Asembia: Pharmacists Have a Role in Health Care System Sustainability

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Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics June 2024
Volume 168
Issue 05

As medication experts, pharmacists can advocate to organizational decision makers around the benefits of biosimilars.

Fran Gregory, Vice President of Emerging Therapies at Cardinal Health, sat down with Drug Topics at AXS24, the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, to discuss the role of pharmacists in improving biosimilar uptake and advocating for health system sustainability.

image credit: ArtemisDiana - stock.adobe.com

image credit: ArtemisDiana - stock.adobe.com

Drug Topics: As important members of the patient care team, what role can pharmacists play in implementing or improving biosimilar uptake?

Gregory: As a pharmacist myself, obviously I think our role is critical in ensuring uptake of biosimilars in a few areas, really.

Number 1 would be education: Making sure that you are educated on biosimilars, that you know what resources to use to educate yourself on biosimilars, and to share that with other health care providers around to you.

The second would be to educate patients. Patient education has been proven time and time again to be a key factor in the success of biosimilar use. The education coming from a health care provider to a patient is one of the most critical aspects of making sure that a patient accepts that treatment and believes that it's as effective as the reference product treatment.

I [also] think that pharmacists can take a real leadership role in advocating for health care policy change regarding biosimilars. Pharmacists are experts on drugs; some of the health care policies that we see around Biosimilars are very good, positive change and are creating momentum towards increased biosimilar uptake, but pharmacists should feel very confident in playing a role in influencing health care policy as well.

What role can pharmacists play in increasing health care system sustainability?

Pharmacists are, again, very educated on treatments available for patients. Biosimilars are obviously a key component to health care sustainability, not only in the overall US and global health care system, but even in the health systems where they're employed or where they're serving patients.

I think helping the administrative staff [and] helping the financial decision makers understand the financial value of biosimilars to their institution is also a key area where pharmacists can really show value, and show that there are opportunities that may be beyond what meets the eye for savings for their place of employment or their institution where they are employed.

AXS24, the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, was held April 28 to May 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Click here for more of our coverage from AXS24.

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