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AscellaHealth: Stalwarts of Specialty Pharmacy
Dea Belazi, President & CEO, AscellaHealth It is estimated that there are between 5000 to 8000 orphan and rare diseases, and one out of 15 persons worldwide is affected by it, according to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). Often, these diseases are chronic and prove to be lifethreatening. Since each rare condition is found only in a handful of people, developing orphan drugs remains a risky undertaking due to high costs and limited demand. As specialty pharmacy is gradually coming to the fore to address this challenge, pharmacy manufacturers, physicians, and payers are working to increase the accessibility to specialty drugs.
At the forefront of specialty pharmacy, AscellaHealth offers unique programs to empower specialty pharmacy stakeholders to increase clinical outcomes and streamline access to specialty medications. Essentially, AscellaHealth’s approach involves working with four Ps—patient, provider, payer, and pharmaceutical manufacturer—to offer a cost-effective and outcome-based program. The company enhances the overall therapy journey for patients with chronic or complex conditions requiring specialty pharmaceuticals, cell, and gene therapies. “Our innovative strategies allow for effective management of highcost specialty drugs under the medical or pharmacy benefit for optimal utilization, cost savings, and improved outcomes,” says Dea Belazi, president and CEO of AscellaHealth.
Easy Access to Specialty Drugs
At its core, AscellaHealth is focused on making specialty drugs easily accessible and affordable to patients. The company ensures that the medication is available at the lowest possible cost by offering group purchasing services and specialty product discounts through its subsidiary, Terebellum. The company also offers access to limited distribution products and participation in manufacturer rebate programs for specialty products. In the process, AscellaHealth works with various stakeholders in specialty pharmacy, including prescribers, hospital/health systems, and pharmacies, to ensure the drug reaches the hands of the right patient and achieves desired outcomes.
AscellaHealth also addresses the needs of physicians, who focus on patient-first management programs of highcost specialty drug patients to ensure medication compliance. The company enables physicians to provide patients with rare specialty conditions the best and most efficient care, which requires focus on critical aspects such as the type of the conditions, efficacy and length of therapies, and the overall management of specialty drugs. After the physician verifies the preliminary tests of the patient, AscellaHealth devises appropriate medication therapy management and utilization management programs that can be customized and aligned with each plan sponsor. The company’s deep bench experience and expertise in payer reimbursement, development of programs designed to drive branded volume, and data-driven cost savings help ensure optimal patient access to specialty and rare disease products.
The Entire Gamut of Services for Manufacturers
AscellaHealth is also adept at providing pharmaceutical manufacturers with custom solutions throughout the entire product lifecycle, which result in optimal product access and enhanced clinical outcomes. While pharmaceutical manufacturers are developing products for rare diseases at a comparatively higher frequency than a decade ago, these novel therapies, including cell and gene therapies, are extremely expensive to develop and cost thousands of dollars, sometimes even millions in a year.
To that end, AscellaHealth has recently partnered with Optime Care, a distribution and patient management organization, offering a suite of comprehensive services tailored to maximize the therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of orphan and rare disorders. With this partnership, AscellaHealth supports life sciences manufacturers at all stages of the product life cycle, from precommercialization to launch through fulfillment and tracking of outcomes.
The alliance has also enabled AscellaHealth to expand its capabilities into patient support and Hub services, which include prior authorization support, co-pay assistance, Rx triage and fulfillment, and customized compliance outreach to streamline the prescriber’s administrative process and increase the ‘speed to therapy’ for patients. This model is entirely flexible and based on the manufacturer’s needs, as services can be chosen a la carte. The company covers a distinct niche, offering a consultative approach to develop customized solutions for each client/manufacturer, supporting their particular needs. AscellaHealth is empowering manufacturers to successfully launch specialty products and enhance the patient journey with optimized outcomes.
The company has also developed a white glove program whereby care coordinators work with providers to identify appropriate patients, ensuring they receive the product at the best price, increase therapy compliance, and optimize clinical outcomes. The company’s clinical programs are best-in-class and include interventions at key points in therapy to increase patient compliance and persistency. AscellaHealth enhances patient access to specialty drugs and relevant support services such as site of care optimization for infusion therapies and navigation of the complex prior authorization process. To improve patient engagement, the company equips providers with various options for connecting with the patient based on their preference—phone, email, or text—to generate the best response.
Our Loan-Based Assistance Is Revolutionary And Gives Us A Key Competitive Advantage By Eliminating Barriers To Accessing Highcost Therapies
To serve the needs of specialty pharmacy stakeholders, AscellaHealth offers numerous premier benefit management services. These include flexible, tailored specialty drug management solutions for reduced waste, cost containment and improved health outcomes, identification and management of appropriate sites of care, integration of medical and pharmacy benefits, and more. Clients can either choose all of these or specific services to meet their particular needs.
Alongside unique patient-centric programs, AscellaHealth is ahead of the curve in innovation and leading the industry with its novel financial assistance services. The company offers loan-based assistance programs that convert the high upfront cost of therapies like gene therapy and other expensive highcost specialty drugs into a pay-over-time loan and include payer protection against therapeutic failures.
“Our loan-based assistance is revolutionary and gives us a key competitive advantage by eliminating barriers to accessing high-cost therapies,” says Belazi.
The company also specializes in implementing custom manufacturer co-pay assistance programs, enabling patients to gain access to multiple advanced financial resources required to start and stay on the therapy as prescribed. Offering a broad specialty therapeutic expertise, AscellaHealth’s expert patient care coordinators and pharmacists enable patients to select necessary financial resources. The company’s advanced technology platform provides an automated algorithm to identify ideal programs for patients based on financial need, product, and eligibility. This financial solution helps patients afford high-cost therapies and ensures they receive the specialty medications they need, when they need them most. Since specialty medications and therapies are such a critical component of healthcare, AscellaHealth’s loan-based financial assistance program helps expand health equity and ensure that therapies are more attainable for those in need. Additionally, the company supports patients working in small to midsize organizations who are underinsured or uninsured to obtain access to assistance programs and discount mechanisms to alleviate costs and begin the therapy to treat their condition.
At the Peak of Innovation
Currently, AscellaHealth is a leading specialty pharmacy services provider for ground-breaking pharmaceutical financial services and customized clinical programs, servicing all key stakeholders within the specialty pharmacy industry for optimal health outcomes. In 2022, the specialty pharmacy market is set to fuel biosimilars. AscellaHealth understands the complexities related to the manufacturing of biosimilar drugs and can help overcome key hurdles, including market growth restrictions, rising burden of various chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, and affordability of biosimilar drugs.
Innovation And A Patient-first Approach Is The Core Of Everything We Do At Ascellahealth
Riding on the crest of enormous growth, the company has significantly boosted its growth by over 90 percent in the past four years. This ability to grow will only be fuelled by its partnership with Optime Care to establish a strong trajectory for innovation. The company will continue to align with tech-driven, patient-first organizations to add to their comprehensive suite of capabilities serving all industry segments. “Innovation and a patient-first approach is the core of everything we do at AscellaHealth. We will continue to develop technology-based programs and services that identify and satisfy unmet needs in the marketplace and serve all specialty pharmacy stakeholders,” concludes Belazi.
Management Dea Belazi, President & CEO, AscellaHealth
Description AscellaHealth offers unique programs to empower specialty pharmacy stakeholders to increase clinical outcomes and streamline access to specialty medications. Essentially, AscellaHealth’s approach involves working with four Ps—patient, provider, pharmacy, and pharmaceutical manufacturer—to offer a cost-effective and outcome-based program. The company enhances the overall therapy journey for patients with chronic or complex conditions requiring specialty pharmaceuticals, cell, and gene therapies. AscellaHealth is focused on making specialty drugs easily accessible and affordable to patients. The company ensures that the medication is available at the lowest possible cost by offering group purchasing services and specialty product discounts through its subsidiary, Terebellum.
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