How SSM Health's pharmacy concierge program helps patients manage high drug costs

St. Louis-based SSM Health offers a "pharmacy concierge" program to help patients get access to medications at lower costs, reports KSDK.

SSM Health DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton, Mo., implemented the program two years ago. Since then, several other hospitals and physician offices within SSM Health also launched the program.

"We saw that our patients … were having real struggles just getting medications," Subash Maddipoti, the team lead for DePaul's pharmacy concierge service, told KSDK. "In some specialties … all their medications are branded medications, no generics. They're multiple hundreds of dollars per month … They were having to choose between basic life needs and medications."

Through the program, pharmacists collaborate with physicians practicing primary care, pulmonology and endocrinology to identify opportunities to lower medication costs for patients. The physicians and pharmacists often find patient assistance programs from drugmnakers for uninsured patients to participate in and track down co-pay cards or saving incentives for commercially insured patients to take advantage of, according to the report.

The program has helped insured patients save $60-$70 a month, according to Mr. Maddipoti. The health system has also provided about $6 million in free medications to uninsured patients through the program, according to the report.

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