Various units of AmerisourceBergen, including ASD Healthcare, World Courier and now, US Bioservices, have made use of the Cubixx platform that ASD developed several years ago. A current iteration, called myCubixx, features a WiFi connection such that inventory inside the desktop-scale refrigerator, as well as patient communications, can be sent in real time back to US Bioservices. The advantages are more precise control of temperature-sensitive products (as opposed to a kitchen refrigerator or—worse—nothing at all); inventory monitoring (allowing for automated refilling); and patient-reported outcomes (which has had value in clinical trials). As well, US Bioservices says past testing has shown high patient satisfaction with the service, which can enhance patient loyalty. There are approximately 20,000 hemophilia patients in the US.
In the newest program, started last month, US Bioservices (a specialty pharmacy) is working with MedImpact, a pharmacy benefit manager, to provide hemophilia patients with needed drugs in their homes. Kevin James, VP payer strategies for US Bioservices, says that the pilot will run a minimum of six months, and be evaluated both for quality of care provided, and outcomes in terms of avoided ER visits or physician interventions. When a patient opens the refrigerator for a dose, information can be provided as to whether a bleeding incident is occurring, or simply a prophylactic dosage, and information like this in turn can justify the economics of the home-based service. “This information is valuable to the entire care team, which might include case managers, infusion nurses, the prescribing physician and the PBM itself,” James notes. Conveying information back to the drugs’ manufacturers is not part of the initial pilot, he says, “but conversations have been held about the technology, and there is interest.”