While many of the families in the Dravet syndrome community obtain one or more of their child’s medications (such as Diacomit or Epidiolex) by mail from a specialty pharmacy, other families are not familiar with specialty pharmacies and the services they offer. A specialty pharmacy supplies medications for rare, complex, and/or chronic conditions, and offers a more one-on-one personalized approach for their clients. Often, the medications they supply are not used by many people or may need special storage (such as refrigeration), so your local pharmacy wouldn’t keep them in stock. Because of the complexities that can be associated with specialty pharmaceuticals, patients receiving these medications require a certain degree of continuous education, monitoring, and medication management by well-qualified and skilled specialty pharmacy staff who will tend to be more involved in the patient’s healthcare than a neighborhood pharmacist.
Each specialty pharmacy is different in the services they offer and they way they are structured. I had the unique opportunity to tour AnovoRx in Memphis, Tennessee last fall. AnovoRx was selected as the exclusive specialty pharmacy for Zogenix Central, the patient services program for Fintepla. I had a chance to meet the Zogenix Central and AnovoRx management team and learn about their patient-focused model of care. The services they offer include:
- Your own Zogenix Central Care Coordinator, an RN trained in Dravet syndrome and Fintepla, who will assist with treatment and safety monitoring needs from start of treatment through long-term therapy
- Insurance benefits investigation
- Prior authorization assistance with the payor to provide clinical justification for the specialty medication prescribed
- In-depth consultation on the medication’s use and counseling on potential side effects
- Regular communication and follow-up with the caregiver
- Proactive patient outreach for prescription refill to assure there are no missed doses
- Dispensing of specialty pharmaceuticals and shipping coordination
- Coordination of patient assistance program
- Communication and follow-up with the physician
A walk through the offices of Zogenix Central and AnovoRx showed their pride in working with the patient community. As a constant reminder to their staff of the difference they are making through their work, they have multiple quotes from patient families on their walls that have come from patient satisfaction surveys. One quote that stood out was, If everything in my son’s complex medical journey worked as well as things with Anovo, I would be a much more relaxed person. Thank you for making one thing easy.
In the end, what really matters for our patient families are that the support and services they receive remain consistent and meet all of their needs, all of the time. It was great to have the opportunity to see behind the scenes at a specialty pharmacy and to meet the staff at Zogenix Central and AnovoRx and learn more about their commitment to our community.