Tardive dyskinesia (TD) affects approximately 600,000 people in the United States. In an effort to raise awareness of TD, states are being asked to declare May 5-11, 2024 as TD Awareness Week. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, and as we work to increase awareness and support for those impacted by mental health conditions, it is important to remember that those living with a mental illness and taking antipsychotics for a prolonged period of time may develop or already have TD.

Check out the below resources and get educated on this topic:

Selecting the right provider for your organization’s long-term care (LTC) pharmacy services is important. Today, we’ll look at five elements to consider when identifying your next Rx partner.

On-Time Delivery

A reliable long term care pharmacy services provider should ensure prompt medication delivery that works with your schedule – not the other way around.

At Grane Rx, we take pride in our 99% success rate for on-time deliveries. Your staff shouldn’t have to worry about when (or if) prescriptions will be delivered. A dependable LTC pharmacy services partner should synchronize your deliveries and be willing to schedule them on a timeline that works for your staff and residents.

Medication Management that Works

It’s no secret that adherence to medication is driven by the degree to which a resident or participant understands their treatment regimen. The right LTC pharmacy will simplify med literacy by utilizing simple instructions and tailored packaging that makes taking those meds easier all around.

Grane Rx is a leading provider of pharmacy services that simplify medication management for those in LTC settings – and those who choose to age in place. Our Meds2Home program allows participants to receive their medications, guaranteed – never left on a doorstep. In this program, medication is presorted with all instructions and educational material written at a fifth grade reading level to better support health literacy and prevent errors with dosing.

Dedicated Support

It’s essential to have a dedicated team of senior care professionals with the knowledge to provide expert support to your teams, 24/7. A good pharmacy partner will make sure you’re never left hanging when it comes to after-hours questions or confusion around a medication regimen.

Technology You Can Rely On

Medication management is one of the most critical aspects of long-term care, and relying on dated technology can lead to ineffective communication and confusion when it comes to drug administration.

Choosing a pharmacy partner who invests in infrastructure and technology designed to support needs unique to long-term care demonstrates commitment to providing the best possible service.

A Patient-Centered Approach

The patient is at the center of everything you do – and your LTC pharmacy should be ready to provide solutions to the challenges you and your patients face when it comes to medication management.

Ultimately, having a knowledgeable and proactive pharmacy partner can make all the difference when it comes to delivering quality long-term care. Grane Rx is committed to providing accessible, reliable solutions for LTC medication management and is proud to stand out as a leader in the field. Take the next step and schedule a call today.

Whether you’re looking to move away from a one size fits all approach to your prescribing practices or reduce costs and negative outcomes associated with trial-and-error prescribing, incorporating a pharmacogenetic test into your treatment model is a increasingly reliable means of getting better results and healthier patients.

A while back, we collaborated with precision diagnostics leader Access Dx to present a webinar discussing the value of pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing across care settings. While we encourage you to watch the webinar itself, we know you may not have the time – so we’ve hit on some of the important points below in hopes that it might open up a conversation on introducing PGx testing into your practice.

What is PGx and why is it becoming a standard of care?

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s genetic makeup affects their response to medications. PGx testing uses pharmacology and genomics to identify genetic differences,  Leveraging this information enables a prescriber to choose the best medications and treatments for patients. It also reduces the chance of harmful side effects. Despite limited clinical trial data and the existence of ever-expanding genetic profiles, we’ve managed to develop medications that work for many patients – but nowhere near all of them.

While the field of PGx was first introduced in the 1950s, it’s only gained traction over the last 10-15 years as clinical trial diversity and efficacy of first-line treatments have been called into question. When commonly utilized therapies prove less-than effective for a sizable portion of the patients for which they are prescribed, it’s time to introduce precision medicine.

Thanks to the rise of direct-to-consumer genetics testing companies like 23 & Me, even individuals with no clinical background are gaining an appreciation for the ability to understand one’s health by examining DNA – and while the applications are a little bit different, the underlying goal of preventing or better treating chronic illness is the same.

Regardless of the application, it’s all about the body’s ability to metabolize.

While pharmacogenomics certainly sounds like a complicated form of evidence-based medicine, what these evaluations are really looking at is an individual’s ability to metabolize a drug. Depending on a drug’s mechanism of action, specific metabolic enzymes are required to convert the medication to “active” in one’s system. If a patient has a metabolism that digests that medication too slowly (known as a poor metabolizer) or too quickly (known as a ultra-rapid metabolizer) the drug is unable to provide the desired therapeutic effect. That’s just one example of how a medication might not do its job.

For any one indication or diagnosis, there might be 15+ medications approved by the FDA, ranging dramatically in cost. This is why testing is so critical. For example, if a patient is a poor metabolizer of the active ingredient in the top three most affordable medications used to treat their illness, it’s important to know that not only will these meds not work – but that said patient may become even more sick in a way that costs a lot more for an insurer than springing for, say, the 7th medication on the list. The difference, which does add up, is likely a few extra dollars a day – but it’s certainly a lesser expense than ED visit, hospital readmission, or additional diagnostics and follow ups.

Making the case for testing – even when it isn’t covered.

While the concept of PGx testing as a regular standard of care may seem cutting-edge, its utilization in precision medicine is growing faster than ever. Even the FDA has provided a set of gene-drug interactions they feel are credible for certain groups of patients.  

While not mandated, implementing PGx into the therapeutic process can make the difference when getting a “yes” from insurers. In fact, choosing to do so has the potential to significantly reduce time and money spent on therapies that just won’t work, or worse, could severely injure or worsen a patient – making the case for implementing testing even in cases where reimbursement is not available.

Even better, this kind of testing normally doesn’t need to be repeated as it is done by evaluating an individual’s DNA against a continuously growing body of peer-reviewed and consensus data. For most patients, a buccal swab only needs to be collected once, and that information is used in perpetuity for evaluating therapies for which they might be considered in the future. This ability to cross reference the patient’s results with a continuously growing body of data is also a good reason to make the initial panel highly comprehensive – so as many genes as possible are being assessed. Having all of the information available up front maximizes the cost efficacy of PGx long term – and typically the only patients who may need an updated buccal swab are those who undergo procedures that affect the DNA of specific systems, like in the case of a liver transplant.

Though we most commonly see PGx utilized in the treatment of conditions falling under cardiology, GI diseases, oncology, behavioral health challenges and pain management, it’s easy to see how these systems are areas of focus touching on nearly every care delivery setting. Whether you’re providing care in a hospital, skilled nursing, long-term care facility, or even as an outpatient clinician, it’s important to be armed with the facts when making the case to insurers and payers alike. PGx testing takes the burden out of making your case – the data says it all.

In our recent webinar presented by Center for Healthcare Solutions, Jen Devinney, Chief Clinical Officer at Grane Rx is joined by Rick Shigaki, VP Pharmaceutical Solutions at Access Dx, where they provide an even deeper dive on PGx testing, including case studies applicable to nearly every care setting. Watch it here.

For providers looking to move towards precision medicine, introducing Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is a good place to start.

While we cover this in-depth throughout our webinar hosted by Center for Healthcare Solutions, we’ve bulleted out the quick hits – so you can start thinking about if PGx is a strategy you’d like to add to your prescribing toolkit.

More effective treatments

Pharmacogenetic testing helps you understand how different individuals metabolize drugs differently, providing insight into which medications will be most effective – allowing you to create more personalized treatment plans and get better outcomes for patients.

Reduced cost burden

Accurate pharmacogenetic testing makes it easier to avoid costly trial-and-error drug treatments, reducing medical costs for both patients and insurers.

Increased efficiency

With greater knowledge of how a patient’s body reacts to certain medications, providers can deliver tailored care faster, leading to improved quality of life for the patient.

Improved safety

With pharmacogenetic testing, you can identify which drugs may be too strong or ineffective for a patient – helping to avoid delays in the drug’s response, adverse reactions and other potentially dangerous side effects.

Greater accuracy

By testing for an individual’s genetic makeup, pharmacogenetic results help providers make highly personalized and data-driven treatment decisions based on a patient’s ability to metabolize a drug.  

Overall, implementing pharmacogenomics into your care delivery is essential for providing the most effective treatments possible while reducing overall costs and improving safety – leading to better outcomes for everyone involved.

For a closer look at the how, when, and why of genetic testing for precision prescribing, watch our recent webinar with Access Dx, Pharmacogenomics Across Care Settings, hosted by our friends at the Center for Healthcare Solutions.

In our recent webinar presented by Center for Healthcare Solutions, Jen Devinney, Chief Clinical Officer at Grane Rx is joined by Rick Shigaki, VP Pharmaceutical Solutions at Access Dx, where they provide a detailed overview of the applications for Pharmacogenomics (PGx) testing across a variety of care settings, examples of exactly how it can be applied, and case studies that contextualize its value in a variety of situations where patient care can be dramatically improved.

To learn more about PGx testing and its applications across care settings, you can check out our blogs on the topic by clicking here and here.

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When it comes to pharmacy providers of senior care organizations – whether through long-term living facilities or age-in-place programs like PACE – your pharmacy services provider can make or break the success of your organization. At an operational, clinical, and financial level, the quality of your pharmacy partner has a direct correlation to the satisfaction and retention of your onsite staff, the health outcomes of your participants, and the ability for your care teams to focus on care, instead of mitigating issues related to inventory, delivery, or adherence.

We may be telling you something you already know. But you might still be wondering – is my LTC pharmacy services provider doing everything they can?

Whether your contract renewal date is coming up, or several years away – it’s always worth taking a deeper look at what your current partner is bringing to the table. Read on for a closer look at the areas your pharmacy should be leveraging their role to reduce your workload and streamline your operations – or where they may be creating troubled waters.

So, what has your pharmacy provider done for you lately?

> Your pharmacy should be a substantial driver of cost reduction.

Your pharmacy is in a unique position to be a key driver of cost reduction for program participants – by identifying erroneous or ineffective polypharmacy, providing adherence tools that prevent ED admissions for patients managing care at home, and facility-specific preferred medications that strike balance between cost-effective and clinically relevant medications.

> When it comes to med delivery, your staff shouldn’t be playing air traffic control.

Your job as a long-term care program is to provide the best senior care possible. Good care delivery doesn’t allow space for your staff to spend time tracking down missing medications, incorrect dosages, and delayed deliveries. In order to effectively manage medication delivery, whether to your facility or to a participant’s home, private courier networks are a key factor  to avoid delivery delays. The right pharmacy partner won’t be using FedEx or UPS to deliver critical medication – only to have it rerouted back to the pharmacy provider when it was already late. Your partner’s shipping logistics are a direct reflection of their commitment to your organization and its success.

> EHR integration should be a baseline for pharmacy communications.

Patient prescribing data, medication pricing, reporting, and the ability to communicate with your pharmacy shouldn’t be a game of phone tag or multi-touchpoint process. Your pharmacy provider should be committed to running their service on a platform that integrates seamlessly with your EHR – not the other way around.

> Your provider shouldn’t be a barrier to needed med changes.

A good long-term care pharmacy services provider is committed to working closely with you and your physicians to quickly make changes to new or discontinued medication regimens. They should also be prepared to answer any questions your onsite providers may have – and patients should never be waiting weeks to start a new therapeutic, even when adherence or med pass packaging is in use.

Partnering for success

It’s important to find a provider who is in sync with your organization’s needs – and understands where they can add value and save time, money and resources. Maybe you’re just now realizing that you could have a better relationship with a pharmacy services provider – or maybe you’ve been looking to switch for a while.

Since 1996, our team at Grane Rx has the experience of providing industry-leading senior care – with solutions that align with every expectation we’ve set above.

We would be happy to schedule a discovery meeting to learn about your unique operational challenges, areas of excellence, and opportunities to thrive in a partnership tailored to meet the needs of your organization.

At Grane Rx, we redefine “above and beyond” as just getting started. Schedule time to talk.