Understanding and Exploring the Practice of Specialty Pharmacy - Episode 14

Episode 14: Strategies to Mitigate Side Effects and Management of Comorbidities

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 how stakeholder collaboration can lead to effective side effect management, as well as a full-service specialty pharmacy approach that handles oral oncolytics and medications for comorbid conditions.

When it comes to managing the side effects of oncology medications, stakeholder collaboration is key, according to Allen. She noted that if specialty pharmacies work closely with providers, dose reductions can be managed seamlessly. Karalis added that this collaboration is also important with respect to dose titration of oral oncolytic agents, which can help prevent side effects from occurring. In addition, instead of simply auto-filling prescriptions, having a conversation with the patient first could potentially uncover under- or overutilization, which should prompt a discussion with the patient, Allen said.

If a specialty pharmacy chooses to handle not only the patient’s oral oncolytics, but also all of the medications the patient has been prescribed for comorbid conditions, the specialty pharmacy can monitor adherence to all of the patient’s treatments at once, Karalis noted. According to Allen, some manufacturers are even requesting this kind of full-service attention to comorbidities. Tancredi added that certain comorbidities, such as depression or fatigue, could impact medication adherence, so these conditions need to be identified.

*The views expressed are those of the individual alone and not of Managed Health Care Associates, Inc.