Reimagining Patient Access to Treatment
by Mike Hooven, CEO, Enable Injections – LinkedIn Published
Just imagine. Your doctor tells you that your health issues are treatable. Good news, right?
But then, she explains, the treatments involve at least 3 hours each week to receive the medicine. Not such good news.
If you are a student or employee, parent or child, 3 hours per week is disruptive. Those hours add up, and when factoring in travel and preparations, it becomes a significant part of your life. Some would call this a part-time job. Is it really that surprising that the patient adherence rate is less than 50%1?
There has to be a better way.
In my first article of this series, I wrote about the difficulties cancer patients face in getting the care they need, especially during the pandemic. In my second, I discussed the need for innovation to improve patient access to care. Today, I’m calling on more compassion and appreciation of the patient’s burden.
IV treatments are lengthy, costly, difficult to give and receive, and require healthcare teams for administration at home or in the clinic. Autoinjectors and syringes are quick, but have strict delivery volume limitations which necessitate multiple injections at once, often creating confusion and a real aversion for patients opposed to needles.
We must improve the patient experience to help patients get the treatments they need. We must find alternatives to bothersome sit-down infusions, or multiple sticks with large needles.
Solutions do exist, and are worthwhile. The right subcutaneous (SC) delivery solution has the potential to be transformative for both patients and the healthcare system, freeing up patient time, improving patient experience, and providing flexibility for healthcare resources.
But what are the drawbacks, and are they really legitimate? Some common misconceptions about SC administration include:
1. Dose: Can large volumes of therapeutic be delivered via SC?
Yes. Wearable delivery systems allow patients to go about their lives while they are receiving their therapeutic. And the right large volume wearable delivery system never exposes the needle to the patient.
2. SC capability: Can the skin really absorb medication in large volumes?
Yes. Research has been done to prove safety and efficacy of large volumes of therapeutics when administered via SC. In addition, large volumes of therapeutic do not need additional delivery enhancement to be effective.2
3. Ease: Is administering medication through the skin (SC) really an improvement?
Yes, the impact of SC dosing has been clinically proven to reduce overall time for both patient and provider. When home administration occurred in clinical studies, SC resulted in improved patient quality of life.3, 4 SC delivery solutions, specifically large volume wearable injectors, will allow patients to access improved methods of self-administration over current cumbersome SC systems.
The good news for patients, healthcare providers, pharma, and payers is that there is already technology that delivers the therapeutics that patients need – with large volume wearable injectors in particular providing flexibility for the patient and provider.
With the right subcutaneous delivery system, that 3 hours per week at an infusion clinic or hospital could be significantly reduced or transferred completely to the home. At Enable, we believe the right therapeutic can help patients to get their health back, but the right delivery system can help patients to get their lives back.
Join us in discussion on this topic at upcoming industry webinar with key opinion leaders on April 28 at 10am Eastern US. Click here to register.
1) Sabaté E, ed. Adherence to Long-Term Therapies: Evidence for Action. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068890/
2) Johnson ML, Braiteh F, Grilley-Olson JE, et al. Assessment of Subcutaneous vs Intravenous Administration of Anti–PD-1 Antibody PF-06801591 in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors A Phase 1 Dose-Escalation Trial. JAMA Oncology. July 2019; 5(7): 999-1007. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6547134/
3) Abolhassani H, Sadaghiani MS, Aghamohammadi A, Ochs HD, Rezaei N. Home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin versus hospital-based intravenous immunoglobulin in treatment of primary antibody deficiencies: systematic review and meta analysis. J Clin Immunol. 2012;32:1180–1192. doi: 10.1007/s10875-012-9720-1.
4) Bittner B, Richter W, Schmidt J. Subcutaneous Administration of Biotherapeutics: An Overview of Current Challenges and Opportunities. BioDrugs. 2018;32(5): 425-440. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6182494/