July 22, 2020
For chronic pain and spasticity patients, opioid medication can be a path to a higher quality of life. However, oral opioids can also be highly addictive and, when overprescribed or abused, can cause serious harm. In 2016, opioids were involved in more than 42,249 overdose deaths in the United States.1
Targeted drug delivery (TDD) offers an alternative to oral opioids. Because the medication is administered through an implanted pump that infuses medication into the patient’s intrathecal space, there’s no opportunity for the patient to independently increase the dose, or for anyone else to take the medication. In clinical studies, TDD has been shown to be a viable and relatively safe option for the treatment of chronic pain.2
TDD therapy can also lead to reduced healthcare utilization—and reduced costs. In a recent study of patients with cancer-related pain, use of TDD therapy was associated with fewer emergency department visits, fewer inpatient visits and shorter hospital stays than with conventional medical management alone, and led to average cost savings of more than $60,000 in a one-year period.3
Because of these benefits, more and more physicians are choosing TDD therapy for their patients. There are an estimated 140,000 implanted pump patients across the country, and the market keeps growing.4
“Many physicians are seeing the benefits of TDD therapy for chronic pain and spasticity patients,” says Anish S. Patel, Chief Medical Officer of AIS Healthcare. “For patients with comorbid conditions or who are at high risk for opioid abuse and addiction, TDD can provide a safer alternative to conventional medical pain management.”
Many pharmacies across the country offer patient-specific, compounded TDD therapies. When selecting among these pharmacies, quality has to be top of mind for prescribers. Because TDD involves infusing medication directly into the patient’s spinal fluid, all providers should ask what potential pharmacy partners do to ensure quality and sterility.
All 503A specialty compounding pharmacies, which prepare patient-specific prescriptions, must meet industry standards, as well as state and local regulations, to ensure minimum cleanliness and quality standards are met.
AIS Healthcare Targeted Drug Delivery, the leading TDD solutions provider, goes above and beyond these requirements to advance patient safety. Licensed in all 50 states, AIS Healthcare Targeted Drug Delivery has two state-of-the-art 503A pharmacies that adhere to higher quality standards, including third-party testing of all stock solutions,* and more rigorous quality processes.
Industry standards require 503A pharmacies to use aseptic processing to sterilize patient-specific prescriptions, resulting in sterility assurance levels of 1:1,000. AIS Healthcare Targeted Drug Delivery uses a proven, proprietary process that combines aseptic processing with terminal sterilization to achieve 1:1,000,000 sterility assurance levels and Beyond-Use Dates of 21 to 45 days at room temperature.†
Outside of the pharmacy, AIS Healthcare Targeted Drug Delivery does more to enhance the care experience for patients and providers. Three distinct care services provide in-home and in-clinic pump refills and maintenance, and a care coordination program offers 24/7 nursing and pharmacist support to patients. These services are designed to reduce unnecessary trips to clinics and physician offices, reducing costs and freeing up physicians’ staff to care for more patients. These programs not only support patients but also empower providers and allow them the time and flexibility to grow their practices.
“At AIS Healthcare Targeted Drug Delivery, we’re committed to doing more of what matters to advance quality throughout the care continuum,” says Simon Castellanos, Chief Executive Officer of AIS Healthcare. “We’re proud to do what’s right, not just what’s expected, at every care touchpoint.”
* Third-party testing for pH, sterility, potency, endotoxins and particulate matter
† All patient-specific dispenses within maximum concentrations (based on AIS Healthcare in-house data for 120,000 aseptically processed and terminally sterilized patient-specific prescriptions in 2019)