Atta Chowdhry, RPh, and Lisa Schrade, PharmD, discuss best practices in coordinating specialty pharmacy services between payers and prescribers to ensure timely access to critical hemophilia treatments.
Jonathan Ogurchak, PharmD, CSP: Dr Chowdhry, what are some best practices that you've seen as it relates to helping to coordinate specialty pharmacy between payer and prescriber?
Atta Chowdhry, RPh: The biggest thing in hemophilia which sets it apart from the rest of the disease states, a lot of the other chronic diseases, is the urgency of the product availability to the patient. That's [what] I think is the biggest part. My first thing for the patients is I encourage all my patients to go see a physician at the Hemophilia Treatment Center because those physicians are very well versed and those treatment centers are the wealth of knowledge for any kind of thing, even from going to the dentist for cleaning to getting your wisdom tooth pulled out. Any kind of thing at that point. Treatment centers have knowledge they can share with the patient, a lot of times that the physician in the community or a regular hematologist, even with the cancer center or something in a small town, that's not there. I think that's the biggest thing that whenever you have a patient and specialty pharmacy, we encourage them to go at least once a year to an appointment with the Hemophilia Treatment Center.
Second thing is that whenever we get a prescription, we have found the treatment center physician to be very receptive because they understand the urgency of getting their product to the patient and they will act on that prior authorization an hour or 2 if not within the same day. And that's another thing that as a specialty pharmacist you have to make sure you communicate to the insurance company so they understand that they don't have 72 hours and sometimes 10 days to respond because if you look on most of the insurances, they say they have 14 days to get back to you on the prior authorization and that can be a big game changer for a patient.
Jonathan Ogurchak, PharmD, CSP: Dr Schrade, you mentioned, too, after that whole payer step, hopefully you're following that happy path and everything's approved. You mentioned about affordability and things that specialty pharmacists can do in terms of medication assistance. Can we talk a little bit more about that? Like what are some of the things that the specialty pharmacy and their team can do to help to benefit patients with hemophilia A?
Lisa Schrade, PharmD: Well, it's really important for us on the specialty pharmacy side to be well versed about payer programs and then additional assistance programs that are offered to the patients because a lot of them, they aren't aware. They might know about copay assistance to the manufacturers just because they contact the manufacturer initially and get enrolled in their patient assistance programs, but they might not know about those extended benefits like foundational assistance and grants. We will inform them what's available to them, what's offered. We do encourage them too to get active with the hemophilia community as well because sometimes there are dedicated programs that are state specific that we not maybe aware of. Just to try to encourage that line of communication with the entire community because it takes a village. It's not just the doctor, the pharmacy, collaborating care for the patient but also engaging other families that are going through or have gone through and know best practices about how to facilitate funding or additional assistance for the patients and their families. And it even goes beyond just funding for their medication. It might be other programs to assist with food insecurities or mental stability counseling programs. It's kind of all -encompassing just to make sure that the families know that there's a lot of support out there and just know that there's multiple resources to access to get this kind of assistance.
This transcript was AI-generated and reviewed by a Pharmacy Times editor.