Lance Grady Discusses Continued Use of Digital Tools in Specialty Pharmacy

There has been significant use of digital tools in specialty pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it remains to be seen if that move will remain permanent in addition to other offerings, in a less acute setting of care, said Lance Grady, market access practice director, Avalere Health.

There has been significant use of digital tools in specialty pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it remains to be seen if that move will remain permanent in addition to other offerings, in a less acute setting of care, said Lance Grady, market access practice director, Avalere Health.

Transcript

How are the digital support tools of the pandemic helping to improve specialty prescription fulfillment and therapy?

We're seeing significant innovation on the pharmacy switch, whether that be through the benefit or above the benefit, we know that e-pharmacy solutions or pharmacy solutions that are on the switch are proliferating. I think the question is going to be to the plans and PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers] and payers as to, does that become flexibility for their members? And does that flexibility for their members move towards their own sort of PBM-owned or plan-coordinated or plan-contracted specialty pharmacy to also offer those types of innovations?

That’s the open question that we still don't know yet. Meaning, does, does a large PBM-owned specialty pharmacy innovate with digital solutions and e-solutions as a supplement to their already rather proven sort of call center with education nurses with benefits specialists and counselors and coordinators and, of course, pharmacists. So, I think that is the still the unanswered question. Do we see the innovation stay sort of in the periphery or do we see it move to large or mid-size specialty pharmacy as a part of a comprehensive offering for plans and our plan members?