ANALYTICS VIEWPOINT | Patient Segmentation & Sub-populations
One Disease; Many Patterns
Advanced Patient Segmentation Strategies for Today’s Personalized Markets
Whether positioning a drug effectively for a trial, launch, or market expansion, the risk of an inaccurate or incomplete view of patient cohorts has far-reaching implications.
- Diminished clinical efficacy of a therapy, especially in real-world settings
- Messaging ineffectiveness to physicians and patients
- Challenging reimbursement negotiations with payers
- Misallocated field resources of a salesforce
- Opportunity cost with slower than predicted adoption
- Unrealized patient outcomes by missing segments with high barriers to treatment
Pharmaceutical teams are acutely aware that sub-populations vary greatly by disease-specific and environment factors, behaviors, treatment pathways and a host of other attributes.
The challenge is to determine how many significant patient sub-populations are present within a single disease, and which populations can be most effectively reached, using what approach.
Often, there are more significant variations between patient subpopulations than pharmaceutical teams initially suspect.
Reframing the Approach to Patient Segmentation
Two critical trends have converged to make advanced segmentation both necessary and possible:
- Shift from blockbuster therapies to precision medicine
- Lean, agile and highly targeted biotech upstarts are entering the market
- Health systems are increasingly fragmented by region
- Patients have more options available to them, and are influenced by many factors
- Emerging data sources now available to us: EHR, claims, social intelligence
- Novel ways to harness insights, like machine learning
- New patterns uncovered with the convergence of data sources and methodologies
Treatment decisions are informed by many other factors than just diagnosis. Pharmaceutical teams also need to take into account the impact of patients’ cost burden, access issues, demographics, co-morbidities, emotional state, compliance issues, challenges with site of care, and much more.
And all the while, markets are shifting all around us. Patient segments are always moving. Every disease area has nuances to consider.
So how can a pharmaceutical team achieve a higher degree of clarity and confidence in their market assessments?