Understanding the Pandemic’s Impact on the Management of Chronic Conditions

April 28, 2020
Thought Leadership

April 28, 2020
Thought Leadership

Understanding the Pandemic’s Impact on the Management of Chronic Conditions

April 28, 2020
Thought Leadership
Eve: Evidation's brand mark which is a yellow glowing orb

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected every part of our society and economy, and is likely to have a long-lasting impact for years to come. We sough to understand how it is affecting one of the most vulnerable segments of the population- those managing chronic health conditions - and the potential longer term implications for the Life Sciences industry. Through our ongoing relationship with Evidation's My Evidation community of nearly 4 million individuals, over 53,000 individuals managing chronic health conditions shared how the pandemic has forced difficult decisions regarding healthcare utilization and medication adherance, and how it is impacting their overall health. Their experiences help to identify several areas across the value chain where biopharma and healthcare industries have opportunities to better understand and serve these individuals.

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HEALTHCARE UTILIZATION

People are concerned about their ability to manage their chronic condition, and are especially uncomfortable with seeing their doctors in person right now.

Graph reflecting that people are concerned about their ability to manage their chronic condition and are especially uncomfortable with seeing their doctors in person right now


57% of individuals reported feeling uncomfortable going to their specialist or primary doctor for an in-person appointment during the pandemic.

34% of individuals reported feeling concerned or very concerned about managing their chronic conditions during the pandemic; for individuals with MS, RA, COPD, or Chronic Pain the percentage concerned/very concerned approaches 50%.

1 The following conditions were represented in the survey responses: Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Atopic Dermatitis, Cancer, Celiac Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Pain, COPD, Depression, Diabetes Melitus, Fibromyalgia, High cholesterol, Heart Disease/Coronary Heart Disease, Hypertension, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lupus, Migraine, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis 2 Survey responses were collected from 4/8/20 through 4/15/20

The continuity of care has been negatively impacted across all conditions

Graph reflecting that the continuity of care has been negatively impacted across all conditions


65% of individuals reported that their doctor proactively postponed or cancelled an in-person appointment, with little variation across conditions.

The majority of providers are utilizing telemedicine for ongoing management of chronic conditions.

Graph reflecting that the majority of providers are utilizing telemedicine for ongoing management of chronic conditions


65% of individuals reported that their doctor proactively postponed or cancelled an in-person appointment, with little variation across conditions.

IMPLICATIONS FOR BIOPHARMA COMPANIES

Biopharma companies need to understand how to best support individuals and HCPs manage chronic conditions in a future with more virtual care

  • What opportunities exist to monitor health outcomes and disease progression remotely?
  • Which therapeutic alternatives with HCPs and individuals find easiest to manage virtually and how will this impact medication preference?
  • For prescribing decisions that are typically based on in-person assessments, what alternatives are available for remote assessment?
  • What patent support services are needed to help individuals navigate virtual visits?
  • What opportunities are there for HCPs to deliver more compelling patient education content via a virtual visit?
  • What actions are necessary to address a change in subjects' willingness and requirements to participate in clinical trials?


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MEDICATION ADHERENCE

Across conditions, COVID-19 is meaningfully disrupting medication adherence, though the impact varies by disease area. The impact is even greater for individuals reporting some change in employment status due to the pandemic.

Graphs reflecting that across conditions, COVID-19 is meaningfully disrupting medication adherence, and the impact is even greater for individuals reporting some change in employment status due to the pandemic

Disruption in routine, discomfort going to the pharmacy, and cost were the biggest reasons for not taking medications as prescribed due to the pandemic.

Graph reflecting that disruption in routine, discomfort going to the pharmacy, and cost were the biggest reasons for not taking medications as prescribed due to the pandemic

Individuals on office-administered injections were prevented from getting their injections on time.

Graph reflecting that individuals on office-administered injections were prevented from getting their injections on time


Across conditions, 29% of injections were prevented because of the pandemic, with Chronic Pain and COPD injections disproportionately impacted.

IMPLICATIONS FOR BIOPHARMA COMPANIES

As the economic hardships due to the pandemic persist and potentially deepen, biopharma companies need to develop solutions to help individuals overcome challenges to adherence.

  • What are the main drivers behind reductions in medication adherence now and in the long-term?
  • How can patient support programs and services adapt to provide meaningful intervention for patients who are typically adherent?
  • What services can be provided in the near term for patients who have been prevented from receiving their office-administered injections?


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HEALTH IMPACT

Most individuals are experiencing exacerbations at this time; this combined with less healthcare utilization could results in negative health outcomes in the near and long term.

Graph reflecting that most individuals are experiencing exacerbations at this time; this combined with less healthcare utilization could results in negative health outcomes in the near and long term


51% of all respondents experienced at least one exacerbation since the start of COVID-19

The pandemic is having widespread impact on individuals' mental health, with nearly 1 in 3 people across all conditions reporting significant impact on their overall emotional well-being.

Graph reflecting that the pandemic is having widespread impact on individuals' mental health, with nearly 1 in 3 people across all conditions reporting significant impact on their overall emotional well-being


Since March 1st and through April 6th, physical activity has declined by 48% nationwide; further negative changes have begun to level off across most states since the beginning of April.

These data come from the Evidation Health Covid-19 Pulse survey

Chart reflecting that physical activity levels drastically declined between March 1, 2020 and April 6, 2020

IMPLICATIONS FOR BIOPHARMA COMPANIES

Biopharma companies must understand which changes in behavior are likely to have the longest and most profound impact on the health of individuals with chronic conditions.

  • Which patient support programs area needed to address the changing health needs of these individuals?
  • How should core message elements change to align with the new needs of patients?
  • How will the long-term changes in health impact the preference for and suitability of therapeutic alternatives?
  • Which RWD should be collected in order to generate the evidence related to the outcomes that reflect what matters most to patients?
  • How should the changing nature of these chronic conditions be reflected in product development priorities and plans?

These data depict patient populations struggling to manage their underlying chronic conditions in the wake of this pandemic. Decreased healthcare utilization combined with reductions in medication adherence will continue to negatively impact overall health for patients with chronic conditions. This is only the beginning. It is becoming increasingly clear that the pandemic will continue for the foreseeable future, forcing changes across the healthcare system - some of which may be permanent.

The only certainty right now is uncertainty. To navigate this uncertainty, the biopharmaceutical industry needs better measurement of health in everyday life to understand how patients are living with their disease. Evidation can provide rapid access to a large, highly engaged patient population through a direct relationship with nearly 4 million individuals. This access and relationship enables us to develop new measures of health through research, including study design, virtual recruitment, execution, and analysis of new types of real world data. These data and insights will be imperative to inform critical business decisions for the post-pandemic future. Please reach out to discuss ways that we can inform your business strategies with novel data during these uncertain times.