Altamonte Springs, FL (PRWEB) June 20, 2011
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy (BioPlus), one of the nation’s leading specialty pharmacies, is announcing today enhancements to their hepatitis C patient support program called HepatitisRxAssist. The FDA’s recent approval of two new drugs for the treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) – Victrelis (boceprevir) from Merck and Incivek (telaprevir) from Vertex – makes this program more useful than ever for hepatitis C patients.
Victrelis and Incivek are both protease inhibitors and have each been shown to greatly increase the viral cure rate in HCV when given in addition to standard hepatitis C treatments. Each of these protease inhibitors can only be used as part of a three drug combination (along with peginterferon alpha and ribavirin), and not as a single drug treatment.
The overriding goal of the HepatitisRxAssist program is to ensure treatment and improve outcomes. BioPlus tracks compliance statistics for all its treatment programs. The latest data, which includes more than 19,700 BioPlus patients being treated for HCV, oncology, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions, shows that BioPlus achieves a 91 percent compliance rate at discharge. The compliance rate for retail and mail-order pharmacies is only 50 percent.
The HepatitisRxAssist program supports physicians by providing administrative help in handling the complex paperwork for starting triple therapy. The new hepatitis triple therapy can be challenging for patients for several reasons, including the high cost of treatment, multiple pills needed each day on a strict schedule, injection training, and the high likelihood of side effects. The intensive monitoring for safety and efficacy by a specialized clinical pharmacist and support staff in the HepatitisRxAssist program helps patients successfully address each of these treatment hurdles.
“These two new protease inhibitors, while signifying a new era of treatment, also present new treatment challenges. Here at BioPlus, we work with HCV patients in every step of navigating these challenges so that the potential for greater cure rates is realized for as many patients as possible,” says Dr. Stephen Vogt, president and CEO of BioPlus.
The HepatitisRxAssist program encompasses a team of BioPlus professionals that work on behalf of the patient to review the insurance benefit plan, get authorizations, identify alternative financial aid (if necessary), provide home delivery of medications, assist with the management of side effects, and provide 24/7 phone access to pharmacists including nights, weekends, and holidays.
This high touch, patient-centric support program also includes these key features:
- An initial consult with a Doctor of Pharmacy for every patient starting the new triple therapy. This 30 minute consult includes an assessment of the patient, education for the patient about the medication protocol, and detailed explanation of the plan of care to ultimately provide the best possible care with our experienced clinicians.
- Hands-on injection training with a nurse either in the patient’s home or in a group setting so that patients feel comfortable and confident administering their own medication injections.
- On the day medications are started, BioPlus staff will check on the patient to provide a dose reminder, as well as answer any questions or clarify the medication schedule to ensure the patients are properly starting their treatment.
- This patient contact will be repeated weekly for the first four weeks of medication therapy and continued, if needed, to ensure the patients are staying compliant throughout their course of therapy and ultimately achieve successful outcomes.
- A dose reminder system using texts, e-mail, or phone calls to further assist the patients in staying compliant to their therapy.
- The patient’s physician can review all of this information about the patient from a portal on the BioPlus website in order to keep our prescribers updated on the status of their patients.
“With the availability of this new triple therapy regimen, backed by our support program, we’re expecting significant gains in the number of patients clearing the virus to obtain a sustained viral response and, as an added benefit, patients may even have shorter treatment times,” Dr. Vogt adds.
Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood-borne disease in the United States. This virus attaches to liver cells, where it then multiplies to cause inflammation and a shutdown of normal liver cell functions. For the majority of people infected with HCV, the disease becomes a chronic condition and can lead to co-morbidities, such as cirrhosis or cancer.
About BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy
Florida-based BioPlus is a pharmacist-owned national specialty infusion pharmacy company designed to provide high-touch services and specialty pharmaceuticals for patients with chronic diseases such as arthritis, hepatitis C, cancer, and others. Licensed in all 50 states, BioPlus is one of the nation’s largest independent specialty pharmacies. Accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), patients can contact the Pharmacy toll free at 1-888-292-0744.
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