A transplant is a medical procedure where a patient receives an organ from a donor. Transplants may present many challenges for patients, caregivers, and providers. In 2021, 41,354 organ transplants were performed in the United States. There were 24,669 kidney transplants, 9,236 liver transplants and 3,817 heart transplants. Though kidney, liver, and heart transplants account for the majority of organ donations, other forms of organ donations include skin, lungs, pancreas, corneas, bone, tendons, intestines, nerves, and heart valves.
Specialty pharmacy Supporting Transplant Patients
Management after a transplant can be hard when it comes to medication and treatment post-operation. Once a patient receives a transplant, specialty pharmacy plays a critical role in a patient’s recovery and donation success. Pharmacists work directly with physicians to ensure patients receive the correct dose of medication, which often needs frequent adjustment and monitoring. Adjustments to medication work to prevent rejections of the new organ and to fight infection. Rejection occurs when the immune system of the patient believes the new organ to be an invading threat. Immunosuppressants may be prescribed to ensure the body does not attack the new organ. However, immunosuppressants can weaken the body’s ability to fight other threats like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Specialty pharmacies personalize treatments and maintain constant communication between patient, caregiver, and physician to guarantee the patient stays healthy and does not reject the new organ.
Ensuring Patient Education and Adherence
Medication adherence is especially important for transplant patients. Adherence means a patient takes the correct dose of medication for the right amount of time. Patients are much more likely to adhere to a medication’s guidelines if they are properly informed of its usage. Therefore, successful transplant management starts with patient education. Specialty pharmacies like PFSP have extensive patient education for patients to understand the proper use, side effects, and symptoms of their treatment plan. Pharmacists can walk patients and caregivers through their prescriptions to answer any questions, help prevent medication interruption, and improve medication adherence. Immunosuppressant drugs are especially important to monitor and maintain adherence, to keep the immune system from attacking the new organ. If a patient has an interruption to their immunosuppressant or takes the incorrect dose, serious complications could result. Transplant patients are often on certain medications for the rest of their life, so understanding what to expect and how to avoid drug interactions early on can set patients up for success throughout their treatment. When patients receive more education and guidance, symptoms can be minimized and patients have a better treatment experience and better adherence.
PFSP Helping Transplant Patients
The pharmacists at PFSP develop close relationships with transplant patients. Pharmacists coordinate with physicians, monitor medications, help manage side effects, provide educational resources, and send refill reminders. Specialty pharmacies like PFSP support patients by helping to manage the changes a patient’s body will go through with pre-transplant therapeutic interventions combined with post-transplant management of medication that facilitates the best outcomes.
PFSP Specialty Pharmacy provides patients and their physicians an exceptionally high standard of care with our growing team of specialized pharmacists and staff. Our dedicated team of pharmacists focus on improving adherence for patients and work to find an approach that works best for them. Bringing a fresh take on what a Specialty Pharmacy can and should be, we are committed to the care of our patients. We take pride in being an ethical resource within our community and strive each day to help our patients live enriching and full lives.