MANHASSET, NY – North Shore University Hospital’s (NSUH) Division of Infectious Diseases is offering a new specialty pharmacy service for patients with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, and for patients who require medications and immunizations for international travel. There are many patients seen in the Infectious Diseases medical office who take multiple medications per day and may not be aware of drug interactions that exist between the medications or if all of their medications can be taken together safely.
To make it easier for patients to manage their medications, the program’s clinical pharmacist meets one-on-one with patients to answer questions or concerns about their medications and health conditions.
Denise Riccobono, Pharm.D, a clinical pharmacist who specializes in infectious diseases pharmacotherapy, recently joined NSUH’s Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Riccobono is based at 400 Community Drive, the same site as the medical practice office, and works with a healthcare team (physicians, nurses and social workers) to ensure that patients’ medications are safe and effective. “While the average pharmacist has to keep up to date on all medications and their side effects, HIV drug maintenance, for example, requires expertise due to the number of medications patients may take, complexities of the disease and the higher risk for potential drug interactions as well as side effects,” explained Dr. Riccobono.
“We provide individualized pharmacy counseling and coordination of care for our patients,” said Dr. Riccobono. “My pharmacotherapy expertise allows me to analyze the patients’ various medications, including vitamins, herbal supplements, antidepressants, cholesterol medication, and medications for other health conditions to ensure that medications can be taken safely as well as provide the best results.”
Another pharmacy service provided by NSUH is Vivo Health Pharmacy located at 300 Community Drive. For convenience and a continuum of care, patients can use Vivo Health Pharmacy to fill their prescription medications. The pharmacy provides prescription delivery to the Division of Infectious Diseases to coincide with patients’ appointments and can also provide home delivery of medications. Vivo Health Pharmacy works closely with the clinical pharmacist and the medical team to try to resolve high co-payments from medications that are restricted or not covered by patients’ insurance plans. Packaging options include traditional pill bottles or pill boxes and individualized dosing packs will be available soon.
“The specialty pharmacy service provides ‘one stop shopping’ to patients who are treated at the Infectious Diseases clinic,” said Bruce Farber, MD, chief of infectious diseases at NSUH. “Patients can schedule meetings with a pharmacy specialist between blood draws and appointments with physicians, social workers and other clinicians. We are trying to make everything very convenient.”
NSUH is home to the Center for AIDS Research and Treatment and is the largest New York State Designated AIDS Center on Long Island, providing primary care to over 1,700 people living with HIV.
For an appointment with Denise Riccobono, Pharm.D, pharmacy specialist, please call (516) 562-3368. To contact Vivo Health Pharmacy, call (516) 562-VIVO (8486). To contact the Division of Infectious Diseases, call (516) 562-4280.