The opioid crisis has impacted communities across the U.S. and in 2017, the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared it a public health emergency. According to HHS, 10.1 million people misused prescription opioids in 2019 alone (https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/index.html, 2021).
Integrated specialty pharmacies are ideally positioned to manage the complex requirements to safely dispense buprenorphine ER injections and to provide coordinated care to address the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. Specialty pharmacies must comply with regulatory and manufacturer requirements while developing a comprehensive care model that will support drug access and manage patients receiving this medication. Our poster was initially submitted for presentation at the 2021 NASP Conference and Expo, Specialty Pharmacy Responds to Opioid Crisis, focused on implementing a buprenorphine ER injection program and developing a prescriber-liaison-pharmacist patient care model within a health system specialty pharmacy (HSSP). This model ensures the product is dispensed to a healthcare provider while monitoring for adverse events (AE) that can impact patient safety.
“Shields created a care model that addresses the opioid crisis by integrating the liaisons and pharmacists into a program that achieved compliance with REMS, DEA, health-system and manufacturer requirements while expanding access to buprenorphine ER injection and enhancing patient care.” said Kristen Ditch, PharmD, BCCCP, Manager of Clinical Outcomes.
“Health system specialty pharmacies are uniquely positioned to resolve the challenges for those seeking treatment for opiate use disorder (OUD), a national public health crisis.”, said Kerry Mello Parker, PharmD, Director of Clinical Compliance. “A fully integrated health system specialty pharmacy can comply with the complexities of ETASU REMS and DEA requirements, while managing product chain of custody and delivery coordination at the local level.”
The poster’s lead authors are Kristen Ditch, PharmD, BCCCP, and Kerry Mello-Parker, PharmD; and co-authors are Jennifer L. Donovan, PharmD; Brian S. Smith PharmD; Stacy Walton, RN, BSN; Kate Smullen, PharmD, CSP, MSCS; Jack Donahue; Mytsie Thevenin, CPhT; Chris Conboy, PharmD.
The second poster, Pharmacist Interventions in Specialty Pharmacy, evaluated the likely outcome of pharmacist interventions across all disease states within a health system specialty pharmacy and measured the cost avoidance associated with the interventions.
HSSPs have shown improved clinical outcomes and adherence rates, as well as lower medical expenses for specialty pharmacy patients by implementing a cohesive risk-stratified integrated care model. This model includes board-certified clinical pharmacists with a single technology platform (EMR) that standardizes documentation and workflow to deliver patient care.
“Interventions initiated by Shields clinical pharmacists within integrated health-system specialty pharmacies area associated with favorable clinical and economic benefits that can improve patient care, mitigate total medical expenditures, and support delivery of quality care.”, said Kristen Ditch, PharmD, BCCCP, Manager of Clinical Outcomes.
The lead author is Kristen Ditch, PharmD, BCCCP, and co-authors are Kate Smullen, PharmD, CSP, MSCS; Jennifer L. Donovan, PharmD; Christopher Barr.
Each year, NASP welcomes abstract submissions of original or encore research relevant to specialty pharmacy, outcomes related to specialty pharmacy products, or services provided by specialty pharmacies.
Accepted submissions are published online in the PubMed Central indexed Journal of Drug Assessment, and posters and presentations are typically available for viewing at the Annual Meeting & Expo.
However, due to COVID, the 2021 NASP Conference and Expo was cancelled. This years’ accepted abstracts will be published in an upcoming supplement of the Journal of Drug Assessment.
If you would like more information about our original research on these topics and many more across a nationwide network of health systems, contact us!