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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010 Oct 1;67(19):1650-8. doi: 10.2146/ajhp100085.

Report of the ASHP Task Force on Caring for Patients Served by Specialty Suppliers.

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Benefis Healthcare, Great Falls, MT, USA.


Task Force recommendations are discussed in more detail in eAppendix A (available at What follows is a brief summary of those recommendations. In very abbreviated terms, the Task Force suggested that ASHP: 1. Consider creating and maintaining a Web resource center on ASHP's website to provide information about restricted drug distributions systems (RDDSs), risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMSs), risk assessment and minimization plans (RiskMAPs), and specialty suppliers and products. 2. Provide comprehensive education to members, other health professionals, regulators, third-party payers, patients, and other stakeholders about RDDSs, REMSs, RiskMAPs, and specialty suppliers and products. 3. Develop policies to advocate that a. Pharmacists serve as the institutional leaders in compliance and utilization challenges of safely managing externally supplied medications and related drug administration devices, b. Agencies, organizations, and associations that influence the distribution, sale, and dispensing of medications under these alternative distribution models address issues these models create in continuity of care, reimbursement, and patient safety, c. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Joint Commission develop standards and interpretations that accommodate hospital use of these products and devices when currently available technology (e.g., cold-chain storage, e-pedigree) is used to ensure patient safety, d. Group purchasing organizations negotiate contractual arrangements for specialty pharmaceuticals for both acquisition costs and distribution arrangements, and e. Information technology (IT) be used to resolve issues created by alternative distribution models and that ASHP work with IT vendors to ensure that programs are designed to meet the needs of these evolving models. 4. Quantify through research, perhaps in cooperation with entities such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Institute of Medicine, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, the impact of alternative distribution models on financial, safety, clinical, and humanistic patient outcomes. 5. Develop multidisciplinary tools and best practices that assist health care practitioners address the challenges created by alternative distribution models, from patient intake and referral to hospital discharge.

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