Cookeville Regional Medical Center is looking to further expand its specialty pharmaceuticals abilities through the purchase of a new analytics program.
CRMC Pharmacy Director Dr. Casey White said specialty pharmacies assist patients in treating more rare illnesses whose medications are more expensive and require more direct contact with patients.
CFO Tommye Rena Wells said the addition of the program also gets CRMC a step closer toward accreditation.
“I think it will have a huge impact on the community,” Wells said. “And as Dr. White had said for our patients because they should be able to come here for their specialty pharmacy care instead of having to drive to Nashville or to Knoxville and I see that as a huge benefit to our community and our patients.”
White said illnesses like Crohn’s disease, autoimmune diseases, oncology and GI are among those treated through specialty drugs. White said many in the community need this access.
Board of Trustees Member Laurin Wheaton asked White where the next closest specialty pharmacy was located. White said the closest was Vanderbilt, and the second-closest was the UT Medical Center in Knoxville.
The purchase of the program will cost some $341,000. That includes a $17,000 one-time implementation fee and and a $108,000 three-year support and subscription package.
Wells said the pharmacy already does some of these specialty pharmaceuticals in the hospital’s infusion center. CEO Paul Korth said that not only will it help the community as a whole, but it will help also the hospital take care of their own employees who need care of this nature.
“We have several of our employees that have to get this medicine and we pay for part of that through our employees benefit cost,” Korth said. “Us doing it in house is going to be much more feasible and offer better service to our employees.”