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New pharmacy will cater to those with chronic medical conditions

TheraPoint isn't a typical pharmacy

November 6, 2003
Tim Gulla
The Citizens Voice

The new business on Pierce Street, Kingston, which is set to open on Monday, doesn't have any aisles of bandages and over-the-counter allergy tablets. You also won't find any magazine racks or holiday cards.

Instead, the patients who will use the pharmacy to get complex and sometimes difficult to obtain medications for chronic conditions will get one-on-one attention, the oversight of a nurse, and education.

TheraPoint by Optioncare, owned by David Lipo, president and director of pharmacy, will provide specialty pharmaceuticals and biotech medications for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, growth hormone deficiency, cancer, asthma and hemophilia.

Some medications for these conditions are difficult to inject and handle, and some are hard to obtain at retail pharmacies, Lipo said.

Often, these drugs are only available by mail order and patients don't get much instructions on their use.

While TheraPoint will have staff available to administer these drugs, Lipo said TheraPoint would also teach patients how to administer these drugs on their own.

"An average retail pharmacy fills 120 prescriptions a day," Lipo said.

TheraPoint doesn't expect to reach those kind of numbers. Instead, it expects to cater to about 20 patients a day.

Because some of these medications are fairly expensive, some treatments costing as much as $12,000 to $20,000 a year, TheraPoint will also have a staff member to handle reimbursement issues as well as to monitor compliance.

Lipo said one of his goals was to provide a comfortable setting for patients. Because most people administer medications in their own kitchens, he set up a kitchen in the office as a place where his staff can instruct patients on the use of these medications.

Another room, set up for the administration of intravenous medications, has a DVD player and television to help patients pass time while their receiving their medications.

TheraPoint also will have the ability to make IV drugs in an on-site laboratory.

Lipo also owns another pharmaceutical company, Optioncare, in Dunmore.

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