Michael has been dealing with his chronic condition for a few years and has been filling his specialty medications at his hospital specialty pharmacy. Along with taking this medication, he receives check-in calls from his clinical pharmacist every couple months. During a routine check-in call one day, his clinical pharmacist discovered, though his EMR and their conversation, that Michael had been prescribed a new medication by an outside behavioral health provider. This new medication Michael was taking affected the efficacy of the current specialty drug he was taking for his chronic condition. Michael’s new medication was being filled at the behavioral health clinic pharmacy across the street, while his specialty medication was being filled at the hospital specialty pharmacy. He had been taking these two medications together for about 2 months and it could have put Michael at serious risk for developing viral resistance.
Michael was instructed by his clinical pharmacist to immediately stop taking his new medication and the clinical pharmacist alerted both prescribers and pharmacies. Thankfully, Michael suffered no adverse effects from the mixed up medications and there had been no evidence of viral resistance. Michael was so thankful that his clinical pharmacist combed through his health history in detail and worked diligently to save him from months of potentially harmful health effects.
Below is a note from our clinical pharmacist on the key takeaways from this story:
The issues that lead up to a potentially dangerous interaction like Michael’s are a common scenario where patients fill prescriptions from multiple prescribers at multiple pharmacies and no one sees the full picture. Michael assumed that all physicians involved knew the medications that he was prescribed and didn’t realize that the pharmacies couldn’t see what the other pharmacies had dispensed. This is why it is crucial to have a specialty pharmacy program that is integrated into all aspects of a patient’s care team and their EMR so that they can catch potentially dangerous medication dispensing issues. Michael is doing well continuing on the same regimen now that the interacting agent has been discontinued and he will now check with a Shields specialty pharmacist when starting any new medications.
Read a case study from our Clinical Pharmacist team on medication adherence improvements in high risk patient populations here: http://ow.ly/yz2i30o5qzm