In today’s evolving healthcare environment, it’s not surprising that biosimilars have become more widely prescribed by physicians as an affordable alternative to biologics, which have been estimated to account for 38-40% of all pharmaceutical spending and average more than $100,000 per patient per year. 1
Following this trend, in 2021, the biosimilar global market size was $13.2 billion, and, according to Precedence Research, it is expected to surpass $66.2 billion by 2030. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.5% from 2021 to 2030 as patents on biologics expire and changes to government regulations to help drive the adoption of biosimilars occur. 2
With Increased Biosimilar Prescriptions Comes Additional Need for Patient Training
Patients who require treatments for a variety of chronic illnesses ranging from diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis to multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and cancer are increasingly prescribed these biosimilar therapies to self-inject at home or away from a healthcare provider (HCP) office.
Even with this uptick in biosimilar prescriptions, considerable gaps persist for patients in terms of training and preparedness to effectively begin and maintain these therapies. This ongoing therapy maintenance is important because patient adherence to self-injectable therapy is directly tied to patients’ overall health outcomes.
While at-home self-injection can help make injecting more convenient for patients — because they do not have to go into their HCP’s office — the onus of treatment is left solely on them. Patients self-injecting without the support of HCPs has also heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to these challenges, recent studies show that millions of these patients around the world who rely heavily on self-injectable courses of therapy to help manage their conditions lack the knowledge and skills for proper self-injectable drug delivery device utilization.
Surprisingly, it has been reported that over 84% of patients are not able to properly use autoinjectors and over half of those patients routinely miss three or more critical use steps when injecting. 3
Therefore, while biosimilars do reduce the cost barriers for patient access to these treatments, gaps in patient training continue to be a barrier for uptake — resulting in costly negative patient outcomes, higher healthcare costs and an increase in outpatient visits.
Moreover, studies have shown that many patients view their self-injectable treatment burdens as unsustainable. Self-injection is a high accuracy task and improper technique may have implications for both clinical outcomes and patient adherence.
If patients are to become and stay adherent to their self-injection regimen, and realize all-important positive health outcomes, they must be given the tools to succeed.
With Increased Need for Patient Training Comes Noble’s Robust Training Solutions
This is where Noble, an Aptar Pharma company, can be a boon for its clients and help reduce negative transfer, and other gaps, with patients. Negative transfer can occur when patients are switched from a biologic to a lower cost biosimilar but the drug delivery device from the biologic to the biosimilar also changes. This can cause confusion for patients and has the potential to lead to worse health outcomes as patients are confronted with a use learning curve in the middle of their course of therapy. While the cost of the biosimilar is often less than the biologic, patient results on the biosimilar could be negative due simply to the new drug delivery device, not the biosimilar itself. This is where patient training on the drug delivery device becomes all the more imperative.
To help patients become more confident self-injecting, Noble develops and commercializes robust training solutions that help patients prescribed self-injectable courses of therapy become and stay adherent to their injectable.
Noble’s training solutions — which help decrease patient anxiety and increase patient confidence around self-injecting — include training devices whereby patients can practice with a reusable and resettable ‘practice device’ that mimics the exact form and function of the self-injectable drug delivery device. This device is a vital patient tool as it has been proven that not only are patients often anxious to self-inject, but they also often turn to the internet and their own research to better understand how to self-inject. Unfortunately, many of the resources online around self-injection can cause even more patient confusion or apprehension.
This patient practice is even more critical because studies show a staggering one-third of patients do not receive any in-office training on their self-injectable from their HCPs. If they do, those training methods vary widely. In addition, HCPs often lack the necessary skills to provide helpful and proper training to patients. When this training does occur, it’s often very short and does not offer time for patients to practice or ask questions. This can lead to patient reluctance to express confusion and fear of asking for help and additional support. Moreover, the anxiety self-injection brings to patients is often minimized, leading to patient apprehension about asking for additional support because self-injecting is supposed to be “easy” according to many HCPs and pharma companies.
Noble’s robust training and onboarding solutions — which can help improve the efficacy of self-administered biosimilars for patients — reduce negative transfer of knowledge or memory decay to properly utilize these treatments and increase patient adherence.
Noble Speaks Patient®
Noble has traditionally combined its knowledge and understanding of the patient’s needs and anxieties around self-injecting along with its design and engineering expertise to develop and commercialize training devices that mimic the exact feel, force and function of the real drug delivery device in order to help increase patient confidence and adherence self-administering drug therapies. Noble also assists brands with training utilization, training device Instructions for Use (IFUs), training videos for patients, Human Factors support, product launch strategy programs, and more. Noble works with pharma companies in the development of patient training videos to help patients more easily learn how to properly self-administer their medication.
To learn more about how Noble’s training solutions and digital health solutions are increasing positive outcomes for HCPs and their patients, visit gonoble.com.
Originally published in Drug Delivery Business News.