Specialty Pharmacists Employ Patient-First Strategy to Optimize Patient Journey and Outcomes

Optime Care’s specialty pharmacists serve as a critical part of effective care management.
· 10 min read

Optime Care’s specialty pharmacists serve as a critical part of effective care management for orphan and rare disease patients. They have thorough training and expertise with high cost, high touch therapies for patients with chronic, complex diseases. By employing a patient-first approach, they are able to cultivate a deeper relationship with patients.

Experienced Optime Care pharmacists provide educational information, impactful care insights and a higher level of support for patients in managing their specialty condition, every step of the way. Patient-first strategies optimize the therapeutic value of specialty drugs by ensuring prescription accuracy, compliance, persistency and adherence to treatment.

From initial enrollment and across the entire patient journey, specialty pharmacists work directly with the patient to provide medication counseling, education and side effects management upon individual patient needs and specific therapies. Optime Care’s dedicated patient care coordinators create individualized care plans for patients by gathering specific labs and indicators related to patient behavior, gauging the person’s level of motivation and identifying adherence issues that may arise as well as taking into consideration each patient’s preferred communication channels.

Addressing Challenges Together

Challenges for specialty patients and their families include lack of access to disease-specific, specialized medical expertise, difficulty getting a diagnosis and barriers to attaining high-cost targeted medications, including gene/cell therapies.

Significantly, the cost for one specialty medication used on a chronic basis is three times the average annual income for Medicare patients, placing prescription medications out of reach for many older adults or forcing them to choose between the medicines they need or buying groceries or paying rent.

For example, a young patient with a rare condition had started a new medication and was concerned about the unfamiliar side effects. The specialty pharmacist spent 40 minutes listening to all of her concerns and answering all of her questions, rather than simply listing the medication’s usual talking points.

Together they developed a plan involving the patient, pharmacist and physician discussing the new medication in more depth and getting a second opinion. By the end of this process, the patient felt more comfortable with the new medication and was able to remain compliant.

This type of positive experience is far more impactful than what patients may experience with a retail chain pharmacy placing more importance on daily quotas rather than building robust relationships with vulnerable patients to improve health outcomes.

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