2016 Data+ Editors' Choice Awards

Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Patients struggling to get oncology drugs get an assist from data analytics. 

2016 Data+ Editors' Choice Awards

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As it prepared to launch its first oral oncology drug, Takeda Pharmaceuticals wanted to find a way to identify outliers — patients who had difficulty getting the medication they need for one reason or another. The company hoped to use the vast amounts of patient prescription and status data that pharmacies have at their disposal, reasoning that it could help identify people who were actively using its medication, as well as those who were stalled by benefits investigations or whose insurers were putting up barriers.

"The person who's spending 20 days on benefits investigation status is a person who's struggling to get on therapy," says Rebecca Greenberg, director of field services and commercial systems at Takeda.

To set up a system to get the answers, the drugmaker chose LiquidHub as its data aggregator partner and opted to use a data management platform from Liquid Analytics and Tableau Software's analytics tool. The data aggregator could provide access to information about every step in the prescription process, from the day patients receive a prescription and request a referral to the day they no longer take the medication.

The project had its challenges. "Aligning something as simple as a status code across pharmacies can be challenging," says Tom Hannigan, a partner in LiquidHub's life sciences division. "So we did a lot of work with them directly to understand the process and educate them on how important that data is."

The platform launched in November 2015 and is still evolving, but it's helping Takeda identify and assist outliers, says Greenberg. Success, she adds, lies in "finding the small data in a big data stream."

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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