Rely on Pharmacists

Have you heard about the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)? This new law will go into effect in 2019, changing the way reimbursement works for many physician offices. In short: to receive reimbursement from Medicare, offices will have to either: Use an alternative payment model (such as the patient-centered medical home) Or…

Making Decisions Together: Bringing Patients Into the Conversation

It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease the patient has. — William Osler, M.D., 1913 Understanding the patient being treating can sometimes make more difference to treatment outcomes than knowing which disease is being treated. This nugget of wisdom, noted above…

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…

Hepatitis C Blues

Hepatitis C and depression tend to go hand-in-hand. For starters, there is the psychological impact of being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. But with hepatitis C, the situation gets trickier. Certain medications used in the treatment of hepatitis C – which are needed to clear the virus and avoid cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death –…

Blood Pressure-Alzheimer’s Connection

Every 68 seconds an American develops Alzheimer’s disease, so chances are that you already know someone battling this terrible disease. In all, there are an estimated 5.2 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today there are new tantalizing clues that controlling blood pressure could play a role in keeping Alzheimer’s at bay. A cure…

Facing the Next Disaster with Better Technology

As Hurricane Sandy made landfall, many hospitals throughout the region faced the difficult decision of whether to care in place for their patients after their generators failed or evacuate patients to other locations. Likewise, some individual households with chronically ill family members faced the same dilemma. The successful evacuation of the 700 patients from Bellevue…

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…

Voting for Better Medication Adherence

As politicians ramp up efforts for greater voter turnout in next month’s election, it turns out that a little trick from cognitive psychology applied in get-out-the-vote drives might also work to increase medication compliance in patients.  So what’s this intersection of voting behavior and medication adherence all about? Todd Rogers, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of…

The Future of Medication Adherence, Part 2

In last week’s blog (The Future of Medication Adherence, Part 1), medication adherence trends affecting the future of medication adherence were examined, including the changing role of pharmacists, emerging technology, and regulations. This week’s blog will continue by rounding out four more trends that will shape patient care in the future.  Incentives for Change The…

De-Stressing Puts the Brakes on MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease; slowing the advance of this disease improves quality of life for patients. Learning stress management techniques can be just as effective as medications for delaying MS progression in some patients, says David C. Mohr, Ph.D. and fellow researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.   Dr….

The Scoop on Milk Thistle for Hepatitis C

Over the years, many of my hepatitis C patients have asked if milk thistle would provide additional benefit during treatment of their hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Since this herb doesn’t have any side effects (aside from a mild laxative effect in a small number of people), I’ve been open to my patients using it…

What Makes Specialty Pharmacy Special?

Guest Blog: Russell Gay, Chief Strategic Officer at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Many people wonder how a specialty pharmacy is different from any other kind of pharmacy. Let me share the story of a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient, Michael, to illustrate the true value of a specialty pharmacy. Michael wakes at 5 a.m. He feels the…

Surgery Soon? First, Check Your Medicine Cabinet

My mother was recently diagnosed with a 7 mm breast lesion that is a ductal carcinoma. In preparing for surgery, I reviewed her medicines and dietary supplements. Mom is a very health conscience 84-year-old and she follows a wholesome diet and has an active lifestyle. Not surprisingly, I recommended that she suspend her daily aspirin…

What Other Medications Are You Taking?

Guest Blog: Monica Morgan, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy At the start of therapy with BioPlus and at each and every refill, I ask my patients “what other medications are you taking?” Does that seem a bit much? Well, let me tell you a story… One of my patients once called me…

I’ll Say It Again: Reminders Work

Taking each and every pill at the right time, every time is not as easy as it sounds. Most patients treating a disease find it hard to remember to take their medications completely in accord with the care plan. In fact, forgetfulness is one of the top barriers to compliance, especially for complex or chronic…

“Think Zebra” for World Primary Immunodeficiency Week

Guest Blogger: Meredith Ruppert, R.N. In partnership with World Primary Immunodeficiency Week celebrated this week (April 22-29th), The Immune Deficiency Foundation is asking everyone to join in to make April Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness Month. People with conditions called primary immunodeficiencies require a regular infusion of IVIG to replace antibodies that their bodies do not produce….

Patient Education Key to Adherence

Patient education is one of the keys to optimizing patient adherence. In short: the more patients know about their disease and medication treatment plan, they more likely they are to adhere to their treatment. Patient concerns about side effects are a significant barrier in patient adherence. Here at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy, we know that the…

Delicious + Nutritious = Healthy Comfort Foods

Guest Blogger: Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH Food and comfort go hand-in-hand. When a loved one is gravely sick or recovering from an illness or injury, our first inclination is to bring over some comfort foods. Before you head to the kitchen, you may want to consider – especially if the person is ailing – whether…