How Pharmacists Can Proactively Help Manage Costs in Cancer Care
Matt Farber, MA, Senior Director of Patient Care and Advocacy at Walgreens, discussed the role of specialty pharmacists in working to manage the cost burden of cancer care.
Matt Farber, MA, Senior Director of Patient Care and Advocacy for Walgreens, discussed the role of specialty pharmacists in working to manage the cost burden of cancer care. In his role, Farber oversees the overall strategy for cancer, fertiltiy, and multiple sclerosis.
Pharmacists can definitely play an active role in helping the overall care delivery team and payers in not only managing quality cancer care but also looking at overall costs. So I think first and foremost is to make sure that they are working actively with the care team, communicating with them actively at all points in care, again there's some new technologies there that can be helpful. We have more and more tools that patients are using. For example, you know, cloud-based health records and apps that allow patients to take their drug lists with them so when a pharmacist asks about potential drug interactions they don't rely on the patient to say, 'Oh, I'm taking XYZ." They can now scan a QR code that will allow them to see what medications a patient has been on or what's on their medical record, and by doing so it's sharing it in compliant ways. And so I think that, by doing that, by being more proactive around things like medication therapy management, drug interactions, those types of things that are commonplace for the pharmacists to do that they do every day. You know, when you start to put it together with everything else it really can start to impact the overall care of the patient. So if we can do that we can hopefully keep them on their therapy longer, healthier hopefully, which again in the long run will probably reduce overall costs if we're able to keep them out of hospital emergency rooms, or from getting unnecessary procedures, or taking drugs that we know would negatively interact with other medications they may be on.