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Medication Misadventures In Global Rx Care Featured

Medication Misadventures In Global Rx Care


Patients deserve to have confidence in global healthcare delivery when they require medical treatment outside of their home country. Prescription drugs are an important part of most global treatment plans, and they should always be integrated with medical treatment. This article details the importance of a coordinated global Rx system.

New Frontier Group has engaged with Rx industry experts in the US and around the world to create a series of articles which highlight the forces driving innovation within the modern global healthcare economy. Our five-part series Always There, Global Rx Care outlines our quest to achieve Whole Person Health through Whole System Health.

About the Authors

The five articles in this series have been co-authored by three expert, influential representatives in the global healthcare industry:

Gitte Bach, President and CEO of New Frontier Group. Gitte holds a B.A. in Economics from Copenhagen Business School; a B.A. in Languages from Aarhus School of Business; and has always been passionate about customer service and innovation. After gaining extensive experience in international insurance and assistance through her initial years at IHI Denmark, Gitte founded New Frontier Group in 2002. Since its inception 20 years ago, New Frontier Group has been a market disruptor and an innovator in the global Cost Management industry. New Frontier Group has pioneered innovative strategies to provide unparalleled cost management, claims administration, pharmacy solutions, telehealth, and support services to their international clientele.

John Frick, Registered Pharmacist and CEO at Innovative Pharmaceutical Services.  John has been an industry leader for over 35 years in all aspects of pharmaceutical care. He is an accomplished healthcare professional offering comprehensive knowledge of specialty niche markets relative to pharmacy and home health care professions, long term care, hospice and beyond. John focuses on projects which differentiate themselves from the mediocrities of the industry. He is the Chairman of the New Frontier Group Advisory Board where he assists in developing global Rx strategies focused on superior concierge, expert solutions for the global market.

Johan Porto, Cofounder of PharmCare Services. Prior to co-founding PharmCare Services (PCS), the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager (iPBM), Johan Porto specialized in the international health insurers industry, managed various specialty pharmacy-related businesses for the private sector which developed the experience that has been a key element for the PCS global strategic planning and cost-containment initiatives that drives many aspects of the customer engagement and business development strategies provided to its clients.

PCS is the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager with an extensive national and international network of retail and specialty pharmacies, authorized distributors and manufacturing partners bringing the highest standards in HealthCare and modern customized cost optimization planning to the IPMIs and travel industry.

Medication Misadventures

Previous articles in our Always There, Global Rx Care series discussed global healthcare strategies to increase savings, enhance communication, and defragment care.

Substantial, Sustainable Savings (Article 1)
Defragment Care in Global Rx (Article 2)

In this article we examine two case studies that illustrate challenges in global Rx and discuss key elements which are critical to a coordinated Rx approach.

Case Study: The Orangutan Incident

New Frontier Group was managing a patient in Indochina who was attacked by an orangutan.

  • We coordinated the first rabies shot while the patient was still in the jungle.
  • We then needed to coordinate the final 3 injections over the next 14-days.
  • The patient was traveling from Indochina to Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Our Rx experts knew rabies injections were NOT available in Hawaii because the state is free of rabies.
  • In order to get the proper medication to the patient, we coordinated with other US pharmacies, an international shipping carrier, and with a local Hawaiian hospital.
  • We kept regular communication with the patient to ensure that he received the needed injections.

This is not a typical global Rx case, but it does demonstrate the potential danger to a patient if Rx is not closely managed across borders.

Case Study: Not Well at Sea

New Frontier Group managed a patient from Norway who was a ship captain. He was forced to dock in Miami when he became extremely ill.

  • New Frontier Group arranged for the captain to be treated immediately in Miami.
  • The treating provider diagnosed the captain as diabetic.
  • He became insulin dependent within three days.
  • He was discharged and referred to a diabetes nurse educator.
  • New Frontier Group contacted the diabetes nurse educator and arranged for the proper medication to be prescribed and administered.
  • On the first day of his voyage back to Norway, we discovered that the treating hospital had not prescribed enough insulin.
  • There are several complex varieties of insulin, so we needed to make sure the captain had access to the correct medication.
  • We arranged for him to receive a 90-day supply that would provide him enough medication for his journey back to Norway.
  • We remained in constant contact with the captain until his care was transferred to a provider in Norway.

When we manage global patients like this captain, we must always remain forward thinking. It is important to consider the length of the trip, medication needs and availability, and the transition of care when they return home.

Avoiding Medication Misadventures

These case studies illustrate how important coordination and communication is for global patients. It is evident that focusing on the cheapest drug per claim is not the right answer. Patients need customized care that eliminates barriers. Investing in a cohesive global Rx program ensures the best possible health outcomes and reduces patient emergencies and readmissions.

A few key elements are critical to a coordinated approach:

  • Comprehension of a patient's insurance benefits
  • Eliminating patient out-of-pocket costs
  • Understanding the whole person needs versus looking at singular claims
  • Ability to transport medications across borders
  • Identifying medication equivalents between nations to avoid prescription issues
  • Coordination between treating the provider and the follow-up provider
  • Consistent and thorough patient follow-up
  • Providing access to support in the patient’s first language
  • Ensuring patient understanding of medication, to include possible drug/dietary interactions.

These key elements drive the best Global Rx programs and ensure the best possible outcome at the lowest possible cost.

About New Frontier Group's Global Pharmacy Program

Choosing New Frontier Group for your pharmacy solutions provides a global pharmacy concierge program with benefits such as:

  1. Exclusive medication management with hands on patient care
  2. Pharmacy solutions combined with medical and telehealth services
  3. Direct engagement with providers to obtain essential medications at time of service
  4. No burden of logistics or financial barriers for patients and no out of pocket costs
  5. Needed medications are shipped to home country and after care is coordinated
  6. White glove, cross border service is focused on medication adherence

New Frontier Group’s pharmacy solutions are an exclusive medication management program which merges hands-on patient care services with top notch concierge medical services across international borders.

Our global pharmacy solutions include a constant review of existing data regarding development of medication via the removal of communication barriers; defragmentation of potential breakdowns in the medical system; and, relieving the burdens caused by logistical and financial barriers. Patients need not independently seek out pharmacy services in foreign countries as we manage all details from the initial point of care to the journey home. Our superior concierge solutions reduce hospital readmission, and provide dependable avoidance of out-of-pocket costs to our members.


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