The importance of a patient-first mindset in specialty pharmacy

Perspective: Connected care | Capability: Pharmacy | By: Carelon

The use of specialty medications is on the rise. How can healthcare leaders ensure patients with complex and chronic conditions get the support they need to better manage their conditions and medications? In this article, we explore the rapidly changing landscape of specialty pharmacy and the need for having a patient-first mindset to drive affordability, accessibility, and foster collaboration within the healthcare ecosystem.


What does the specialty pharmacy landscape look like today?


Specialty medications are on the rise, and we don't see that trend slowing. Patients with complex and chronic conditions — such as cancer, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS) — need these medications to manage their conditions. And yet, less than 3% of specialty pharmacy prescriptions account for around 60% of total drug spending  in the United States. That's up 28% from a decade ago.

Great advancements are being made in drug discovery and development, too. Specialty medications are expanding to cover a range of complex conditions and disease states, including autoimmune disease, dermatological conditions, and rare diseases, among others . That means more biosimilars for those drugs and conditions will be coming to market over the next five to 10 years to help keep specialty medications affordable.

It's a rapidly changing landscape, and an expensive one, so those living with complex illnesses need the support of healthcare leaders.

How can specialty pharmacies better support patients and their care providers?

As healthcare leaders, we can improve the health of our communities and support patients who rely on specialty medications by adapting a patient-first mindset across our operations and in our daily roles. That might be through identifying the best treatment options, providing greater access to therapies, helping to keep therapy costs low, ensuring coverage of medications, connecting them to additional community resources, or directly administering treatments.

Within CarelonRx, we have BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy, and we pride ourselves on the differentiated level of service that BioPlus offers to providers. For example, we guarantee providers will be notified within Two hours if BioPlus or an alternative specialty pharmacy can fill a prescription, which helps lift some of that administrative burden off physicians.

We've also made great investments in our analytics, our digital capabilities, and the ability to engage consumers in a more simplified and seamless way, born out of a whole-health approach. That means if a patient can't physically leave their home to get a prescription, we can deliver it to them. If they have transportation needs, we can accommodate that. Or, they can chat with a pharmacist 24/7. All this is built upon that crucial patient-first mindset.

CarelonRx is proud to deliver on all these specialty pharmacy needs and provide greater affordability, access, and positive outcomes to the patients who need us most.


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