Expert: Now Is the Time for Pharmacists to Learn ‘What’s Going on With Precision Medicine’

Amy Ware, director, specialty clinical solutions at Magellan Health, discusses what it means to be future focused as a pharmacist in the specialty pharmacy field.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Amy Ware, director, specialty clinical solutions at Magellan Health, on her presentation at Asembia Summit 2022 titled Future Focused: Trends, Pipeline, and Oncology Highlights.

Question: What does it mean to be future focused as a pharmacist?

Amy Ware: Of course, pharmacists have to take care of present issues, but they also need to focus on the future to not only be prepared for what's right around the corner, but also what is further down the road. We have to keep up with what's in the pipeline to be prepared for potential management strategies. So being future focused is key.

Question: What are some effective management strategies for oncology therapy drugs pharmacists could implement?

Well, oncology is at the forefront of precision medicine. So pharmacists need to understand issues that currently exist with precision medicine. Seventy-three percent of the pipeline are for drugs that require biomarker testing, and so pharmacists need to understand that some patients are being over tested, and then other patients are being under tested. Pharmacists also need to understand that some oncologists are having trouble keeping up with which targeted therapies match with which biomarkers.

For all these reasons and more, it was very important for Magellan to implement and develop a precision medicine oncology solution. So, in partnership with Trapelo, we're working with health plans to create and maintain a policy-driven, evidence-based biomarker testing program.

We are also connecting the results of the biomarker testing with drug selection. So we're removing some of that burden of prior authorization with quick path authorizations, and that includes streamlining value based best practices. So if you don't already know what's going on with precision medicine, now is the time because it's something that's not going away.