Jorge Garcia, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE, discussed how infusion therapy can be administered as ambulatory drug infusion and its relation to biosimilars.
Jorge Garcia, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE, assistant vice president of system oncology and infusion pharmacy services, Baptist Health South Florida, talked about how drug infusion therapy relates to biosimilars and ambulatory drug infusion.
How does ambulatory drug infusion relate to applying cost and evidence to pharmacy coverage?
I think as pharmacists, we play an essential role in promoting cost-effectiveness in the pharmacotherapy that we deliver. Obviously, we have in the infusion space high-cost pharmaceuticals, so understanding where they fit in, and how we make economic choices along the way and the thought process that we follow to make those recommendations is what I look forward to sharing in that session.
What do you think the future of infusion therapy is?
When it comes to infusion therapy and we look into the future, we see a very robust pipeline of medications that are coming to the marketplace soon. Now whereas immunotherapy has been something of the oncology patient for many years, now we are seeing immunotherapy and gene therapy and other types of biologic therapies that are going to be available for the nononcology patient. So I think it's important understanding that all of that is coming our way, that we prepare, have the capabilities to be able to meet that increase in demand that is headed our way.
How do biosimilars relate to ambulatory drug infusion and cost savings?
That's a good question. In terms of biosimilars, I think biosimilars deliver an economic benefit, right? We don't bring biosimilars into the marketplace because they're more effective or because they have a safer profile. The reason why we bring them to the marketplace is to deliver on economic value. So I think hopefully now with multiple years of biosimilar experience in the US, we are seeing that there is improved access for these products. And so the way this links into my other presentations is all in the name of increasing access to biologics in general. And so I think biosimilars provide a great way to reduce cost associated with some of those biologics that have biosimilar options by making sure we acquire those products at a fraction of the cost. And that hopefully helps offset some of the innovation and the innovative products that are coming into the space that are more new products that are higher cost to ensure that we can make all of those therapies available to patients.