Donovan Quill, President and CEO, Optime Care, article featured in HealthTech HotSpot on August 4, 2021.

Alpha-1, a genetic condition known as “genetic COPD,” affects about 100,000 people in the United States. Often first diagnosed as asthma or smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), undetected Alpha-1 affects about 3% of all people diagnosed with COPD.

Covid-19 can cause lung complications such as pneumonia and, in the most severe cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome. Sepsis, another possible complication of Covid-19, can also cause lasting harm to the lungs and other organs.

Patients with Alpha-1 can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of the Covid-19 infection and are among the most prone to serious complications if they become infected. Symptoms that distinguish a typical exacerbation of lung disease from Covid-19 include fever that lasts for several days or a high fever of any duration, loss of smell or taste, fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea, abdominal pain and dropping oxygen levels.

This article emphasizes the importance of a patient-first approach for overcoming the limitations of the standard specialty pharmacy, which often emphasizes technology solutions while failing to fully address human needs and variability.