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AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy study shows promise for fertility order review program

A retrospective study showed high patient satisfaction and cost savings from the fertility order review program.

A retrospective study conducted by AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy and Walgreens assessed the value of a specialty pharmacy order review program. The study revealed the program prevented waste for those who received injectable fertility medications, helping positively impact patient adherence and outcomes.

AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy developed its Fertility Order Review program in 2012 to help minimize the anxiety patients often face when preparing to self-administer injectable fertility medications, regularly required in a fertility treatment cycle.

The program allows experienced fertility nurses to provide real-time educational training and support. Fertility nurses may also review order shipment contents for patients for a more personalized pharmacy experience. In addition, for patients who prefer a video appointment, the Video Connected Care Program is also available through HIPAA-compliant web-based video conferencing technology.

“We conducted a study that examined the effects of the FOR program when it was initially launched,” said Junlan Zhou, senior analyst, health analytics, research and reporting at Walgreens and an author of the study. “It was time to re-evaluate the program to determine whether the program still resulted in the positive outcomes for patients we had originally found in previous work.”

[Read more: AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy reduces annual patient prescription costs by $6M]

Researchers set forth to evaluate the value of the FOR program and its VCCP extension, including its impact on patient satisfaction, preventing late or missed doses and waste or loss. They used records from patients who received services from the FOR program and VCCP in 2021 to estimate time spent on the phone with patients.

“As part of the FOR program, several of those data points are collected in calls with patients,” said Edward Witt, manager, health analytics, research and reporting at Walgreens, and an author of the study. “In addition, patients in the FOR and VCCP programs completed web-based satisfaction surveys to capture their own satisfaction with the programs.”

In 2021, 51 doses that would have been lost due to incorrect storage were prevented, while 52 doses that would have been late or missed were saved, resulting in a savings total of $47,835.

“This is impressive given most (85.2%) phone calls to patients were between one and 10 minutes long,” Witt said. “Further, we found most patients were satisfied with the service, with 92% rating their overall satisfaction positively.”

Ann Scalia, director of clinical education at AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy and an author of the study, said that the support given on the fertility journeyfrom providing peace of mind to saving a fertility cycle and moneycan ultimately improve patient outcomes. But patients are not the only ones to benefit from the service.

[Read more: AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy makes new name official]

“For payers, this service lowers cost of care,” Scalia said. “For providers, the service results in fewer calls to their offices which saves time and resources. And for pharmaceutical manufacturers, improving patient outcomes and the patient user experience can ultimately improve patient’s perceptions of the medication.”

A poster of the research was recently presented at the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society 2023 Annual Meeting.

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