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2022 Guide to Patient Support Services

Prescribe a Support Program for Your Patients with Cancer

2022 Oncology Guide to Patient Support Services
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer; Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer of Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions; Co-Founder of AONN+

Pharma-Sponsored Support Programs Ensure Access and Personalized Support for Oncology Patients

Patient support services are underutilized. Many times, patients simply are not aware of the services available to them. As providers, we can recommend or “prescribe” support programs to assist patients in their treatment journey. We can also initiate the process by enrolling patients in pharma-sponsored support programs ourselves, so they have the opportunity to realize the benefits from such services. After all, you have prescribed the right treatment, now make sure they receive the resources they need to promote adherence and address their psychosocial and financial needs.

Local, regional, and national advocacy organizations can offer tremendous support to patients and caregivers, but pharmaceutical companies offer drug-specific programs to meet the unique needs of patients taking their medicines. Services include reduced drug cost (or providing drug at no cost for qualifying patients), patient education about the disease and the prescribed treatment, and psychosocial support to help patients through difficult times.

As you know, treatments only work if patients can obtain them and adhere to the prescribed schedule. This all begins with access, education, and understanding. The support you and your patient receive from a pharma-sponsored support program in meeting financial and educational goals will go a long way in eliminating these barriers to care.

To promote your patients’ participation in pharma-sponsored support programs, the publishers of Oncology Practice Management provide an Annual Oncology Guide to Patient Support Services for healthcare providers. Keep an eye out for the release of the newest edition, coming in January 2022. This reference book provides the drug-specific resources that help you to help your patients by putting them in contact with the programs that can ease some of the burdens associated with their treatment. This comprehensive list of pharma-sponsored patient support programs will include the most recent FDA-approved oncology drugs.

It is difficult enough for patients to deal with cancer and its treatment; don’t let it overwhelm them financially or emotionally, too. I encourage you and your multidisciplinary treatment team to take advantage of these resources and prescribe a pharma-sponsored, drug-specific support program.

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