Uniting the Specialty Pharmacy Community: Highlights from NASP's Annual Meeting & Expo

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Kelee_Pooja NASP24_B (1)-modifiedThe National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) recently held its annual meeting and expo in Grapevine, Texas, bringing together over 1,400 stakeholders from across the specialty pharmacy industry. Point-of-Care Partner's Pooja Babbrah, Pharmacy & PBM Lead, and Kelee Petzelt, Consultant and Pharmacogenomics subject matter expert, attended and presented at the event, where they discovered exciting trends and engaged in meaningful discussions that are shaping the future of specialty pharmacy.

NASP: A Force in Specialty Pharmacy

Before delving into the highlights of Kelee and Pooja's experience, it's essential to understand the significance of NASP in the healthcare industry. NASP, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade association, unifies stakeholders, including specialty pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, group purchasing organizations, patient advocacy groups, and many others. The organization is the driving force behind the advancement of specialty pharmacy, patient-centric care, and advocacy for favorable policies.

The NASP Experience: Bigger and Better in Texas

As Pooja and Kelee arrived in Texas, they were greeted with the warm and enthusiastic Texan spirit, setting the tone for what was to come. NASP emphasized its growth and the momentum in the specialty pharmacy industry, leading to an even larger turnout compared to the previous year. The crowded venue provided excellent networking opportunities, especially on topics like precision medicine and the unique insights of the specialty pharmacy field.

One of the standout features of NASP was the vibrant and upbeat atmosphere, fostering conversations among diverse backgrounds. Attendees genuinely collaborated to improve healthcare, creating a unique and inspiring environment that set NASP apart from other industry events.

Key Topics and Influential Speakers

Throughout the event, Kelee and Pooja participated in discussions revolving around precision medicine, interoperability, AI, specialty pharmacy business solutions, patient-centric care, patient access to medications, education, advocacy, and policy influence. The wide range of keynote speakers, including drummer Mark Schulman and patient advocate Joan London, provided a lively and Texas-themed networking experience. The Texan two-stepping and themed booths in the Exhibit Hall added a fun and competitive element to the event, making it a memorable experience for all.

The Value of Specialty Pharmacy Practices

Kelee and Pooja's presentations and interactions with industry thought-leaders revealed the importance of specialty pharmacy practices. These practices guide the entire pharmacy industry toward patient-centric and comprehensive care, emphasizing the value of interoperability and transparency in improving healthcare outcomes.

Highlights from Kelee and Pooja's Presentations

During the four-day event, Kelee and Pooja had the opportunity to present and engage with attendees on various key topics. Kelee presented alongside Wilson Tam of Innovalon on the innovative possibilities and opportunities to integrate pharmacogenomics (PGx) into the specialty pharmacy workflow. This presentation sparked considerable interest, leading to numerous follow-up conversations throughout the conference. Since the NASP meeting, Medi-Cal has announced PGx testing will be covered starting in July, 2024 which may be an indication that the value of PGx results in making care decisions has value and should be more common place.

Pooja served as a panel speaker and moderator on the topic of pharmacy interoperability, further enhancing the understanding and importance of this critical aspect of healthcare especially as pharmacy clinical services offerings expand and pharmacists take on a bigger role in serving patients with chronic conditions. It’s clear that the industry’s focus on pharmacy interoperability and the importance of access to clinical information is especially important to specialty pharmacies.

Kelee and Katie Pizzolato, PharmD, BCGP with Tabula Rasa conducted a CE session towards the end of the event, which received positive feedback from attendees and was even described as the best CE session at the conference. This interactive dialogue with hospital systems provided valuable insights and established new connections.

In Conclusion

NASP's Annual Meeting & Expo in Texas was an exceptional event that brought together stakeholders from across the specialty pharmacy industry. Kelee and Pooja's experiences highlighted the industry's trends and the commitment of NASP to advancing specialty pharmacy, improving patient care, and advocating for favorable policies. The event was not only informative but also enjoyable, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and discussion in driving better healthcare outcomes.