why and how the company is implementing a patient-centric focus throughout all levels of the company.
PV: What does being patient-centric mean for Janssen Biotech?
Bazemore: Patients are our top priority. Several organizational imperatives are driving our focus on improving a patient-centric approach. First, our mission is to provide a best-in-class patient experience with our products and resources. And second, we aim to foster a corporate culture that motivates our employees to remain committed and focused on the patients we serve.
Last year, we conducted third-party market research with patients to better understand their diagnosis and treatment journeys, as well as their struggles with serious diseases. The findings aided us in assessing where help was needed to improve patient outcomes and enhance patients’ overall experience with our brands.
As a result of our research, we brought on a dedicated board-level executive to oversee the patient-centric strategy, embedded the approach throughout our organization, and are monitoring how we are progressing against specific metrics. In turn, Nicole Black, director of customer experience, has a cross-functional board in place to implement related tactics throughout the organization.
We also created Janssen Biotech 4 Big Bets, which are the guiding principles to how we approach our employees, organization, business, and market position. These re-focus our employees’ attention back on things like customer loyalty, above-expected growth of our business and how we behave as leaders in the markets in which we operate. The 4 Big Bets are critical aspects that impact our ability to meet the evolving needs of our patients. The 4 Big Bets define how Janssen Biotech selects and develops its employees; how the company defines how to serve the needs of its customers; how to produce unexpected growth from the two franchises that it works in; and how the company and its employees behave as leaders in the markets where they do work.
We also understand that when it comes to treatments, what works for one patient may not work for another.
PV: How does Janssen Biotech work to improve the patient experience?
Bazemore: There are several ways we hold ourselves responsible for improving the patient experience. First, by providing educational support about the disease itself and about our therapies, we encourage patients, along with their healthcare providers, to make informed decisions about appropriate therapies. We are also working toward creating services and tools that make patient access to our brands as easy as possible. Second, we strive to improve overall satisfaction and outcomes through programs focused on adherence and compliance. Finally, we measure success and progress against goals, because we can’t improve our patients’ experiences without data that show how we are doing. Creating these measurement tools to monitor status and progress is a fundamental element in improving quality of care.
PV: How does Janssen Biotech work to improve patient outcomes?
Bazemore: The third-party market research also demonstrated that better patient experiences lead to better patient outcomes. And at Janssen Biotech, we are focused on the outcomes we’re delivering, not just the products. To this end, a substantial portion of our brands’ budgets are now spent on support services to assist with medication costs, as offered in our integrated system JanssenAccessOne, which is comprised of more than five patient assistance programs.
We’re also collaborating with other experts across many industries to improve patient outcomes. For example, we’ve met with executives at Google to see what we can do differently from a technology innovation standpoint and with executives at Disney to learn more about what they’re doing to create a best-in-class experience with their parks and brands.
We believe that patient adherence is also a contributing factor to better outcomes. We’ve seen in the marketplace that there’s a relationship between adhering to medication and potentially lower overall costs to the healthcare system and improve patient outcomes.
PV: What do you think has been the impact of healthcare costs being shifted to the patient?
Bazemore: As healthcare costs have grown in the United States, a greater percentage of those costs have been passed on to the patient. This dynamic has resulted in patients playing a bigger role in making healthcare decisions, and demanding a better experience.
This comes during a critical time in our history where many Americans are having problems paying their medical bills, insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. Ultimately, many people may lean toward making fiscally driven choices on their medical services, which may greatly impact health outcomes.
As healthcare reform initiatives continue to evolve, we in the pharmaceutical industry strive to not only make better medicine, but also to improve the patient experience through quality access services and support, end-to-end.
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Putting Patients Front and Center
Janssen Biotech is implementing a number of initiatives that address its newly defined focus on putting patients first.
Since taking over as president of Centocor Ortho Biotech, now Janssen Biotech Inc., in March 2010, Rob Bazemore has been realigning the company’s initiatives to focus on the patient and the patient experience as it prepares to launch new drugs in the immunology and oncology markets.
Under Mr. Bazemore’s leadership, Janssen Biotech has a reinvigorated culture and outlook on long-term business success. As part of this shift, he has instituted several initiatives, including the company’s stated mission: “…we dedicate our hearts and minds to improving the health of individuals living with serious conditions.”
In an exclusive interview with PharmaVOICE, Mr. Bazemore discusses how Janssen Biotech is improving the patient experience.
PV: What type of patient education does Janssen Biotech provide?
Bazemore: We continuously look to improve the overall patient experience. We are dedicated to helping patients and their healthcare teams on their journey. Through advocacy partnerships, we provide patients with education about their diseases. Examples of our patient education initiatives include:
- My Prostate Cancer Roadmap (myprostatecancerroadmap.com), an educational resource for men with advanced prostate cancer and those who love them. With paths for both patients and caregivers, My Prostate Cancer Roadmap covers diverse topics, such as health and wellness, relationships, work, and intimacy.
We have even included an area for those at higher risk. For example for African-American men, a population that is disproportionately impacted by prostate cancer, Janssen Biotech created Making Awareness a Priority, Putting Prostate Cancer on the M.A.P. This program is designed to raise awareness among African-American men and their families about prostate cancer and its effect on the African-American community.
- IBD Icons (ibdicons.com), a campaign that celebrates the courage of those living with inflammatory bowel disease and motivates them to act early to get help in managing their condition. Featuring Season 10 American Idol finalist Casey Abrams, who lives with ulcerative colitis, IBD Icons sets out to identify others like Mr. Abrams who live beyond IBD to pursue their dreams.
- Are You Serious? (seriousaboutpsoriasis.com) is a program that allows patients living with plaque psoriasis to share their stories about the moments that got them serious about taking control of their condition.
PV: How does Janssen Biotech approach patient education in a social media-driven world/
Bazemore: There’s no denying that patients are living in a digital world. Technology allows them to be connected to others with similar conditions all over the globe and share health-related information in a way that’s never been done before. Toward the end of 2011, the FDA issued its draft guidance to help pharmaceutical companies understand social media channel regulations. We have remained compliant and transparent throughout the process, working to balance patient expectations and the regulatory guidance, with the result being conservative engagement in social media regarding our patients.
We have an established Twitter presence (@JanssenUS) where timely company news, updates on our patient education initiatives, pipeline developments, and clinical data milestones are regularly shared.
We are looking forward to watching how the FDA social media guidance evolves over time, and are open to tailoring our approach based on these outcomes.
PV: What resources has Janssen Biotech devoted to patient-education efforts?
Bazemore: We have developed meaningful services and tools that offer support in managing diseases with our therapeutic options. In addition, we are devoting resources to programs that improve patient access and provide information about Janssen Biotech products. Our efforts to improve patient access to our products take form in three specific ways.
First, we have sophisticated access services on each brand that will help verify benefits and assist with completing prior authorizations or paperwork on behalf of the prescribing healthcare provider.
Second, we have out-of-pocket assistance programs that provide financial relief for patients.
Also, for patients who have no insurance, or may have had the misfortune of losing their jobs, there’s the J&J Patient Assistance Foundation (JJPAF), which will provide the drug free of charge for those who qualify.
Finally, we’ve launched a new website, janssenprescriptionassistance.com, so patients now have a timely and valuable resource to find comprehensive information on affordable programs for Janssen Biotech products.
In addition to offering educational initiatives to patient communities, we are committed to helping ensure appropriate patients have access to our medications, and will continue working closely with U.S. providers to make this happen.