At ST, we pride ourselves on customer service. We deal with healthcare professionals every day to discuss our portfolio of specialist therapies and the patients who might benefit, and we never forget that there is a person and a family at the heart of every discussion.
That’s why we partnered with Pharmacy Phusion to launch a Patient Support Program to assist our efforts introducing a new breast cancer therapy to Australian women. We wanted to ensure all patients taking this oral medication were provided ongoing support, encouragement and reassurance.
This program began in 2018 and to date, has benefitted almost 420 patients, with more than 2500 packs of medication dispensed.
In addition, specialist pharmacists have made 6270 phone calls to those patients to provide ongoing support and reassurance.
This program, which has now been operating for more than a year, has won the Pharmacy Phusion-ST team a place in the finals at the prestigious PRIME Healthcare Awards.
These awards recognise outstanding healthcare initiatives and we are thrilled to be ranked among finalists.
Mark Silcock from Pharmacy Phusion commented: “The brief from Specialised Therapeutics was clear and it was evident from the very beginning that the primary need of this patient cohort was very simply support …with a particular focus on their first month of treatment.
“Upon receipt of the patient’s enrolment the pharmacist team reached out to every patient to conduct a ‘Welcome to Program’ phone call, which outlined for patients what they should expect from the support program and their treatment. Every patient subsequently received a call from a dedicated pharmacist, every week for the first five weeks of their treatment and monthly calls thereafter.”
The response was outstanding, with an independent review of the program conducted by Canberra University showing that patients were overwhelmingly supported by the effort, with feedback including:
“A service such as this should be available to all cancer patients to discuss all their drugs. It can be a very confronting and confusing time. If I had this service available when I first started my treatment, it would have reduced my anxiety.”
“I honestly cannot fault them. They [the pharmacist team] have been beyond amazing.”
“[the program] has been a very positive experience for me.”
“I like that I feel confident that the pharmacist I am dealing with is very knowledgeable about (my therapy), especially since it is such a new drug and almost all pharmacists are unfamiliar with the drug. I feel that I get specialised information and care from these pharmacists.”
• 90% of patients stated that they learnt something new by talking with the pharmacist team
• 95% of patients were satisfied or very satisfied with the amount of time the pharmacist team spent talking with them
• 90% of patients were satisfied or very satisfied with the information provided by the pharmacist team about side-effect management
• 85% of patients would recommend a similar Patient Support Program for patients taking oncology medicines
• 75% of patients stated that their interaction with the pharmacist team increased their understanding of the therapy regimen.
Specialised Therapeutics CEO Carlo Montagner said:
“When we introduced this important new breast cancer therapy to the Australian treatment landscape, we were determined to ensure that all patients were provided ongoing support, whenever they needed it. It’s not always easy to access your doctor, so we enlisted Pharmacy Phusion and their team of expert pharmacists to provide the ongoing reassurance our patients were after. We are thrilled with the outcome.”
PRIME Awards winners will be announced in an online ceremony on September 24.