This month, we’re celebrating our amazing pharmacists and the work they do to impact members at virtually every point along the patient-care continuum. Today we’re sharing a story from clinical pharmacist Marc Ream, who partnered with the commercial pharmacy team to go above and beyond the call of duty for a family in need.
Although he did not know it then, when Marc Ream took a call late on a Friday afternoon, he was about to experience what would become the most rewarding moment in his career as a pharmacist.
The call came from a mother with an urgent request for an oncology drug approval for her 10-year-old daughter, Jane.* Jane, who lives with Leukemia, needed a specific medication that is relatively rare and not easily accessible. The family was leaving on their long-awaited vacation the next day, so they needed the medication that same day. Marc quickly realized that getting this medication to the member quickly would require collaboration with the prescribing oncologist, as well as with multiple parties including the health plan, account managers, technicians, pharmacists, physicians and the dispensing pharmacy.
Marc quickly went to work, placing a call to the prescribing oncologist to gather a comprehensive history on the young girl, as well as the necessary clinical rationale to make the approval. Typically, once a medication is clinically approved, the pharmacist’s job is complete and the prescription can be filled by a local pharmacy. However, this particular oncology drug was classified as a limited-distribution medication, typically dispensed only through mail-order facilities. Realizing that the family would not have time to wait, Marc contacted a specialty pharmacy in the area to try to come up with a quicker solution.
He reached out to the pharmacy’s lead oncology pharmacist and confirmed that the medication was in stock, and they conferenced in Jane’s physician to place the order. Marc worked with the oncology pharmacist to schedule delivery of the medication to the family. When they called the mother to tell her the good news, they could hear the emotion and gratitude in her voice. Thanks to the swift and diligent work of many, Jane and her family were off on their dream vacation with this important medication in hand.
Thank you to Marc Ream and the commercial pharmacy team for this empowering story that shows just how passionate and committed we are to leading humanity to healthy, more vibrant lives.
*Details around the specific circumstances of this story have been changed to protect the identities of both Jane (not her real name) and her family.