Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute Defines Optimal Performance Metrics for Pharmacies Dispensing Oral Oncology Medications
An in-depth article authored by Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC (FCS) pharmacy experts published in the American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) issues a call to action for the development of improved metrics to help lower costs and better assess the performance of pharmacies that dispense oral oncolytic medications. Entitled, “Defining Appropriate Quality Performance Metrics for Pharmacies Dispensing Oral Oncology Therapies,” the authors detail proven, predictive markers for successfully managing the care of cancer patients prescribed these specialty drugs.
Oral oncolytics today play a major role in the treatment of patients with many types of cancers, offering clinical benefits and patient conveniences as compared to intravenously administered medications. These novel therapies are playing a key role in converting an increasing number of cancers into chronic diseases, allowing patients to live longer with proper management.
To fully benefit from the long-term use of these expensive therapies, a high level of support from pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other oncology specialists is required.
FCS Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Services for Rx To Go Ray Bailey, BPharm, RPh, said, “With our proven, multi-faceted approach, we help patients gain access to therapies, ensure timely delivery, provide one-on-one education, stay in constant communication to ensure medication compliance, and efficiently reduce patient and payer costs.”
“Data from our implementation of quality performance scorecards, workflow strategies and patient and provider satisfaction surveys demonstrate the value of our approach,” said Natasha Khrystolubova, RPh, BPharm, BCOP, FCS Director of Pharmacy Clinical Services for Rx To Go.
However, due to the outdated practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), Medicare patients, in particular, frequently experience roadblocks to accessing medications as well as increasing out-of-pocket costs that speed their entry into coverage gaps. Additionally, specialty pharmacy providers are not receiving adequate reimbursement.
The authors state, “More discussion and collaboration among all stakeholders are needed to develop a set of metrics applicable to in-house and other specialty pharmacies that dispense oral oncolytics.”
“Medically integrated oncology pharmacies such as FCS’ in-house specialty pharmacy, Rx To Go, provide the expertise and patient-centered support that is essential for attaining optimal outcomes,” said FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan H. Walcker. “The predictive markers for success that we have identified through our leadership role in value-based oncology care can serve to efficiently reduce patient and provider costs and positively impact cancer care outcomes.”
Lucio Gordan, MD, FCS Chief Medical Officer of Therapeutics & Analytics, said, “We call on pharmacy benefit managers, plan sponsors and the Pharmacy Quality Alliance to work with the broader oncology specialty pharmacy community to develop specific performance measures structured to reward, not-penalize, high-performing pharmacies.”
The article, prepared with funding assistance from the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), was co-authored by the following from FCS: Lucio Gordan, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Therapeutics & Analytics, Ray Bailey, BPharm, RPh, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Services, Natasha Khrystolubova, RPh, BPharm, BCOP, Director of Pharmacy Clinical Services, Roger Orr, PharmD, BCOP, Associate Director, Pharmacy Clinical Services and Trista Auger, RPhT, CPhT, Health Outcomes Assistant.