Reinforcing medication adherence with affordability
Even if hospitals and physicians do everything right, treatments falter when patients don’t take the prescribed medications. Inability to afford medications is the major reason for non-adherence. Many patients don’t take advantage of prescription discounts just because they don’t know about them.
“Billions of dollars in coupons and vouchers from pharmaceutical manufacturers go unused because physicians and patients simply lack knowledge of and access to these offerings.” says William J. Febbo, the CEO of OptimizeRx.
This is where OptimizeRx® comes in. OptimizeRx’s platform integrates into EHRs and automatically provides prescription copay information at the point-of-prescribe, thus allowing providers and patients access to available discounts when it matters most.
The OptimizeRx platform extends beyond the point-of-care. Its patient engagement module further improves the likelihood of treatment plan follow-through. Despite a complex healthcare ecosystem, the platform enhances connections between pharma, providers, patients, and payers.
Febbo founded with his physician brother a pharmaceutical-based market research company where he learned a lot about bringing together industry and medical professionals. He sold the company in 2006, bought it back in 2009 and sold it again in 2015. This exposed him to public markets, raising capital and the health technology solutions with medical and pharma stakeholders. The diverse exposure helped him learn to manage growth as well as expectations – ultimately leading to his role at OptimizeRx, an early stage public company.
Febbo was not an OptimizeRx founder, but the company has witnessed incredible growth since he joined. Three years ago, OptimizeRx was a software company with 10 employees and three interns. Since then, valuation has gone from a low of $27M to $230M, from no analyst coverage to 4 analysts, and from OTC to Nasdaq. Febbo’s passion to connect the pharma industry with medical professionals drove the team to transform an existing software company into a health-tech enterprise that improves care, adherence, and affordability, which now impacts tens of millions of patients.
I’ve learned as a leader, you cannot control timing, so it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people. It’s not about me being the smartest person in the room -it’s about working with others who know the industry inside and out.
Do Big Things
Despite rapid changes in the digital health landscape, the industry continues to lag behind and costs continue to rise. Healthcare providers are expected to offer better care while experiencing a shift to electronic systems – often spending 5-6 hours a day within the EHR. The vision to incorporate the financial and formulary information providers may need within their EHR seemed impossible. Despite regulations and innovations in the last decade, disparate systems continue to lack significant connectivity. OptimizeRx’s platform and underlying network of EHRs continues to grow and evolve to find more ways to engage patients and providers across the care continuum without expanding the efforts of the physician.
According to Febbo, to solve a significant problem like this you have to be open to experimenting and willing to risk some efficacy. Innovation and risk are the two sides of the same coin. You have to focus on your end goal without being distracted by naysayers and take criticism positively. “Do not yield to those in the industry who say, “It can’t happen.” Use it to push you and keep going full speed”, he suggests.
“It is OK to look at “microfails” and perhaps consider what each misstep can teach us about the next risk we’re willing to take. That said, if you fail to fail, you can’t succeed. So, it’s also OK to aim high!”, advises Febbo.
We couldn’t agree more because revolutionary changes don’t happen overnight. A willingness to experiment and the wisdom to learn from mistakes are keys to success. After all, what got you here won’t ever get you there.
Advice for the Booming Entrepreneurs
Febbo encourages budding entrepreneurs to take risks. He also advises them to focus on making an actual impact rather than just focusing on the numbers.
“I’d remind those early on in their careers to always see the bottom line—not necessarily the bottom-line from a numbers-perspective, but on doing work that will actually have an impact.”