Rising drug expenses have been headline news recently, and a new cancer therapy is no exception. Approval for this treatment appears to be all but certain with initial price estimates upwards of $600,000 for a one-time treatment.
"The treatment, CTL019, belongs to a new class of medications called CAR T-cell therapies, which involve harvesting patients’ immune cells and genetically altering them to kill cancer." According to Kaiser Health News "It’s been tested in patients whose leukemia has relapsed in spite of the best chemotherapy or a bone-marrow transplant. The cancer therapy was unanimously approved by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee in July, and its approval seems all but certain."
“It’s going to cost a fortune,” said Dr. Ivan Borrello at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. “From what we’re hearing, this will be a quantum leap more expensive than other cancer drugs,” said Leonard Saltz, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Switzerland-based Novartis hasn’t announced a price for the medicine, but British health authorities have said a price of $649,000 for a one-time treatment would be justified given the significant benefits."
Regardless of where you fall in the political and ethical discussion on the regulation of drug prices, it’s clear that drugs will continue to get more expensive as they get more specific, personal and deliver proven benefits. That makes management and safe storage of these high-value drugs paramount in all facilities at which they are stored, warehoused, handled, held and offered.
Inventory Management Challenges for High Value Medications
Managing inventory throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain is challenging under the best of circumstances, but additional complexity is introduced when the price of one treatment is so significant. Nothing can be left to chance, and medication inventory must be perfectly tracked to a granular level. In this environment, manual inventory tracking, which introduces the understandable and unavoidable risk for human error, and inventory systems that don't offer 100% item-level tracking and visibility, are not an option.
In contrast to traditional inventory management processes, radio frequency identification is a powerful technology that is increasingly used in healthcare to manage critical, high-value inventory. Inventory management with advanced RFID technology provides complete automation and ensures item-level visibility throughout the complex pharmaceutical supply chain.
Benefits of Intelliguard® RFID for Critical Inventory Management
Intelliguard® RFID Solutions provide remote visibility to pharmaceutical critical inventory management processes throughout the supply chain. The Intelliguard® Controlled Temperature Inventory Management System tracks and monitors critical pharmaceutical inventory levels as well as the conditions in which they are stored.
Using RFID-enabled Controlled Temperature Cabinets combined with sophisticated software solutions, the Intelliguard® System automatically monitors inventory and updates each time the cabinet is accessed, without manual item scanning. Inventory is tracked at the specific item-level, and staff gets actionable information minute-by-minute with on-demand reports through the Client Intelligence portal. Alerts and notifications keep everyone informed to quickly locate inventory, understand storage conditions, see inventory levels, and find and remove expired or recalled medications
Contact us to learn more about how Intelliguard® Solutions’ real-time visibility and end-to-end chain of custody enables management of global inventory distribution and improves the efficiency and safety of the pharmaceutical supply chain.