Brandon Tom, PharmD
Over the last several years, the proliferation of oral cancer drugs has caused many oncology practices to establish in-house pharmacies using either a board of pharmacy or physician’s medical license.
In broad terms, IODs can provide better patient care and outcomes—at lower cost—through a more clinically integrated and streamlined process. It is useful to describe the value IOD brings to physicians, patients, payers, or manufacturers in two ways: having the pharmacy closer to the patient and having the pharmacy closer to the physician.
Benefits of a Pharmacy Closer to the Patient
Having the pharmacy closer to patients allows them greater convenience and improves their overall healthcare experience. Because cancer treatment can be exhausting, patients often do not have the time, energy, or mobility to search for and coordinate with a pharmacy that can fill their prescriptions. It is important to recognize that costly oral oncolytics usually cannot be found at the local pharmacies most patients use regularly. These drugs are only available through a limited number of pharmacies, which are knowledgeable on specialty medications and equipped with the capabilities to support patients before and after they begin therapy. These pharmacies are often selected by the manufacturer or payer. Consequently, it’s often confusing to patients which pharmacy must be used.
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