October is American Pharmacists Month, and while pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are always top of mind at CoverMyMeds, we’re glad for an opportunity to highlight these brilliant individuals who are responsible for safely getting medications into the hands of patients across the country.
With the ever-evolving role of pharmacists, more duties are landing on their plates. In fact, forty-one states have legislation of varying allowances that give pharmacists the ability to dispense interchangeable therapies without getting a new prescription from the doctor.1 Some of these laws will legally recognize pharmacists as health care providers. Pragmatically, the decision-making around prescribed medications should have always been under the scope of a pharmacist’s responsibilities; however, it does add to their already heavy workload. As innovators of health care technology, we need to be asking the question of how we can expand our range of products to help pharmacists easily navigate their day to day and help patients. One way of achieving this is with real-time benefit check (RTBC) solutions like Rx Benefit Clarity™.
Pharmacies capture, store and maintain important information pertaining to the patient’s therapy, such as cash price and more patient-specific data (this includes availability of patient-assistance programs). By granting access to that information through RTBC, physicians can have real-time visibility into the patients’ prescription benefit which will assist in making more informed decisions at the point of prescribing and remove some of that heavy lifting from the pharmacy. This allows the pharmacist and pharmacy technicians time to counsel and educate the patient on their therapies, dispense prescriptions more quickly, confirm the patient is getting the proper medication based on their medical condition and medical history and get them out the door with their medication in hand. With their evolving roles, it adds another layer of assurance that the physician is prescribing the appropriate medication at the right time for the patient.
Think about it from the perspective of a patient: When an RTBC solution is available to a physician, your physician prescribes a medication based on your medical condition but also may have information about your past therapies and other coverage information (medication coverage, out-of-pocket cost, available coupons, etc.). The doctor is aware that the medication will be covered and you are aware of how much it will cost. When you arrive at the pharmacy, the pharmacist or technician can more confidently dispense your prescription and focus on establishing that you are educated on how to take the medication versus a back and forth on cost or coverage. You leave the pharmacy with your medicine, and the pharmacist can focus on helping the next patient.
Pharmacists have always held the knowledge and information in regard to a patient’s therapy and with RTBC they now have the ability to share that information with physicians and other providers, while also making important patient-care decisions and hopefully reducing the rate of prescription abandonment at the pharmacy. A win-win across the board.
To learn more about how RTBC solutions like RxBenefit Clarity can help providers, patients, pharmacists and other stakeholders, visit the 2018 Real-Time Benefit National Adoption Scorecard.
- A Biosimilars Update: Regulation and Legislation