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Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The use of oral oncolytics, targeted therapies that are taken in an oral form for the treatment of cancer, has increased substantially in the past several years. Oral anti-cancer medications currently comprise 25 percent to 35 percent of the oncology treatments provided to patients nationwide. To achieve optimal clinical outcomes, however, this ongoing shift from intravenous to oral therapy requires a close partnership among physicians, pharmacists and patients.
The American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) in-house specialty pharmacy works exclusively on behalf of nearly 50 physicians in its growing network of community-based oncology practices to ensure quality and safety and effective treatment outcomes for their patients. With its recent addition to Express-Scripts, the AON Pharmacy is now an in-network provider with four of the top five pharmacy benefits managers in the country.
The centralized state-of-the-art pharmacy, based in Fort Myers, Florida, has ready access to 99 percent of the available oral oncolytics, and can quickly dispense medications and supplies directly to patient homes. Staff members coordinate insurance claims and even make connections to financial assistance programs. But those are just the beginning steps of this vital partnership.
“Due to the complex nature of many specialty therapies, frequent and direct interaction with patients is critical,” said AON Pharmacy Manager Douglas Braun, CSP, PharmD, RPh. AON’s pharmacists interact with each patient to explain medications and proper usage, and are available 24/7 to address any concerns that arise. “With real-time access to patient charts through our electronic medical records system, we’re able to stay in close contact with physicians to monitor therapies and to swiftly address any issues, ensuring that each patient’s treatment is as effective as possible,” he said.
Licensed in 46 states and the District of Columbia, the AON Pharmacy is poised to keep pace and provide centralized pharmacy management services to the five additional practices in four states that will join the AON alliance by the first of next year.
Genesis Cancer Center in Arkansas was among the first to join with AON in September 2018. “Our partnership has given us exposure to best practices in oncology care and we can clearly see the benefits,” said Dr. Stephen “Fred” Divers. “The access we now have to centralized laboratory and pathology services, oral-oncolytic pharmacy and clinical trials research, for example, provides enormous benefits to patients that we could not have achieved on our own.”
“Working with AON we have gained access to enhanced oral oncolytic pharmacy services and other valuable offerings,” said Dr. Rangappa Rajendra, with Oncology/Hematology of Loudoun and Reston in Virginia. “This has brought additional benefits to my colleagues and me and, ultimately, to our patients.”
AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA said, “Managing pharmacy services can be cumbersome and time-consuming for individual practices. The AON Pharmacy maintains a direct connection with our physicians and clinicians so they can focus on taking care of their patients.”
AON Board Member & Chairman Dr. Stephen Orman said, “Because of their expertise and specialized training, our oncology pharmacists and nurses and technicians are uniquely qualified to enhance the patient care experience.”
About American Oncology Network, LLC: (AONcology.com)
American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Founded in 2017, the rapidly growing AON network represents more than 50 physicians and over ten nurse practitioners practicing across seven states. The executive management team of AON brings more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.
The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.
AON also provides a unique model of physician led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.
Caroline Hewitt, Director of Marketing American Oncology Network, LLC (941) 224.8736 Caroline.Hewitt@AONcology.com