Montefiore News Releases
One of the Most Advanced Specialty Pharmacies in the Region Opens in Westchester, Accelerating Access to Life Altering Medications
- February 8, 2024
BRONX, NY - February 8, 2024 - Today, Montefiore Health System unveiled its new Montefiore Specialty Pharmacy in Westchester, one of the largest and most technologically advanced hospital-owned specialty pharmacies in the Tri-State area. The 17,000 square-foot facility provides complex and high-cost medications to people with rare and chronic conditions and is tackling financial barriers—establishing a new standard of care in the region.
Specialty pharmacies provide medications that have specific requirements for medication storage, dosing and management. First emerging in the 1970s, specialty pharmacies have experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with increasing rates of chronic conditions and intricate treatments that may require unique refrigeration and compounding capabilities.
Montefiore Specialty Pharmacy is comprised of a dedicated pharmacy team who advocate for patients, ensuring timely prescription fulfillment and medication management for individuals with a wide range of conditions including cancer, rheumatologic, neurologic and immune disorders, as well as gastrointestinal and other inflammatory diseases.
Key factors that distinguish Montefiore Specialty Pharmacy include:
- Convenient options to fulfill prescriptions including direct shipping to the patient’s home or easy in person pick-up
- A multidose packaging system with a camera counter that confirms prescription amounts for quality control
- A best-in-class refrigerator room to safeguard temperature sensitive medications
- Access to a pharmacist 24/7 via phone to support both patients and providers
- Low average copays for patients; approximately $13 compared to the industry benchmark of $131
This new site is Montefiore’s second specialty pharmacy location. Its first specialty pharmacy, located at its Henry and Lucy Moses Division in the Bronx, opened in 2019.
“Our new specialty pharmacy is designed to be an extension of a patient’s care team,” said Steven Tuckman, M.B.A., director, Community and Specialty Pharmacy Operations, Montefiore. “Before dispensing medications, our clinical pharmacists communicate with our patients to help ensure they understand their treatment regimens and possible side effects. This same team follows up to confirm that medications are taken as prescribed, and by having a 24/7 answering service, we can be a resource at any hour.”
Tuckman projects that nearly 100,000 scripts will be filled in the first year, primarily from the Bronx and Westchester, with plans to expand.
Enhancing Experiences for Patients & Providers
Chronic disease exacts a significant toll on the health and well-being of New Yorkers. More than 40 percent of New York adults suffer from at least one chronic disease, making medication management vital. Childhood rates of chronic health problems including asthma and diabetes have also been on the rise.
The Montefiore Specialty Pharmacy team is charged with enabling faster delivery of prescriptions as well as securing insurance authorizations for time-sensitive medications, alleviating time and stress from patients and providers alike.
“The specialty pharmacy has already made a tremendous impact on my ability to deliver the highest quality care to my patients who have cancer,” says Ioannis Mantzaris, M.D., leukemia and blood cancer specialist at Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Before the specialty pharmacy opened, my clinical team and I used to spend roughly three hours per drug for each patient to secure insurance authorizations. Now, this team is enabling more of my patients to access important first-line therapies, and they have given me great peace of mind knowing my patients are getting the prescriptions they need.”
Focused on improving access to care and treatments, last year Montefiore helped secure $45.7 million in financial assistance for patient prescriptions by identifying programs available from outside organizations.
“We’re always searching for opportunities across the health system to better support the community,” said Susan Green-Lorenzen, R.N. M.S.N., system senior vice president of operations at Montefiore. “Just because someone has cancer does not mean their other chronic illnesses like heart disease or inflammatory diseases go away. This new specialty pharmacy brings us one step closer toward making sure people with the most complicated conditions get the very best and most comprehensive care, easier and faster than ever before.”
About Montefiore Health System
Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems. It is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley. It comprises ten hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, and over two hundred outpatient ambulatory care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information, please visit www.montefiore.org. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, or view us on Facebook and YouTube.