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Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy Gets Aggressive in Seeking Funding Sources for Life Saving Drugs
Date:3/3/2010

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, the nation's largest privately held specialty pharmacy company, is on a mission to help patients obtain the financial assistance they need to purchase life-saving drugs for such illnesses as cancer, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, as well as drugs for Multiple Sclerosis, kidney disease and other chronic conditions.

"Diplomat's specialty patients average better than 90% adherence to their medications, while the national average is 50-70% for chronic medicines. Still, we can't address the adherence issue with these patients when they don't have the drug to begin with," says Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy President and CEO Phil Hagerman, RPh. 

In 2009, Diplomat's staff obtained a company record $12.1 million in funding (known in the industry as co-pay assistance) for 6,664 patients who were seeking assistance, up from $9.2 million for 4,203 patients in 2008.  Many of the requests come from the Company's patient call center, which works nearly round the clock to answer questions, offer support, ensure medication compliance and, increasingly, find funding sources for those who can't afford their prescriptions.

Anne Hollingsworth, Diplomat's Funding Supervisor, oversees the funding department's efforts. She says with the Company's patient base increasing (1 million new covered lives are planned to be on board in the first quarter of 2010), the need for financial assistance does too.

"My dedicated team of funding professionals works with elderly patients with Medicare Part D insurance gaps (donut holes) and other under-insured individuals every day. Without Diplomat securing co-payment assistance for these patients, many would be forced to charge thousands of dollars to their credit cards just to access necessary medications," emphasizes Ms. Hollingsworth, adding that when language barriers arise, Diplomat's Funding department refers patients to bi-lingual co-workers at the Company's Call Center or uses an outside translation service.

As Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy continues to grow (the Company ranked 235 on the 2009 INC 500 list of fastest growing private companies in America, with a three year growth rate of 917% from 2006 to 2009), it is reaffirming its commitment to financial assistance help for patients.

"Insurance co-pays are changing rapidly in terms of coverage for the specialty prescriptions we provide," says CEO Hagerman. "More patients are discovering new caps and limits on drug coverage that prevent them from either obtaining or continuing their medications.  In certain cases, this is a life or death issue, in all cases it's a quality of life issue. We see funding assistance as part of our mission to serve patients. It's built into the core of our efforts at Diplomat and we will be even more aggressive in the future as we expand nationwide, especially as newer, more effective drugs become available to help more patients."  

About Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

Michigan-based Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, founded in 1975, is the nation's largest privately held Specialty Pharmacy and focuses on complete medication management programs for patients with serious and chronic conditions. Key programs include: Oncology, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn's, Hemophilia, Growth Hormone and Psoriasis. Other specialty areas include Transplant, Fertility, Dialysis Medication Management, Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy and Specialty Compounding. The company also specializes in disease management programs for chronic kidney disease patients. With locations in Flint, Swartz Creek and Grand Rapids, MI; Cleveland, OH; Chicago, IL; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Los Angeles. Learn more about Keeping Patients Healthier...Longer™ at www.diplomatpharmacy.com

Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.651.7536; cell 586.817.8414; barbara@eafocus.com; Dan Roelofs, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, 616.808.3232; droelofs@diplomatpharmacy.com

SOURCE Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

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