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Specialty pharmacists have an incredibly difficult job, given the complex nature of specialty medications and the added burden of a healthcare system disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet the ability to touch patients’ lives is what gives meaning to specialty pharmacists’ work.

Cecelia Byers, PharmD, Specialty Pharmacy Clinical Product Manager at Surescripts, recently joined the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Podcast to discuss the challenges that specialty pharmacists face and how technology providers like Surescripts help specialty pharmacists keep the focus on patients.

In the podcast, Cecelia is joined by Todd S. Eury, the founder and CEO of Pharmacy Podcast Network, and Sheila Arquette, the President & CEO of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, Cecelia to discuss the findings from a recent Surescripts survey. The survey of 414 specialty pharmacists sheds light on their perspectives of the specialty fulfilment process. Specifically, almost 70% of respondents said administrative tasks and filling specialty prescriptions take extra time and interfere with providing patient care. Most specialty pharmacists agree that an automated system would help, and 56% think streamlined communication—specifically, secure messaging within their workflow—would improve the fulfillment process.

“That’s where Surescripts is at,” Byers said. “We want to be able to give [specialty pharmacists] the information they need so it frees up other means of communication that are critical between the patient, the pharmacist and prescriber.”

“Organizations like Surescripts help put the pharmacists in the position of being that patient navigator, that quarterback by pulling together all of the stakeholders and getting the pieces of information that are required for the authorization for the medication,” Arquette observed.

You can learn more about pharmacists' perspectives on the specialty fulfillment process by listening to the podcast or reading Surescripts' survey report.