Inaugural Patient Choice Awardsâ„¢ Winners Honored at Asembia

Davy James, Managing Editor

Specialty Pharmacy Times, 2017 Asembia Recap, Volume 8, Issue 4

Collaboration between Specialty Pharmacy Times® and Zitter Health Insights honors exemplary efforts in the health care industry.

As major stakeholders in specialty pharmacy converged on the neon playground of Las Vegas for the annual Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, several of the top-performing organizations were recognized for their efforts in delivering superior care for the patients they serve.

The inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Awards™, presented on May 2, 2017, were created by Zitter Health Insights (ZHI) and Specialty Pharmacy Times® (SPT®) to recognize pharmacies in their efforts to improve the lives of patients. The awards criteria were determined by an external committee comprising representatives of pharmaceutical manufacturers, payers, trade organizations, consultants, and equity research firms.

The Patient Choice Awards™ encompass 2 categories: the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM)/payer award and the non-PBM/payer award, both based on the average net promoter score from quarterly surveys conducted each calendar year.

“These specialty pharmacies have gone above and beyond in raising the bar on what it means to be patient-centric, all while ensuring optimal patient outcomes” said John Dykeman, senior account director for Specialty Pharmacy Times®, during the awards ceremony.

“We recognize these finalists today for their ability to consistently deliver the best services and experiences for patients battling these complex diseases, while improving their overall health and well-being.” ZHI launched its Patient Satisfaction Survey in 2015, the results of which represent the opinions of 80% of specialty pharmacies in the United States.

The survey data are used to create a syndicated, actionable benchmarking report that helps to assess patient satisfaction across multiple therapeutic categories, which, in turn, enables pharmacies to meet accrediting requirements and evaluate their performances against that of their competitors. In addition to the survey, a committee of specialty pharmacy experts provided valuable insights into launching the awards program.

Members of the committee included Matt Carpenter, senior director, Pfizer; Adam Fein, PhD, president, Pembroke Consulting; Jon Hamrick, chief strategy officer, Therigy; and Eric Percher, director, Equity Research, Barclays.

Non-PBM/Payer Specialty Pharmacy Finalists

Amber Enterprises, IncBioPlus Specialty PharmacyCredena Health, LLCSenderra Specialty Pharmacy

Non-PBM/Payer Specialty Pharmacy Winner

PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy

PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy was founded in 2011 by a pharmacy industry veteran and a group of his former students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Among the support services offered by PANTHERx is an adherence program through which pharmacists reach out to patients to help them overcome hurdles to medication compliance and monitor side effects.

Gordon Vanscoy, PharmD, CACP, MBA, chairman and CEO of PANTHERx, said the award contributes to PANTHERx’s ongoing efforts to improve patient outcomes.

“[I’m] somewhat overwhelmed, but somewhat validated, because the amount of work that went into developing this organization, and the people who put [PANTHERx] together whose primary objective was just to make a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “I have the best people in the world working for me, and quite frankly, our patient base, I couldn’t be happier with. It is so rewarding to see the concepts we tried out at PANTHER actually be proven, and this is our validation. It’s incredible. I’m so humbled.”

Vanscoy added that the awards help raise the bar across the specialty landscape and further drive stakeholders to develop new initiatives that improve care for patients.

“I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I kept in touch with the academic side of things and surrounded myself with the best students I ever had. Several of them came back to me and we talked about starting specialty again, and initially I asked, ‘Are you crazy?’ because I had gotten out of that industry a while ago,” Vanscoy said. “But there were new ideas and there was so much energy. To surround yourself with these young, energetic, brilliant, talented individuals and give them some vision, and basically allow them to do their jobs, that’s our secret sauce. That’s the only thing I can say. Because my leadership team, all the way down to every associate in my organization, they are the best that exist.”

PBM/Payer Specialty Pharmacy Finalists

CVS HealthHumana Specialty Pharmacy

PBM/Payer Specialty Pharmacy Winner

US Specialty Care

US Specialty Care, launched more than 10 years ago, provides complex drug therapies via advanced prescription services to help manage chronic conditions for patients in all 50 states. Nick Page, vice president, Specialty and Clinical Operations, said the company has invested significantly to elevate quality from both the customer and clinical service perspective.

“Winning this award is very important to us for many reasons. First and foremost, it validates that the hard work our team puts in every day is realized by our patients, that they appreciate and know we are helping make a difference in their lives,” he said. “Secondarily, we are looking at it as, the investments we are making in the company and the things we are doing are helping make a difference. We want to lead the industry by example. Winning the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Award is one element of that.”

Page noted that US Specialty Care remains dedicated to supporting patients by focusing on improving medication adherence while collecting data that can be leveraged to coordinate care, drive improved outcomes, and reduce health care costs.

“We work really hard to engage our patients so that they want to participate in their health care. Everything from educating our patients on the disease and their drugs, making sure they can afford their drugs, helping them gain access to financial assistance,” Page said, “all of that drives them to be involved with their care, take their medication, and feel comfortable speaking to us because they know we care about them, and makes them more open and honest about what they are experiencing.” 

Assistant editors Lauren Santye and Laurie Toich contributed to this report.