The Growing Importance of Specialty Pharmacy Software Applications
Laurie Toich, Assistant Editor | December 08, 2016
With the emergence of software platforms and other technologies, specialty pharmacies are now able to easily provide uniform care to every patient across multiple disease states.
An effective care management platform can be used to help pharmacists keep up with the ever-advancing world of specialty pharmacy through automatic updates regarding medication and best practices. One technology solution that has accomplished these goals is TherigySTM, a software application used in 60% of URAC-accredited, health system-owned specialty pharmacies that has been used to provide care for more than 120,000 patients.
Due to the innovative nature of TherigySTM, co-founder Russel Allinson, RPh, MS, chief executive officer and chief clinical officer of Therigy, was awarded the coveted title of Next-Generation Pharmacy Technology Innovator for 2016, presented by Pharmacy Times® and Parata.
Specialty Pharmacy Times® interviewed Allinson for his expert perspectives on how technology is advancing the goals of value-based health care in specialty pharmacy.
Q: What does winning the Next-Generation Pharmacist® award for Technology Innovator mean to you? For Therigy?
A: Winning the Next-Generation Pharmacist® award for Technology Innovator really validates the vision I had when Joe Morse and I started Therigy. I’ve been in specialty pharmacy for 20 years, and I knew what pharmacists needed was an automated, electronic way to deliver care management in order to effectively provide pharmacy care.
That’s really why we developed Therigy; so pharmacists would have better tools to provide better care. For me, winning the award validates our achievement in advancing patient care standards and distinguishes TherigySTM as the leading therapy management solution in the marketplace today. As a company, winning the award is a pat on the back for every team member for the past 10 years, who worked really hard to implement our vision, and made winning this award possible. In my mind, we all won the award, not just me.
Q: How does winning this award demonstrate the goals Therigy set out to accomplish when it was founded?
A: Technology was part of our strategy since we opened our doors in 2006. At the time, we were inherently aware of the technology opportunities, since the lack of these opportunities in the marketplace was evident. As a consulting firm, we witnessed the frustration pharmacists experienced when attempting to manually keep up with new therapies and drugs. Ten years ago, there really wasn’t a technology solution that provided the structure, process, and critical content to guide pharmacy care for patients on biotech products.
Today, we serve over 1300 pharmacy professionals across the company, and we have about 120,000 specialty patients who have been cared for using TherigySTM. Those numbers really validate both the need and usefulness of the platform, and is reflective of the goals we have achieved.
Q: How has technology transformed health care in the past 10 years?
A: In this new value-based world of health care where we’re looking to quantify outcomes, many of the innovations brought to the market really drive improvements through decreased costs, and increased quality to drive increased value. It’s going to take technology to drive those breakthroughs, especially in information gathering, research, treatments, and communications.
All of those capabilities are going to become necessary tools for health care professionals to be able to manage more patients, more effectively to drive down costs and improve outcomes. Especially in the world of specialty pharmacy, technology is enabling therapy management programs to scale up quickly, reduce costs, and reduce errors.
These benefits are very important to our customers. The specialty pharmacies want to provide safe and effective therapy that is consistent across all their patients. Without technology systems, pharmacies would have to dedicate a lot of resources to maintain their programs. I think we have been able to ease the burden on pharmacies so that we develop and maintain their care programs and content. If we can do that centrally, and do it accurately and efficiently, that is another way to bring down the cost of health care and improve outcomes.
TheirgySTM is really a foundational platform for clinical programs for specialty products, and we are interested in building on top of this foundation to include advances in technology to become more efficient, and more effective.