Study Design The study matched one group of 519 people enrolled in an employer-sponsored benefit plan who filled at least 80 percent of their renal transplant immunosuppressant medication prescriptions at the specialty pharmacy in its specialty program, with another group of 519 plan participants who filled at least 80 percent at retail pharmacies.The study was a one-year retrospective claims analysis after the implementation of a transplant specialty pharmacy program that, in addition to medication dispensing, includes adherence and clinical management programs, member education, and counseling services provided by specialty pharmacists trained in transplant pharmacology. Primary outcomes included pharmacy medication costs, medical inpatient and outpatient costs and overall health care costs. Patient adherence to transplant medication therapy and health care resource utilization was also evaluated. One-year outcomes post-specialty pharmacy program implementation were compared between the two groups with t-tests for continuous variables and chi-square tests for nominal variables. Results included:
- 13 percent lower total mean cost during the first follow-up year – $24,315 vs. $27,891 (P=0.03)
- 30 percent lower transplant-related medical costs – $5,960 vs. $8,486 (P=0.04)
- More transplant-related prescriptions dispensed – 18.67 vs. 17.90 (P<0.05)
- A higher weighted medication possession ratio – 0.87 vs. 0.83 (P=< 0.001).