National Pharmacist Day
According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there are over 310,500 pharmacists employed in the United States as of September 2021.
Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions (PBD) is fortunate to have some of the best!
Wednesday, January 12, is National Pharmacist Day, and we wanted to recognize our talented and dedicated staff of full-time pharmacists who impact the lives of thousands of patients through education, research and clinical expertise.
Their duties are many, and crossover into all teams/departments at PBD. Their responsibilities involve staying updated on industry trends, pharmacy standards, new technology and more. They are a humble group, working hard behind the scenes to deliver solutions to maximize cost savings and enhance clinical effectiveness for our clients while providing outstanding customer service to the members we serve.
We asked some of our pharmacists to describe their role at PBD, what that role means to them and how their duties impact our clients/customers. Here are their comments:
Stefan Brand, Supervising Pharmacist-Prior Authorization
As the supervisor of the pharmacy prior authorization and benefit administration departments, I work to assure that our members get accurate, timely and clinically appropriate decisions on prior authorizations and appeals. At PBD, we have a large number of individual clients with plan-specific needs. Therefore, it is important to keep the lines of communication between the prior authorization and benefit administration teams open with our account management, client support, servicing, help desk and other teams to ensure the specialized needs of our customers are met. Our goal is to balance understanding of clinical guidelines, policy and procedures and compassionate care for patients as well as being able to work with health care professionals to provide the best outcome for patients.
Patrick Comerford Jr., Director, Customer Service & Engagement
My role at PBD is to help our customer service, client management, clinical and communications teams have efficient, accurate and meaningful interactions. We work to ensure that the health care dollars our clients spend go toward therapies that can have the most cost-effective impact for our members to optimize their clinical outcomes. We have a great team of pharmacists that all work toward a common goal of producing the best outcomes for our clients and members.
Colleen Peehler, Clinical Review Pharmacist
I review requests for prior authorizations on medications for members. What I love about my role is that PBD allows us to use our clinical skills and judgement to act in the best interest of our patients. We are able to look at cases individually and make decisions that benefit the members, rather than stick to following cookie cutter policies, without any consideration of a member’s special situations. The impact this has on our members is huge. They can rest assured that we are considering their unique situation when reviewing requests for coverage, instead of expecting them to fit into a “one size fits all” policy criteria. That is what makes PBD different. Although we have no “face to face” contact with these members, we get to know our members/patients and consider ourselves part of their patient care team. We care about their outcomes and work hard to provide them the best care possible. It's the PBD difference: pharmacists who care about your health and cost-savings!
Christina Ramsay, Clinical Pharmacist
I enjoy being part of a dedicated and caring team that works together to deliver the highest quality service to our clients and members. I am responsible for the management and maintenance of the PBD self-funded drug formularies. This involves collaboration with other teams, including Client Support, Account Management and Prior Authorization, to ensure the proper management of the benefit to maximize client and member satisfaction.
Aleem J. Merani, Manager Clinical Pharmacy and Account Management
I lead and collaborate with the clinical pharmacy, account management and client support teams at PBD to develop and support clinical programs, account management strategy and other cross-functional initiatives. Our teams build positive relationships with employers, brokers and consultants to maintain and grow membership while providing insight and helping clients manage cost-effective plans. It’s certainly a great responsibility and satisfying feeling knowing that you can impact the lives of thousands of members for the better.
Bonnie Broczkowski, Clinical Review Pharmacist
We coordinate with providers and employers to ensure positive patient outcomes along with effective and prudent spending of our client’s health care dollars. My favorite thing about being a Clinical Review Pharmacist at PBD is that everyone — the patient, the practitioner, the employer and the PBM — all share the common goal of patient wellness.
Dana Ranallo, Clinical Pharmacist
I am responsible for the management and maintenance of PBD’s formularies and specialize in transitioning EGWP-eligible retirees into plans with minimal disruption. I closely monitor CMS regulations and work in step with account management, prior authorization and client support teams to implement EGWP prescription drug plans that are tailored to meet each client’s unique needs. I am continuously seeking out solutions to enhance cost containment, incorporate innovative industry advancements, and provide beneficiaries and plans with a cost-effective and clinically superior formulary. I am proud to work with the pharmacists across all teams at PBD to help our clients and members receive superior service and care.
Marianne Yaeger, Clinical Review Pharmacist
I am responsible for the clinical review of medications as part of the Utilization Management process. This involves reviewing drugs for clinical appropriateness and safety per policy and formulary guidelines to ensure members are able to receive appropriate medication therapies cost effectively. I love having a role in patient care and the opportunity to serve our members.
Kyle Taylor, Clinical Review Pharmacist
My role at PBD is primarily as a clinical reviewer for our EGWP Medicare line of business. This involves completing medication prior authorization requests; staying up-to-date on CMS rules, regulations and updates; working collaboratively amongst the other departments/personnel at PBD; and updating processes and procedures. The collaborative, forward-thinking, community-based approach at PBD is what makes the “PBD magic,” which allows us to deliver the best possible outcomes and experience for our members and groups.
James W. Pufpaff, Trade Relations Pharmacist
I am responsible for overseeing the rebates and drug manufacturer contracts program at PBD. I see this as a great opportunity to leverage my knowledge and skills surrounding contracting and formulary management to continue to serve our stakeholders through the realization of savings on costly brand-name medications.
Meagan Chandarana, Benefit Administration Pharmacist
I am the Benefit Administration Pharmacist responsible for facilitating and completing appeal requests for both our Self-Funded and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan/EGWP members. My role allows me to serve as a resource to help members have a better understanding of appeal determinations and facilitate communication with providers and members regarding appropriate treatment strategies in alignment with PBD's formulary and drug policies.