Coping With ‘Financial Toxicity’

Multiple myeloma, a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, will be diagnosed in an estimated 27,000 Americans this year. Advances in research are expanding treatment options and improving outcomes in multiple myeloma patients, but these new medications often come with a higher price point. The expensive treatments for this disease have triggered alarming developments:…

World Hepatitis Day

One of the key messages of today July 28th, World Hepatitis Day, is simply this: hepatitis C is a preventable and treatable disease. The World Health Organization created World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness about the massive number of people already infected with one of several hepatitis viruses, including the hepatitis C, and how anyone…

Staying With the Patient

Medication adherence issues account for a significant portion of avoidable health care costs each year, through drug waste, treatment failure, and medical complications. Identifying ways to improve adherence ripples out positively throughout the health care system – benefiting the patient, payers, and all other key players. The pharmacy model at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy focuses on…

Biosimilars: Close to the Real Thing

The issue of “biosimilar” medications has been under debate for years. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on the cusp of approving the first biosimilar. In case you don’t know, biosimilars are less expensive versions of already approved biological medications used for cancer, autoimmune, and other diseases. Biologic medications are typically large…

Even Successful Treatment Can Come With Unintended Effects

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy   The relationship between breast cancer and a woman’s wallet is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that women who survive breast cancer treatment are, well, alive. The bad news is that a significant number of these women deal with…

A Special Touch

Brittany Trane knew that she’d really found the right place to work, soon after starting at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy. One of the first patients she interacted with was Craig*, a patient with multiple sclerosis, who had been prescribed a new medication, called Rebif®. Rebif is used in the relapsing form of multiple sclerosis, to decrease…

Patient Adherence Goes Up as Out-of-Pocket Costs Go Down

The sky-rocketing cost of healthcare certainly isn’t breaking news. There is, however, an unfortunate trend related to these rising fees. As costs increasingly shift from payers onto the patients themselves – through greater out-of-pocket costs – finances for some patients hit a threshold which impacts adherence. In other words, some patients are simply getting priced…

Patient Assistance Lends a Hand

Specialty pharmacy continues to see annual increases in terms of U.S. spending on prescriptions for the treatment of complex or chronic diseases. URAC estimates that specialty drugs account for more than $50 billion of U.S. drug expenditures and comprises nearly 20 percent of the total pharmaceutical revenue. Specialty pharmacy is expected to make up approximately…

Expensive Out-of-Pocket Costs: The Latest Treatment Side Effect?

High health care costs leading to financial strain should be considered a side effect of treating a disease for some patients, posits Peter Ubel, M.D., Professor at Duke University, and his colleagues in a provocative new article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Most physicians speak openly with patients about a new chemotherapy medication…

Pharmacists for Patient Safety

Pharmacists are a key component in improving patient safety, according to a new report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This report, called Making Health Care Safer II, serves as a long-awaited update to the first report on this…

Medication Compliance Opportunities, Part 2

In last week’s blog, I discussed a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that reviewed evidence from 68 scientific articles in an effort to determine which interventions are most effective in improving medication adherence.  This report noted that effective interventions include case management education, reminders, pharmacist-led approaches, decision aids, reducing…

You Care Because You Ask

Guest Blog: Kathy Norris, Patient Care Manager at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy  “You care because you ask.” This response came to me from a patient who I had just scheduled for her monthly medication delivery. The medication treated her chronic disease, but unfortunately, the side effects from this medication can be almost as difficult to deal…