Optime Care President and CEO, Donovan Quill, byline article featured on November 24, 2020: “Pharmacy-Integrated Telehealth Solutions Support Patients with Orphan and Ultra-Orphan Disorders During and Post- COVID-19 Pandemic”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with orphan and ultra-orphan diseases have been challenged to get much-needed therapy adherence support. Many of these patients have struggled with reduced care, isolation and adherence issues for most of their lives, but now face elevated stressors because they are immunosuppressed, conscious of infection and hypersensitive to viral threats. Adding to the challenge is that some pharmacies have reduced their hours. This impacts communication with physicians, which has already been severely disrupted due to the need for social distancing.
Accessing pharmacy services via telehealth is particularly important for addressing the unique healthcare coordination needs of patients diagnosed with a rare or ultra-rare condition and, more importantly, the newly diagnosed patient.
When telehealth is part of a larger personalized care plan tied specifically to a particular specialty drug, pharmacists can be better positioned to help their patients by providing the right plan to the right patient, including adherence tools specific to the patient’s needs. This gives the patient a better chance at avoiding adverse events, visits to the emergency department or hospitalization.