Real World Data Show That Pharmacist-Manufacturer Collaboration Improves Patient Outcomes


Collaboration between health system specialty pharmacists and pharmaceutical manufacturers can benefit patients in the long run.

Using data from a real-world case study, Autumn Zuckerman, PharmD, BCPS, CSP, Director, Health Outcomes at Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy, demonstrated just how valuable a collaborative relationship between health system specialty pharmacies and manufacturers can be.

Zuckerman’s organization partnered with AstraZeneca for patients initiating poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor therapies. “This medication has a lot of side effects that happen early in treatment, and we found that almost a quarter of patients discontinued treatment [and] over half had to reduce their dose,” Zuckerman said. To address these challenges, Zuckerman’s team worked with AstraZeneca to develop a tailored monitoring strategy: pharmacists called patients during specific timepoints when they knew the patient might be experiencing an adverse effect, based on data shared by AstraZeneca. After these pharmacist-initiated discussions, “we were able to reduce the number of dose reductions and we were able to shorten the duration of interruptions from 17 days to 7 days.” And although discontinuation rates remained the same, Zuckerman noted that there were fewer adverse event related drug discontinuations.

“We saw a huge benefit from the patient perspective, who appreciated the additional touchpoint and check in with the pharmacist,” Zuckerman said, “and pharmacists felt like they were able to make a pretty big impact during that check in.”

This model is now the standard of care at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, she added.

“It came from a discussion between the manufacturer—who knew the drug well—and the pharmacist, and [together we] built a tailored monitoring strategy to improve patient outcomes.

Zuckerman sat down with Drug Topics at AXS24, the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, held April 28 to May 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Click here for more of our coverage from AXS24.

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