Brandon Salke, Pharm.D., Pharmacist-in-Charge, Optime Care, article featured in USA Wire on February 2, 2022: Patients With Rare Disease Benefit from Patient-First Approach (

 In the United States, a rare disease is defined as a condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people, with the total number of rare disease patients estimated to be 25-30 million. While these diseases may be rare, the total number of people affected is significant. Experts predict that Specialty drug costs will increase annually 21-24% over the next few years. In fact, Specialty rare diseases have led to substantial direct and indirect economic burdens for the patient, unpaid family caregivers and U.S. health system.

Optime Care’s patient-first approach prioritizes the needs of each patient, continually supporting them from day one and for their entire patient journey. This focus is particularly effective for patients with chronic disease or a rare disease who face an array of non-clinical issues, such as navigating insurance coverage and lack of streamlined information.

This article explores how our innovative patient-first strategy to Specialty drug management provides a more compassionate—and effective—way to provide better services and support for people who have been marginalized by the system or isolated by their disease state. Our patient-first Specialty pharmacies represent the latest industry game-changer—and an effective way to cut costs without compromising quality for Specialty patients.