One of the riskier aspects of an economy under inflationary pressure is that many patients will fail to fill new prescriptions. Others may begin to reconsider the need for their existing medications, and a portion might engage in dangerous behaviors such as trying to stretch their medication supply by skipping doses. These are high-risk behaviors for patients, and they also limit pharma marketers’ ability to achieve their revenue goals. Therefore, marketers across the industry may be looking to review and revamp their copay assistance programs to help address these issues. As part of these reviews, a fundamental question to ask is, “Do patients and providers even know that my brand has a copay assistance program?”
Pharmaceutical marketers may have skewed perceptions when it comes to awareness of copay assistance programs. Because copay programs are so widely discussed by those who work in the industry, marketers might naturally assume that almost ‘everyone’ knows about these programs and seeks them out. After all, who wouldn’t want to save money and let a product’s manufacturer lower their out-of-pocket costs?
Yet that’s not the case at all. In fact, a 2021 Phreesia survey¹ of more than 6,300 patients found that almost three out of five have little to no knowledge of prescription brands’ patient support programs, with almost half saying that they are ‘Not at All Familiar’ with them. In the study report, the sponsor called out one example in which nine out of 10 qualified patients taking an unidentified, branded pharmaceutical were not using the brand’s copay card – even though 53% of those patients said they would be very likely to use it if they had one. While copay assistance programs may be familiar to those of us who work in biopharma and other areas of healthcare, that’s far from the case for those we need to reach and support: The people who have been prescribed the medications they need and may have difficulty affording them.
Marketers can do several things to help address this general lack of understanding, such as focusing on healthcare provider awareness of copay programs in the messages that sales representatives deliver; making deliberate changes to promotional materials to put greater emphasis on patient support; and increasing copay messaging in online advertising that targets providers and patients. GoodRx also understands the need for marketers to raise awareness among providers and patients, and has developed a range of awareness products and engagement opportunities that may be useful to systematically increase awareness and utilization of manufacturers’ copay programs.
For example, many pharma marketers are surprised to learn that approximately four out of five healthcare providers have recommended GoodRx to their patients², which makes sense considering that the company has 88% awareness with U.S. HCPs³. Engaging with HCPs using our enhanced GoodRx Provider offerings can be an effective way to increase awareness of your copay assistance programs with prescribers, and subsequently, their patients. Last year, we saw ten times more traffic to the branded drug price pages on GoodRx.com than for similar copay program content on the top 100 biopharma brand.com websites.⁴ In addition to increasing awareness, it is important to reduce enrollment friction and increase eligibility transparency to ensure patients understand if they qualify.
Successful biopharma marketers know that scale matters. With nearly 20 million people visiting the GoodRx website every month⁵, featuring your brand’s copay offer – especially when patients search for your brand – could mean the difference between a filled prescription and one that is abandoned at the pharmacy. GoodRx leverages this scale to drive enrollment of qualified patients into copay programs, hubs, and other support services. API integrations with leading service providers enable real-time patient qualification and enrollment. And this all happens seamlessly within the GoodRx platform, minimizing the friction of site-switching and decreasing drop offs. In addition, when GoodRx qualifies a patient it reduces reversals and rejections at the pharmacy due to ineligibility.
If your 2022 objectives include finding better ways to support patients and achieve your brand’s forecast, lowering the copay barrier may be a welcome addition to your plan. But as we’ve seen, a copay assistance program doesn’t work if doctors and patients don’t know it exists, or find it difficult to enroll. To learn more about the ways GoodRx can help you increase awareness of your brand’s copay assistance offerings, click here.
¹ Sanderson, S: Industry Perspectives: Expanding Awareness of Patient Support Programs; Phreesia Life Sciences; accessed on May 4, 2022 at https://engage.phreesia.com/rs/867-GML-252/images/Phreesia%20Industry%20Perspectives%20Patient%20Support%20Programs.pdf
² GoodRx Q2 2021 Earnings Report: Pharma Manufacturer Solutions, August 12, 2021 at
⁵ GoodRx Q1 2022 Letter to Shareholders, May 9, 2022 at https://investors.goodrx.com/static-files/6b17ba5b-c5c0-4eae-bb60-9002ec962980