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Medication adherence could be blockbuster for specialty

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — At Drug Store News’ Specialty Pharmacy Roundtable event last Tuesday, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy president and CEO Phil Hagerman remarked that improving medication adherence in specialty pharmacy could be equivalent to a new blockbuster drug. And he may be right.

(THE NEWS: BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy: Services help boost adherence among patients. For the full story, click here)

Poor medication adherence costs the healthcare system nearly $300 billion every year, with more than $100 billion of that resulting from hospitalizations, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. Every prescription that goes unfilled and every dose that goes untaken costs money for individuals, payers, drug makers, retailers and other stakeholders.

The statistics that BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy recently released illustrated the huge difference that comprehensive pharmacy services can make in improving adherence. When pharmacists can work with physicians and identify patients’ adherence problems early on, they can address those problems and, in BioPlus’ case, achieve nearly universal adherence before adherence problems begin to take their unnecessary toll.

Specialty pharmacies are well positioned to take advantage of the close pharmacist-patient relationships they create. For payers, improved adherence means lower spending; for drug makers, it means higher profits; and for patients, it means better outcomes.

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