Ray Tancredi, RPh, MBA, CSP, vice president of specialty pharmacy development at Walgreens; Cheryl Allen, BS Pharm, MBA, vice president of business development and industry relations for Diplomat Pharmacy; Nicholas Karalis, RPh, of Elwyn Pharmacy Group; Stacey Ness, PharmD, RPh, CSP, MSCS, AAHIVP, director of specialty clinical services for Managed Healthcare Associates*; and Renee Rayburg, RPh, senior director of clinical consulting at Artemetrx, discuss the value that specialty pharmacies can bring to the field of oncology.
Of all of the drugs that have been approved in the past 2 years, 22 of them have been for oncology. In the past, many oncology medications were infused in the provider’s office, but now that so many novel oncology drugs are oral, the touch point has shifted from the provider to the specialty pharmacy, according to Allen. The panelists agreed that specialty pharmacies can provide value in the oncology space by utilizing proactive side effect mitigation strategies, such as side effect management kits and tip cards that patients and providers can refer to. Specialty pharmacies can function as a liaison to coordinate communication between the patient and the provider, Ness said.
As more of these new oncology drugs are approved, Allen noted, the benefit investigation conducted by the specialty pharmacy will have a great impact on the patient experience. Rayberg said that providers and patients are excited by the new drugs and new mechanisms of action, but payors have the burden of understanding all of the new options and combinations while keeping use on label when possible.
*The views expressed are those of the individual alone and not of Managed Health Care Associates, Inc.