Kaiser Permanente Washington (KPWA) launched a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Pharmacy Program in June 2014 to support patients on oral and self-injectable disease modifying therapies (DMTs). The referral-based service of this program, provided by Clinical Pharmacy Services, included initial patient counseling on a prescribed DMT, routine patient DMT follow-up, assessment of medication adherence, adverse drug reaction consultation, and lab monitoring by a MS Clinical Pharmacist. Over the last few decades, the cost of MS DMTs have increased substantially and have become a significant factor in overall MS healthcare expenditures. Additionally, the FDA has approved seven new DMTs since 2018. In response to the rapidly evolving changes in MS treatment, the MS Pharmacy Program expanded its services to providing support on infusion DMTs, as well as offering patient shared decision-making appointments to facilitate DMT selection. The KPWA MS Pharmacy Program has continued to grow its services to meet the clinical needs of our patients.
As the KPWA MS Pharmacy Program continues to evolve, the contents of this poster highlight program utilization and MS Clinical Pharmacist involvement in patient care over time.
Referrals, pharmacy/medical benefit claims, and MS Clinical Pharmacist patient intervention data were obtained for patients enrolled in the KPWA MS Pharmacy Program from January 2019 to December 2020. Claims were excluded for patients managed by a non-KPWA Prescriber. Assessments are described using descriptive statistics.
A total of 391 referrals were placed with an even distribution of pharmacy benefit and medical benefit claims. MS Clinical Pharmacists were involved in 100% of these referrals. Over time, the number of referrals with a request for shared decision-making increased. The average total time spent per patient in Year 1 (2019) was 145 minutes compared to 109 minutes per patient in Year 2 (2020). The most frequently reported contact reasons were initial visit, shared decision-making, and follow-up visits, which are part of the routine care provided by MS Clinical Pharmacists. In addition to routine care provided, over 200 interventions were completed to address specific patient needs.
The KPWA MS Pharmacy Program plays an integral role in the care of patients with multiple sclerosis. The MS Clinical Pharmacists ensure patients are well informed about their DMT options and are fully educated about selected treatment.