Specialty Meds Require Specialized Care

Jun 11, 2019

Through its one-of-a-kind Therapeutic Resource CentersSM, Accredo provides individualized care for complex and rare conditions. This care, combined with cost-savings solutions, make Accredo the best choice for specialty pharmacy.

home delivery headerPatients with complex conditions require specialized care, which may include care from a home infusion nurse, like Daniel. This specialized care comes from a specialty pharmacy.

Specialty pharmacies are distinct from traditional pharmacies because they coordinate many aspects of patient care to more effectively manage treatment, side effects and interactions with other therapies.

Medications dispensed by specialty pharmacies often require special storage, handling and packaging prior to dispensing. These products are usually significantly more expensive than conventional medications and require additional controls to assure that patients take them appropriately.

Specialty Pharmacies Provide Better Patient Care

At Accredo, our 15 condition-specific Therapeutic Resource Centers (TRC) allow us to deliver a level of expertise and individualized care that is unmatched in the market.

Our clinical model, centered around the TRCs, allows us to provide patients with the additional resources they need to manage their condition, including: 

  • Access to 500 specialty pharmacists on the phone and through video

  • 550 field-based infusion nurses who meet patients face-to-face – at home, work, or school – to administer specialty medications for some of the most complex disease states, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and immune disorders.

  • Nutrition counseling and social worker support

  • Therapy management programs to protect patient health and safety

  • Complete coordination of care between the medical benefit, pharmacy benefit and physicians

This unique combination of clinical specialization and personalized engagement helps patients make decisions that improve adherence, optimize health outcomes and reduce costs.

Therapies for the Most Complex Patients

Specialty pharmacies like Accredo have become exponentially important as the prevalence and cost of specialty drugs have increased dramatically in recent years and are expected to continue.

Specialty medications managed through the pharmacy benefit account for 41% of plans’ total pharmacy spend. It’s important for plans to understand the pipeline of specialty medications and create a strategy to manage these new, costly therapies, including reducing the burden on patients with rare diseases.

Within the specialty pipeline, orphan drugs make up 45% of those in development. In 2018, of the 59 new drug approvals by the FDA, 34 are orphan drugs.

The model of specialty pharmacies results in better health and financial outcomes to benefit payers, physicians, drug manufacturers and – most importantly – patients.

Improving Access to Specialty Medications

As more expensive drugs come to market, the cost of specialty medications is unsustainable for payers. Utilization management strategies like formulary tiers and medical benefit management are often economic necessities due to the high price tag pharmaceutical manufacturers often put on new drugs.

Cutting-edge drug trend management tools are designed to keep drug spend in check. This gives payers the stability to plan for the future and avoid trend surprises.

Accredo also offers financial assistance programs to patients. These programs may be funded by manufacturers or offered through foundations or other organizations, cost nothing to payers, and do not affect the drug price charged to patients who do not qualify for the program. These programs can provide a critical safety net for patients in need.

In 2018, we secured $625 million of financial assistance for specialty patients.

Partnering with the Healthcare Team

A physician’s time is best served caring for patients. Specialty pharmacists and nurses play an integral role within each patient’s broader health care team. Their specialized disease and drug knowledge combined with visibility into a patient’s complete medication profile allows us to proactively identify issues patients may be facing and actively intervene in the case of adverse events or omission of therapy.

This level of knowledge and specialization means we are validating and optimizing every order.

Why Specialty Care Matters

If you are diagnosed with cancer, would you rather go to an oncologist or general practitioner? For the same reason, a highly trained oncology specialist pharmacist has a better understanding to get the most out of your cancer treatment.

A holistic care model offers plan sponsors and patients a clear choice for specialty care. Ensuring the best possible health outcomes for complex patients at prices that plan sponsors can afford is the true value of specialty pharmacy generally and Accredo specifically.

Author Bio

Lab Staff
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