Season1 Ep4 n

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As of this year, more than 6 million Americans are on a specialty medication, and the industry is ripe for innovation.

In this episode, Melanie sits down with Joel Helle, a pharmacist by training, the Vice President of Physician Services at CVS Specialty, and a dynamic leader in the specialty medications space. As someone who is passionate about creating a world-class specialty pharmacy experience for patients, prescribers and pharmacists, Joel has a unique perspective on what’s coming next in the specialty therapy space. He’s also passionate about his work in health equity and is helping make sure healthcare, including specialty medicine, is accessible to all populations.

During the episode, Joel shares that there’s a big opportunity for improving specialty prescribing and dispensing to make it easier for the patient, provider, pharmacist and health plan to speak to one another electronically. He also explains why it’s important that we continue to digitize the process so we can speed time to therapy, access patient data and benefits in real-time, and remove the phone calls and faxes and delays that still riddle the system—keeping a patient’s health in the balance.

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Featured on this podcast

Joel Helle

Vice President of Physician Services, CVS Specialty

Joel has embedded himself in the crossroads of pharmacists, prescribers and patients. For over a decade, he’s been responsible for the physician & hospital experience in relation to CVS specialty pharmacies throughout the country. He helps maintain relationships with specialty patient support groups, ensuring a commitment to patients with health disparities. Joel is also dedicated to equity and diversity and is currently a member (and past chair) of CVS Health’s Diversity Management Leadership Committee.


Melanie Marcus

Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer, Surescripts

Marcus joined Surescripts in 2017, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience working at the intersection of marketing, technology and healthcare. Based in our Arlington, Virginia, office, she loves serving as “chief storyteller” and hosts Surescripts’ award-winning podcast, There’s A Better Way: Smart Talk on Healthcare and Technology, helping people understand how technology unites our fragmented healthcare system. Marcus is passionate about leading an organizational focus on “customer obsession” where we put customer value first as we work to increase patient safety, lower costs and ensure quality care. Marcus currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Sequoia Project and the Brem Foundation to Defeat Breast Cancer. She also serves as NCPDP Foundation's National Advisory Council (NAC) Chair for Role and Value of the Pharmacist.