The Benefit of a Centralized Pharmacy
Each day, American Oncology Network (AON) employees are doing everything they can to make sure our patients are as comfortable as possible as they undergo treatment. This includes the dedicated and knowledgeable team working at our centralized, state-of-the-art pharmacy, which is celebrating its two-year anniversary.
Our in-house specialty pharmacy offers patients access to the most current and effective oral cancer medications along with round-the-clock access to our pharmacists. Having an in-house pharmacy with a robust back-office infrastructure also eases individual practices’ administrative burden by taking care of the heavy lifting associated with refills, prior authorizations and financial assistance so their staff can concentrate on our top priority: our patients.
Access to Oral Oncolytics
Because of their tolerability and effectiveness, which can lead to a better quality of life for patients, the use of oral oncolytics is skyrocketing. AON’s ready access to 99% of these medications means we can rapidly fill and ship prescriptions right to the patient’s doorstep.
Oral oncolytics are beneficial because they allow patients to receive the treatment they need in the comfort of their own home rather than having to come to one of our clinics. This eliminates disruptions to their day and eliminates the need to miss work.
Oral medications are also a type of targeted therapy, which means they zero in on cancer cells and mostly leave a patient’s healthy cells alone. These drugs are better tolerated by patients and help them avoid some of the uncomfortable side effects such as nausea that accompany more traditional forms of therapy.
A Tool for Patients and Practices
AON’s centralized pharmacy not only benefits our practices, but the patients they treat too.
Our pharmacists have access to the charts and medical histories of all the patients in our network, allowing them to check lab work, notes and a host of other information that helps them make recommendations to clinicians. This allows for higher-quality, more personalized treatment than is possible at other pharmacies that don’t have ready access to such comprehensive patient information.
After the medications are shipped, pharmacists reach out to the patient to see how they are feeling and if they have any questions or concerns. Some medications have harsher side effects than others, so patients are educated before they start treatment about what to expect and how to diminish some of the discomfort. This is important, because patients who are aware of the side effects are much more likely to keep taking their medications, which of course leads to better results.
As for the practices in the network, AON handles all the administrative work, including assisting the patients and clinic in obtaining prior authorizations, financial assistance and refill requests. Finally, our pharmacists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer patient questions and provide advice, which cuts down on the number of phone calls that need to be handled by clinic staff.
Expanding Space and Benefits
American Oncology Network is consistently adding more practices and expanding staff. To accommodate the higher demand generated by this growth, we have opened a new 20,000-square-foot pharmacy in Fort Myers, FL.
The new location is equipped with high-tech automation and conveyor systems to make operations even more efficient and accelerate the process of filling and sending prescriptions, getting them into patients’ hands faster than ever before.
Our centralized, in-house pharmacy is one of the many benefits AON offers to its partner practices. It is part of our dedication to ensuring we are doing everything we can to support both a clinic’s staff and patients—leveraging our expertise to ensure they are comfortable and well on their way to a positive outcome.