Home Insights Cell and gene therapy success: Overcoming patient and provider apprehension

Cell and gene therapy success: Overcoming patient and provider apprehension

Cell and gene therapies are a scientific breakthrough in treatment, offering potentially curative and regenerative treatments for a wide range of diseases, from cancers to genetic disorders. 

Cell therapies have the potential to restore or alter specific sets of a patient’s cells, or use these cells as a delivery mechanism for therapy throughout the body. Similarly, gene therapies aim to treat diseases by replacing, inactivating, or introducing genes into cells, either in-vivo or ex-vivo.

However, as promising as these treatments are, patients who have spent months, if not years undergoing another type of treatment, may feel daunted at the thought of changing their existing regimen. 

Patients and healthcare providers alike may be hesitant about cell and gene therapies. This apprehension may stem from a lack of understanding or knowledge about how these therapies work, as well as concerns about their safety and effectiveness.

This means that pharmaceutical companies bear a responsibility for ensuring that patients and healthcare providers are educated and supported with these treatments to put their minds at ease and increase take up. 


Challenges pharma must address

There is a wide range of complexities bringing CGTs to market that pharmaceutical companies must contend with. These challenges include: 

  • Patient misunderstanding: The complexity, cost and therapeutic approach of manipulating the expression genes is often a route cause of concern for patients. Additional cultural beliefs and public misconceptions of the CGTs may fuel patient fears about treatment which must be addressed.
  • Trial designs: Small patient populations, higher mortality rates and a lack of disease state understanding are key barriers to accessing and recruiting patients and setting clinical endpoints for CGT trials.
  • Healthcare provider apprehension: The distribution challenges, training and administration complexities, pricing and reimbursement challenges, as well as administration site accreditation hurdles and lack of CGT information available, are all key points of apprehension for healthcare providers. 
  • Limitations on payers and insurers: While aware of the potential of CGTs, payers and insurers are limited by their ability to act as a result of lacking infrastructure and systems to implement them on a wider scale.


Strengthening communication strategies

To overcome the challenges faced in the development and commercialization of CGTs, expert advisory support is essential. By utilizing communication strategies that focus on patient mapping and payer insight generation, pharmaceutical companies can help to solve the financial and social burden of CGTs. 

Additionally, conducting HCP treatment choice studies and patient service program benchmarking assessments during the early stages of CGT development can help inform a comprehensive and effective long-term go-to-market strategy.


Learn more about the challenges and pitfalls of cell and gene therapies and how pharma companies can start overcoming them with the right communications strategies in place in our piece with Pharmaceutical Commerce: https://www.pharmaceuticalcommerce.com/view/cell-and-gene-therapy-success-overcoming-patient-and-provider-apprehension