Patient non-adherence to prescribed treatment is an issue that affects patient health outcomes and healthcare system costs worldwide. It is estimated that it contributes to 200 000 premature deaths in the EU each year, and the annual costs of avoidable hospitalisations, emergency care and adult outpatient visits are assessed at EUR 125 billion. Addressing the issues of adherence would significantly improve both individual patient outcomes and reduce societal costs.
Many researchers have approached the topic of adherence but insights have necessarily been limited to specific sub-topics due to the breadth of the field. Unless the underlying problem is well-defined and understood, the probability of developing effective solutions with broad and consistent impact is low.
Consequently, there is a need to generate a more comprehensive theoretical and empirical understanding of the underlying causes of these patient behaviours and any interactions. This topic proposes the creation of a generalised model, grounded in behavioural theory, which integrates significant factors affecting non-adherent behaviour. This would provide a robust definition of the problem – a foundation for understanding and predicting patient behaviour – and guidance to develop and implement cost-effective tools and solutions for patients, healthcare professionals (HCPs) and other healthcare stakeholders, which directly target the causes of non-adherence and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes and reduce health system costs.
Creating the necessary understanding for an effective model will require broad engagement and skills, particularly since we are targeting a disease agnostic model. The perspectives of patients, healthcare providers, academic experts, behavioural scientists, digital and data analytics experts, and regulatory bodies will be essential to maximise the benefits and ensure all sectors of society are well served.
The aims of the Call topic are to:
A behavioural model will be created or selected and refined. In parallel, adherence modules will be added to existing patient studies to fill identified gaps in the data.
While disease-agnostic, the model should be able to increase the prediction power and accuracy when applying additional, disease-specific inputs.
Once developed or refined, the model will be validated for multiple ages (including paediatric), ethnicities and conditions. It is anticipated that this shall be achieved using the following therapeutic areas, dependent on access to patients provided by members of the consortium:
This list is not exhaustive. Where opportunities arise to validate in other additional therapeutic areas, these should be explored.
In their proposals, applicants should describe how the outputs of the project will contribute to the following impacts and include wherever possible baselines, targets and metrics to measure impact:
In their proposals, applicants should outline how the project plans to leverage the public-private partnership model to maximise impact on innovation, research & development, as well as regulatory, clinical and healthcare practices, where relevant. This could include a strategy for engagement with patients, healthcare professional associations, healthcare providers, regulators, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies, payers etc., where relevant.
In addition, applicants should describe how the project will impact the competitiveness and growth of companies including SMEs.
In their proposals, applicants should outline how the project will:
It is expected that the model, guidance and any development tools will be made available through an open source process to achieve the aims of maximising the number of patients receiving support.