Medical Marijuana & the Opioid Crisis

America in Pain — Part 2

Read Part 1 of America in Pain — the Opioid Crisis HERE >

We are at a crisis point. The pressure is mounting. A line of demarcation has been drawn with the ink of history. America is at a turning point.

Why are people in so much pain? Why do we need so many new drugs to relieve our bodies? What has changed and now plagues us? Why do some use diversion tactics to get even more pills and stronger dosages?

Mankind’s proliferation of diseases and addictions has created an ever-expanding healthcare ecosystem. Pain is everywhere. Companies are racing in labs to find new answers and new cures. And some of the answers developed thus far can trigger addictions in some patients unbeknownst prior to prescribing and dispensing.

Medical Marijuana and Opioid Crisis

Footsteps of Our Ancestors

Long before the days of the FDA, retail and specialty pharmacies, and government regulations, the healing and curative nature of plants existed. Documentation of the use of Medicinal Marijuana dates back to roughly 2,900 BC in China. The Cannabis plant has healing properties our ancestors experienced whether it was with a medicine man, a shaman, or the community healer. Why was Cannabis “the drug of choice” often times among our ancestors? What gives Cannabis its distinctive healing properties? Is history repeating itself, allowing Medicinal Marijuana to return to us with enhanced understanding and intelligence to restore health? It is now legal in 29 states plus the District of Columbia.

Do you know that Marijuana is comprised of over 113 different chemical Read full article >

Data and the Future of the Healthcare Ecosystem

by Elie Khalife, president, KeyCentrix

Data has always been a part of the healthcare ecosystem. Although it’s been collected inconsistently in the past, technology has helped advance the gathering, storing and needs for this data today. For decades healthcare professionals had worked independently to collect and aggregate data, but the calling for advancements in the healthcare industry required better interaction for all of healthcare’s actors including, but not limited to, drug manufacturers, prescribers, pharmacies and patients. Continuous improvements in technology facilitated and promoted this collaboration while providing even better outcomes for the industry and patients alike. These advancements and outcomes in healthcare now grow exponentially, and patient data is the new driving force.

Data in the Healthcare Ecosystem

The Need for Data

In 1972, with the distribution of methadone, the first drug was required to have data tracking and controlled distribution from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now fast forward to 2005, an interesting year for drugs and pharmacies in general, the FDA started to demand more data points from drug manufacturers regarding new drug therapies in clinical trials and maintaining patents for existing blockbuster drugs. In turn, drug manufacturers required more process controls and limited the distribution to a select number of pharmacy locations that were capable of handling the collection of the expected data needed. This started a new trend of limited distribution drugs (LLD’s) Read full article >

How Software Can Help You Meet Your Independent Specialty Pharmacy Goals

A positive response to Specialty Pharmacy Times’ article, “What Defines an Independent Specialty Pharmacy?” authored by Stephanie Lapointe, PharmD; Cheryl Allen, RPH, BSPharm, MBA; Gary Rice, RPH, MS, MBA, CSP. Full article: http://www.specialtypharmacytimes.com/publications/specialty-pharmacy-times/2016/april-2016/What-Defines-an-Independent-Specialty-Pharmacy

Specialty Pharmacy Times published their article earlier this year, and it inspired us (KeyCentrix) to reflect on points they presented with how pharmacy management software systems can assist in a specialty environment. The information from Specialty Pharmacy Times (SPT) is in bold, followed by the KeyCentrix reflection in regular font.

  • “[Specialty pharmacies value innovative service initiatives and partnership resources, allowing a singular focus on specialty pharmacy management by providing patient-centric, high-touch care models individualized to the patient.]” “Independent specialty pharmacies also foster industry collaborations and the development of innovative services and programs that demonstrate both a patient-caring and entrepreneurial business philosophy, [i.e. a simplified, patient-centric workflow model]:” -SPT

Pharmacy software workflows can be configured to enforce the checks & balances needed for specialty prescriptions. The costs of misfiling a specialty drug or not appropriately complying with the REMS reporting requirements are high, which is why a configurable workflow is critical for success in the venture of specialty. Business rules can provide guaranteed exceptions for managing specialty high-cost medications by enforcing that the pharmacy has been appropriately reimbursed, the pharmacy is in compliance with the necessary protocols, or the pharmacy has tracked the necessary steps before the drug can leave the pharmacy.

With business rules, a specialty prescription can be forced to stop prior to the dispensing stage to allow and/or require a patient touchpoint prior to dispensing. Read full article >