Expert: In Addition to Convenience, Home Infusion Empowers Patients

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In addition to offering convenience and ease of access, Sullivan said allowing patients to receive care at home empowers them and improves quality of life.

In an interview with Pharmacy Times at the 2023 Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, Connie Sullivan, president and CEO of the National Home Infusion Society, discussed the benefits of home infusions for patients. In addition to offering convenience and ease of access, Sullivan said allowing patients to receive care at home empowers them and improves quality of life.

Q: How can home infusion administration improve access for patients?

Connie Sullivan: So, thanks for the question. You know, we tend to think about health systems and physicians’ offices as places where people receive their health care, but the home also can be a health care setting. And so for patients that have transportation challenges or live in rural areas and just don't have easy access to a health care facility, or if the medication they need is really frequently administered, it's just very inconvenient to have to disrupt your life and your work and your school, to go into a facility to get an infusion every day or every week, or however often it might be. So, it really allows patients to kind of integrate their care into their life versus the other way around. So, it's some convenience, but also for a lot of patients that really is life-changing to have that access.

Q: What are the benefits of home infusion for patients?

Connie Sullivan: There's actually a lot of really good studies that have looked at some of the additional benefits of having home-based care. In fact, there's a recent one out of Germany for patients that have diseases that require enzyme replacement therapy, and in addition to maybe a convenience factor, their patients also expressed that they have more control over their disease, they feel more empowered. And I think those of us that have worked in this industry, you do see that power shift. When you go to a patient's home, you're in their space, and you do things their way and at their pace. And so it's definitely a very empowering way to receive your health care. There are also other benefits, like, you know, they feel like they sleep better, they have less depression, versus staying in a facility, for example, to get an IV antibiotic over a long couple of weeks or months period of time.

Q: Are there specific disease states or treatments that are more optimized for the home infusion environment?

Connie Sullivan: I wouldn't say it's by disease state as much as it is about the therapy itself. And honestly, when home infusion first started, it was very narrow in terms of the number of therapies that were provided. But today, we do everything from IV antibiotics to advanced biologic therapies, to chemotherapy. So, it's really about us understanding that particular drug, its safety profile, but also the patient's environment and their support system and just understanding what is the best site of care for this particular patient who needs this particular drug.

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