AscellaHealth Launches Dedicated IVIG Medication Therapy Management Program Supporting Immunodeficiency Community
BERWYN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AscellaHealth, a national specialty pharmacy benefit manager (SPBMTM) serving commercial, Medicare and Medicaid segments, announces the launch of its Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) Medication Therapy Management Program to support the mission of the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF) and the primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) community. The proprietary AscellaHealth program informs clinicians, patients and payers with high-quality information to enhance patient care, clinical outcomes and cost management approaches. IVIG is used to treat a broad range of life-threatening conditions that compromise the body’s immune system. Along with its long and costly manufacturing process, increased demand for this therapy has contributed to nationwide shortages.
“A major component of the cost of treating PIDD is the high price of IVIG products in the market, the variance of higher immunoglobulin doses being prescribed and the differences of treatment for subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) vs. intravenous IVIG per site of care,” says Dea Belazi, president and CEO, AscellaHealth. “We support the missions of IDF and JMF and PIDD patients and their families by offering a specialty medical benefit management approach that identifies and finds the right match for IVIG products available in the U.S. market. Our program ensures that individuals receive a disease-specific care plan that addresses their particular needs.”
PIDD is a rare, debilitating disease of the immune system that predisposes the affected individual to infection, autoimmune conditions and neoplasm. Currently, IVIG treatment is FDA-approved for PIDD, Kawasaki disease, preventative care after bone marrow transplants and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
Because the treatment is available for off-label use—prescribed for non-FDA approved purposes—it extends to secondary immunodeficiencies, such as those related to HIV, cancer, cancer treatment and recurrent infections. Off-label use of IVIG can be a useful treatment for evidence-based purposes, but it’s also frequently used as a last-chance approach for an array of conditions, including neurological and neuromuscular conditions, even without clear evidence that it helps the patient.
Belazi adds, “The use of IVIG is accelerating with an increase in the number of diagnoses of PIDD and neurologic conditions, an aging population and the identification of new uses for IVIG. With AscellaHealth’s IVIG Medication Therapy Management Program, clients stay up-to-date and benefit from site of care optimization, utilization management, patient/provider education and preauthorization policies. Because the manufacturing process for IVIG includes collecting plasma from healthy donors, processing, packaging and shipping, it can take up to a year to produce and is an allocated product to specialty pharmacies that are eligible to allow for prescription fulfillment.”
He adds that the shift to home infusion imparts significant cost savings as compared to the traditional infusion hospital setting. Whereas hospitalization costs upwards of $1,500 to $2,500 per day, the average cost of home infusion is $150 to $200 per day. Despite this, most patients are still treated in hospitals. One study estimates that delivering IVIG in the home setting could provide annual savings of $18,876 to $26,136 for each patient receiving 13 to 18 infusions per year.
“This is significant given that IVIG is in the top five drug categories in terms of annual spending -- even though less than 1% of covered lives under Medicare or commercial insurers require IVIG,” Belazi concludes. “IVIG is a component of the specialty drug market, which is estimated to grow from $336 billion in 2018 to approximately $500 billion by 2023 across developed markets. AscellaHealth’s proven management program drives meaningful savings for payers without sacrificing patient quality of care.”
AscellaHealth, a national specialty pharmacy benefit manager (SPBMTM), serving commercial, Medicare and Medicaid segments, offers high quality prescription drug benefit management services. Complemented by other customizable services, such as carved-out specialty pharmacy services and cost-savings programs, AscellaHealth provides a unique, proprietary service portfolio. Visit www.ascellahealth.com.
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