Inpharmation is offering the opportunity for an intern to work on an important project into the effect of cost-sharing by patients on their adherence to their prescription medication.
Payers across the world are entrusted to make decisions on how to best marshal limited resources to provide the best possible health care. Payers often have to make tough decisions on whether to fund a particular treatment or not.
The cost of pharmaceuticals has grown enormously over the past few decades. For example, in the 1980s, the cost of new anti-cancer medications was a few hundred dollars per patient. Today, the cost of targeted cancer meds is in excess of a hundred thousand dollars per patient and the cost of gene-based cancer meds are several hundred thousand dollars per patient.
As a result of the increasing cost of medicines, payers use a number of measures to discourage the use of expensive medications. These include, for example, prior authorization (doctors must get permission to use an expensive medicine in a specific patient) and patient cost shares whereby patients have to pay a proportion of the costs. In the USA, for example, this cost share can be many thousands of dollars.
As expected, these restrictions and disincentives used by the payers impact the use of expensive pharmaceuticals in a number of ways. For example, doctors may be more reluctant to prescribe, and patients may be less inclined to contribute their share of the cost and ask instead for an alternative, cheaper prescription.
This internship is a research project to look at the impact of patient cost shares on adherence to medication. Adherence is a multi-faceted concept and includes non-starts (the patient refuses to start paying for a medicine), patient discontinuation (the patient starts, but does not continue with a medicine), and dose compliance (the patient continues with the medicine, but does not take all the prescribed doses).
The research project will involve reviewing the extensive medical literature on the subject. It may be necessary to supplement this research by commissioning and implementing an online market research survey.
The end result of this important project will be a quantification of the impact of patient cost shares on adherence under different circumstances (for example, for more or less serious diseases) using concepts such as price elasticity.
Your specific contribution to this internship
To remain at the cutting edge of predictive analytics, Inpharmation constantly monitors and investigates the changing healthcare environment and the impact that the prices of pharmaceuticals and other treatment have on the access that patients have to those treatments.
As an Inpharmation intern, you will be working on a project that will help inform the pricing strategy of major pharmaceutical companies. Inpharmation prides itself on its intellectual rigor and evidence-based approach to everything it does. As an intern, we would expect you to do the same.
On this project, you will:
- Identify, analyse and review the clinical studies and medical literature covering the effect of cost-sharing by patients on adherence to medication.
- If there are gaps in the medical literature, you may need to commission and implement a market research survey to fill those gaps.
- Use price elasticities to quantify the effect of patient cost-shares on demand.
- Put together a report of your findings.
- Create a professional PowerPoint presentation of your research and findings.
- Present both to a panel of colleagues and directors of the company.
The team you will be working with
You will be mentored throughout by a Principal Consultant and the Director of Operations. You will be a part of a highly-qualified, highly-experienced team of smart, energetic, highly-motivated and fun colleagues. You will be encouraged to engage with everyone in the company from the Managing Director down.
This internship is right for you if you:
- Are inquisitive, analytical and insightful.
- Enjoy seeking out patterns and making the numbers talk.
- Want to work on a real project where your contribution will be used in future work with major pharmaceutical companies.
- Have an interest in pharmaceuticals and healthcare – both are complex, dynamic and intellectually-rigorous areas to work in.
- Would like to experience working for a small, tightly-run specialist consultancy.
- Are confident with Microsoft programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
If you feel this internship is right for you and you feel you have skills and enthusiam to offer, please send us your CV with a covering letter letting us telling us why.