Pete Lalli on Sanofi Patient Connection
Peter Lalli shares his pride in the Sanofi Patient Connection program from Sanofi North America. As Interim Head of Corporate Social Responsibility North America, he has seen first-hand the positive impact of the program, now celebrating its fifth anniversary having assisted over one million patients!
It’s a special feeling, knowing you’re part of making a difference in the health of people every day.
The Sanofi Patient Connection program is a signature Corporate Social Responsibility initiative for us in Sanofi North America. Our mission is to improve patient access to 23 Sanofi products and treatments in our Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Oncology, Vaccines and Established Medicines portfolios. I couldn’t be more proud of our ongoing commitment to understand and resolve issues for those who need assistance in obtaining access to medications or treatments they’ve been prescribed.
Who do we help? Well, some people don’t have healthcare insurance at all. Others have insurance, but with “gaps” that don’t cover the products or treatments they really require. Still others are insured but don’t know how to navigate the required bureaucratic maze.
Sanofi Patient Connection was created to provide support and guidance in all of these areas. We’re excited to be celebrating Year #5 and over a million lives affected.
There are three core components of the program. First is our “Reimbursement Connection,” which helps patients determine the prescription coverage and options already available in their insurance. We can help with patient-specific insurance verification services by providing clarity around the requirements for prior authorization, or decoding complex reimbursement questions that can baffle a patient.
Next, “Patient Assistance Connection” provides free medication to patients who have no insurance coverage for prescriptions, or who lack insurance access to the specific medication they need. We offer this benefit through the Sanofi Foundation for North America.
Meanwhile, counselors on our “Resource Connection” team help patients find specific resources they need near home – like free or discounted transportation, nutritional supplements or meal programs, home care services and so on.
Several things, I believe, make Sanofi Patient Connection unique. First is the breadth of our access services. For us, it’s not just about offering free products. We go broader than that, treating each patient as an individual and taking a holistic view of his or her needs. Through the SPC Education Center, we work with people with no insurance at all, for example – determining if they could qualify for Medicaid or Medicare and in other cases counseling patients on the Health Insurance Exchanges. We’re happy to provide our products to eligible patients at no cost who have no other options, but if we can help them get insurance, they’ll actually receive much more – like preventative care, wellness visits and screenings. Last year alone, we helped transition more than 15,000 patients to an insurance program.
Another effective difference with our program is that it’s set up to work across therapeutic areas. So if you’re a diabetic who is battling cancer, you can complete just one application for both your diabetes and your oncology products. This approach alone can mean a lot to the 15 - 20 percent of our supported patients each year – people who simply need more than one Sanofi product.
A third distinction I see in our program is our willingness to go above and beyond to help patients. Case in point – a recent patient living in the Midwest couldn’t afford to pay the hefty penalty she faced for not signing up for Medicare when she turned 65. We worked long and hard with her state agencies and were ultimately able to have the penalties addressed and have her enrolled in Medicare.
For these various reasons and more, I’m proud to be working for Sanofi US, and I’m thankful for the strong support from senior leadership. We’ve evolved our program over the years, but I can honestly say that every decision we’ve made has been first and foremost based on ensuring patient access and affordability. One million patients we’ve helped. That’s one million reasons that help make my job so rewarding.
One last thought. The aftermath of Harvey has been incredibly difficult and we want our Sanofi Patient Connection participants to know we’re ready to assist them. Program patients within Texas and the Gulf Coast who have had their medicines lost or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Harvey should call 888.847.4877 to receive priority assistance in arranging product replenishment.