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A new online tool allowing AllianceRx Walgreens Prime oncology patients to refill their own prescriptions saves time, while still providing pharmacists’ help when needed.
A new online tool allowing AllianceRx Walgreens Prime oncology patients to refill their own prescriptions saves time, while still providing pharmacists’ help when needed, according to an executive with specialty and home delivery pharmacy.
“For cancer patients who are tolerating their therapy well, and do not need to speak with a pharmacist, being able to refill their medicine online rather than having to call in frees up their time,” James Adams, chief information officer for AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, told Drug Topics®.
“Providing a self-serve refill option online also allows our patient care advocates to assist patients who need more attention, manage escalations or spend more time specializing in an area of focus, such as enrollment or insurance. And, patients who have questions about their therapy or just want to speak with a pharmacist are still able to do so. It’s the best of both worlds for these patients,” Adams added.
Oncology patients can refill prescriptions by logging into their account, selecting the oncology medicine(s) to refill, and answering questions specific to their condition. The questions range from changes in medication to side effects to skipped doses, the company said in a news release.1
“Based on patient-reported events, such as side effects, an escalation pathway will alert our pharmacists if they should speak to the patient. Our pharmacists review all assessments that have created an escalation pathway and will outreach to the patients prior to dispensing the medication,” Adams said in the news release.1
In addition to saving time, Adams expects the tool to improve patients’ adherence to medications. “We know from our research that patients are frustrated by lengthy telephone calls and having to answer a multitude of questions over the phone. They also want to be able take care of basic tasks on their own,” he said. “Even if a patient feels confident in their medication, when they start running low, they may dread the refill process because they have to plan time for a refill phone call, or feel stressed about getting their medicine on time.”
Adherence is perhaps the most common theme on patient-pharmacist counseling calls, according to Adams. “Pharmacists will discuss things like tips on how to set up reminders and minimize side effects by taking medication with or without food."
“We also use the clinical assessment to understand whether cost is a barrier to adherence, and if so, act quickly to help patients navigate these issues with as many resources and support as are available,” Adams added.
Pharmacists are “very much” involved in the online refill process, Adams stressed. “All orders still go through drug utilization review in our dispensing system and will prompt pharmacist intervention for any contraindications. Our pharmacists review all prescriptions before being dispensed to a patient. If a patient reports an adverse event, worsening condition, or other issues triggering an escalation, the system prompts the patient to speak with a pharmacist and we receive an escalation notification to respond to the patient.”
The oncology clinical assessment tool is the latest in the company’s suite of clinical assessments that were released earlier this year. The assessments are also available for patients with chronic inflammatory disease, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, organ transplants, and lipid and blood disorders.
1. Newest clinical assessment tool allows AllianceRx Walgreens Prime cancer patients to manage care online. News release. AllianceRx Walgreens Prime; November 16, 2020. Accessed December 8, 2020. https://www.alliancerxwp.com/contents/press-releases/newest-clinical-assessment-tool.html