January 15, 2014
Today the Institute for Patient Access released a new policy brief entitled “WHY DOCTORS NEED TO KNOW WHEN PHARMACISTS SUBSTITUTE BIOLOGICAL MEDICINES.” In this edition of IfPA’s “The Physician’s Perspective,” David Charles, M.D. and Mary Ann Chapman, PhD succinctly set forward the benefits of physician notice and rebut the arguments against physician notice. You can read the policy brief here.
When policymakers consider the terms governing the substitution of interchangeable biologic therapies, what is really at issue is the preservation of the physician-patient relationship. A relationship that is based in the patients faith in his or her physician to act in the patient’s best interest when prescribing a course of treatment. Is trust similarly the foundation of a patient’s relationship with his or her health plan or their pharmacy? As the authors conclude, “…in a transparent healthcare system, patients and physicians have a right to know exactly which medication patients receive. In short, physicians must be notified when pharmacists substitute biologics so that they can direct the best course of treatment for their patients, whose well-being is in the balance.”