Many patients with serious health conditions require complex therapies that require specialty medication not commonly found in most pharmacies. Specialty prescriptions are often difficult for patients to find, and specialty drugs are hard to come by.
After Barry Estep received his liver transplant in 2018, he found the specialty medication his doctor prescribed was difficult to find and costly. In 2020, Barry was delighted to learn that Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) had opened a specialty pharmacy, which eliminated much stress from his and other families across the region who previously had to wait for medication to be delivered through the mail.
“I have had several specialty medications associated with my transplant and was recently placed on another specialty drug,” said Estep. “I am incredibly grateful that the PMC Specialty Pharmacy can fill my prescriptions here, so close to home and able to help me understand why and what these medications do for me.”
The PMC Specialty Pharmacy provides access to specialty drugs used for rare or serious conditions such as chemotherapy, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and in Barry’s case, specialty medication for organ transplant patients.
In addition to simply filling the complex prescriptions, PMC specialty pharmacists work closely with patients on the use of their medications, comprehensive treatment assessments and monitoring. They keep an open line of communication with patients, physicians and caregivers. These medications generally require special administration such as injections and infusion services, and patients may need supervision or guidance from medical professionals to monitor their administration.
Unfortunately, these medications can be costly. Because of that, the PMC Specialty Pharmacy offers financial counseling programs for patients who struggle with the financial strain brought about by expensive medication. As an added convenience, PMC pharmacy techs are able to work directly with insurance companies to get prior authorizations when needed for coverage.
“The specialty pharmacy staff went above and beyond to ensure I had everything I needed,” said Estep. “They answered questions, followed up on the required tests and even helped with financial assistance for the new medication.”
In addition to patient counseling and financial assistance, the PMC Specialty Pharmacy also offers personalized refill reminders, medicine delivery services and clinical support.
“Our goal is to make this process as seamless as possible for patients who are already battling serious health conditions,” said Sarah Elswick, PMC Pharmacist and Specialty Pharmacy Manager. “PMC provides patients with medical care, and the PMC Specialty Pharmacy provides them with the complex medications they need, all while staying close to home. I’m so thankful we are able to offer this much-needed service to the people of our region.”
The PMC Specialty Pharmacy is the only specialty pharmacy in the region to have a double accreditation. After a rigorous evaluation process, the PMC Specialty Pharmacy was double accredited by both the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC), which further demonstrates PMC’s commitment to the patients of Eastern Kentucky.
For more information on the PMC Specialty Pharmacy, visit https://www.pikevillehospital.org/services/pharmacy/specialty-pharmacy/ or call (888) 762-5979.