Ray Tancredi, RPh, MBA, CSP, vice president of specialty pharmacy development at Walgreens; Cheryl Allen, BS Pharm, MBA, vice president of business development and industry relations for Diplomat Pharmacy; Nicholas Karalis, RPh, of Elwyn Pharmacy Group; Stacey Ness, PharmD, RPh, CSP, MSCS, AAHIVP, director of specialty clinical services for Managed Healthcare Associates*; and Renee Rayburg, RPh, senior director of clinical consulting at Artemetrx, discuss the challenges in reducing hepatitis C to a rare disease and unmet patient needs in both hepatitis C and oncology.
While the eradication of hepatitis C is a laudable goal, Ness said that achieving this would be difficult due to millions of patients who remain undiagnosed, which raises the need of improved screening methods. Karalis noted that importance of vaccination, stating that patients receiving treatment at specialty pharmacies need to have received immunization for hepatitis A and B to mitigate the spread of the disease while their being cured.
From the perspective of specialty pharmacies, Allen indicated that unmet patient needs persist within the channel that require support programs, including copay assistance, funding assistance, and compliance support. In terms of providing support for unmet needs in the oncology space, Karalis said taking care of the whole patient, including the proper management of comorbidities, is vital to the success of a therapy. Ness added that outcomes data, including progression free survival and overall survival, reported in a useable manner to make value decisions is a pressing unmet need in the oncology space.
*The views expressed are those of the individual alone and not of Managed Health Care Associates, Inc.