A Patient’s Story: The Other Side of Specialty Pharmacy

As a specialty pharmacy, you have a lot on your plate. Corporate operations, benefits investigation and prior authorization paperwork, medication dispensing, and payer and drug manufacturer contracts play a major part in reaching the greater goal: to ensure the best possible therapy outcomes for each patient.

Apart from the typical challenges of a hard-won career, specialty pharmacy providers offer the important service of supporting individuals who may be living through some of the lowest points of their lives. A diagnosis can be earth-shattering, and for many, their caregivers and medical professionals are the primary source of guidance and reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

Anna’s Diagnosis

Anna McLeod* was just 26 years old when she received her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. She was a stay-at-home mother to her six-month-old son Spencer. Her husband Dustin worked as a financial advisor, earning a $50,000 per year salary that supported the family of three. Dustin’s job came with a meager health insurance plan that covered basic care for Anna and Spencer.

When Anna received her diagnosis, she imagined how complicated and expensive her treatment would be. She broke into tears at the thought of trying to raise her son as her health deteriorated. Her dreams of the future became clouded with visions of chronic pain and the white walls of the doctor’s office, which she envisioned as her new home.A Patient’s Story blog_therigy-02

Anna felt that her life was over.

A Pharmacist’s Commitment

Anna’s clinician took a deep breath. We’ve got this. “Anna, we’ll work on getting your medication covered. Your pharmacist Olivia provides MS therapy all day, every day, and she’ll explain every detail of your treatment and what to expect. We’ll be here at 2 a.m. if you need us. We’ll make sure that you’ve got the best possible treatment.”

For specialty pharmacy providers, this is life. These unsung heroes go to work every day knowing that they’re often the last thread of hope for those whose lives have been devastated by chronic conditions. They provide a first line of support, often interacting with patients and their families on a first-name basis. They essentially are family.

A Life that Isn’t Over

Olivia immediately began to educate Anna on her condition, her medication and therapy regimen, and how the two would affect her daily life. She equipped Anna with the knowledge she needed to take responsibility and accountability for her treatment plan.

A Patient’s Story blog_therigy-03As Anna entered the treatment process, Olivia’s specialty therapy management platform guided her to follow best practices to achieve clinical efficacy and safety. Treatment was based on a standardized care plan to assure that each patient – like Anna – received the same level of care throughout their journey. For each patient’s nuance, these assessments were configured to cater to the patient’s unique condition and progress steadily through the care plan.

Anna’s care plan was systematized so that her clinical care was integrated between visits to various offices, hospital system clinicians, and specialists. Communication with her insurance company and other third-party stakeholders was handled proactively to ensure that Anna always had timely access to the dynamic and time-sensitive components of her therapy.

As she continued to receive education and support, Anna learned that she was in the hands of a holistic, interdisciplinary team that was completely dedicated to her, Dustin, and Spencer – a team that really did pick up the phone at 2 a.m. when she needed it. She had the tools and resources to regain the feeling of control that was shattered the day she got her diagnosis.

The Tools that Specialty Therapy Providers Need

Anna’s story isn’t unique. Each day, millions of patients struggle with debilitating chronic conditions like MS, cancer, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV. Specialty pharmacists are responsible for assessing patients, interpreting clinical data and optimizing therapy to ensure appropriateness and safety of medication use, and to help manage adherence and persistency.

For pharmacies, deploying a specialty therapy management platform is critical to making sure every patient receives the same high standard of care and to ensure that best practices and clinical guidelines are implemented into care plans. By automating and standardizing patient management with pre-configured evidence-based care plans, specialty pharmacies can meet accreditation requirements and spend their time on what matters most—ensuring that each patient experiences the best possible outcome.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning how TherigySTM can help your specialty pharmacy automate, standardize and scale your patient management programs.

*To maintain patient privacy, names and details have been changed.