ORLANDO, Fla., April 5, 2023 – A recent study assessing the value of a specialty pharmacy order review program revealed the program prevented waste for those who received injectable fertility medications, helping to positively impact patient adherence and outcomes. The retrospective study was conducted by AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy and Walgreens.
AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy developed its Fertility Order Review (FOR) program in 2012 to help minimize the anxiety patients often face when preparing to self-administer injectable fertility medications, regularly required in a fertility treatment cycle. The program allows experienced fertility nurses to provide real-time educational training and support as well as review order shipment contents for patients undergoing fertility treatments to allow a more personalized pharmacy experience. For patients who prefer a video appointment, the Video Connected Care Program (VCCP) is also available through HIPAA-compliant web-based video conferencing technology.
“We conducted a study that examined the effects of the FOR program when it was initially launched,” says Junlan Zhou, PhD, senior analyst, health analytics, research and reporting at Walgreens and an author of the study. “It was time to re-evaluate the program to determine whether the program still resulted in the positive outcomes for patients we had originally found in previous work.”
Researchers set forth to evaluate the value of the FOR program and its VCCP extension, including its impact on patient satisfaction, preventing late or missed doses, and waste or loss. They used records from patients who received services from the FOR program and VCCP in 2021 to estimate time spent on the phone with patients.
“As part of the FOR program, several of those data points are collected in calls with patients,” says Edward Witt, PhD, manager, health analytics, research and reporting at Walgreens, and an author of the study. “In addition, patients in the FOR and VCCP programs completed web-based satisfaction surveys to capture their own satisfaction with the programs.”
In 2021, 51 doses that would have been lost due to incorrect storage were prevented, while 52 doses that would have been late or missed were saved, resulting in a savings total of $47,835. “This is impressive given most (85.2%) phone calls to patients were between one and 10 minutes long,” says Witt. “Further, we found most patients were satisfied with the service, with 92% rating their overall satisfaction positively.”
Ann Scalia, BSN, RN, CNOR, director of clinical education at AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy and an author of the study, says the support given on the fertility journey – from providing peace of mind to saving a fertility cycle and money – can ultimately improve patient outcomes. But patients are not the only ones to benefit from the service.
“For payers, this service lowers cost of care,” she says. “For providers, the service results in fewer calls to their offices which saves time and resources. And for pharmaceutical manufacturers, improving patient outcomes and the patient user experience can ultimately improve patient’s perceptions of the medication.”
A poster of the research was recently presented at the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society 2023 Annual Meeting.
AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy (AllianceRxWP.com) provides hope and care for better tomorrows to patients with rare diseases and chronic conditions by delivering medications from its specialty and home delivery pharmacies. Our advanced analytical capabilities, pharmacy expertise and technology solutions enable providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and health plans to deliver optimal health outcomes. Through personalized care and clinical programs, along with access to the leading number of limited distribution drugs, patients can get back to what matters most. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the company holds several national pharmacy accreditations and has team members across the United States.