Specialty Pharmacy Continuum: UMass Medical School pharmacist says payers must plan for high-priced specialty drugs in the pipeline

December 07, 2016

A pharmacist from UMass Medical School’s Clinical Pharmacy Services discusses the efficacy and expected costs of specialty drugs in the pipeline for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and ovarian cancer in Specialty Pharmacy Continuum.

“Proactive pipeline monitoring as well as understanding your membership (or patients) are really key to anticipating the budget impact of these new drugs,” Nicole Trask, PharmD, clinical consultant pharmacist, told the magazine.

Medications expected to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the next two years include elafibranor for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, dupilumab for atopic dermatitis, sirukumab for rheumatoid arthritis, ozanimod for multiple sclerosis and niraparib for ovarian cancer.

The overview Trask provides of each drug and its possible effects on budgets is based on a presentation, “Bracing for Impact: Preparing for the 2018 Specialty Drug Spend,” she made at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Nexus 2016 conference in October.

Trask is an integral part of UMass Medical School’s drug utilization review (DUR) team, which provides clients with internal controls to ensure members receive prescription drugs that are safe, medically appropriate, and cost-effective.

Clinical Pharmacy Services develops detailed drug reviews and conducts both prospective and retrospective prescription pattern analyses for state Medicaid plans and managed care organizations across the U.S. to optimize treatment regimens, prevent adverse drug reactions, avoid therapeutic duplications, identify abuse/fraud issues, and more.

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