Donovan Quill, President and CEO, Optime Care, article featured in Pharmaceutical Commerce on August 16, 2021.

Channel stocking is a common practice in which pharma executives opt to sell a sizeable unit amount of a drug up front to a wholesaler or specialty pharmacy without a rare and orphan patient attached to the sale. These are not true sales, however, because the product has not gone to a patient.  

Stocking the channel puts distance between the drug maker and patients, leading to lost data and a lost opportunity to improve care and support for specialty patients and their families. It’s also important to understand that, for rare disease patients, availability is not the biggest challenge because month-after-month the growth of the population is too small to deplete stock. 

Taking a patient-first approach enables the development of more quantitative and qualitative data around the patient so that informed decisions can be made, better patient care plans created and outcomes improved. A patient-first care team, including care coordinators, pharmacists, nurses and other specialists, focuses on the disease state, patient community and therapy. This is important for overcoming the limitations of the standard specialty pharmacy and hub service provider, which too often rely on technology solutions that fail to address human needs and variability.   

 This article discusses the importance of finding a specialty pharmacy and patient management organization that creates a partnership for personalized care and how a patient-first approach can provide a reliable path for patients and all those involved in the treatment journey.  

 This additional support for the patient’s family and caregivers enables them to become more engaged and take ownership, leading to a stronger partnership and better patient care.