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MUSC creates pharmaceutical platform to help hospitals save

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The Medical University of South Carolina has created and licensed a new pharmaceutical analytics platform intended to enable hospital pharmacies to find cost savings.

AscendRx evaluates purchasing trends and price changes in real time by comparing the prices of pharmaceutical products as they come in and out of the market.

A news release from MUSC said many hospital pharmacists report that identifying the most cost-effective products for an organization can be overwhelming when marketplace agreements constantly change and manufacturers enter and exit the pharmacy supply chain.

Jonathan Yantis, a former MUSC Health innovation team leader and the current CEO of AscendRx, collaborated in 2017 with his colleagues from the departments of pharmacy and information solutions to develop the tools for the platform.

Matt Hebbard, a former MUSC medication stewardship pharmacist, said, “MUSC Health has always had a very competitive pharmacy supply chain, but keeping up with the volume of changes in the marketplace was a grueling job. The manual reports and calculations needed to stay afloat were more than what even the biggest teams can handle.”

Hebbard, who is now in charge of customer success at AscendRx, said innovative leadership and buy-in from pharmacy and information solutions administrators helped gather the resources for the platform.

“Once it was clear that the solution was working, we knew that it would be useful at other health systems that were facing the same challenges, so our team partnered with the MUSC Foundation for Research Development to explore commercialization opportunities,” Yantis said.

The foundation helped form the company last year, and licensing the platform enables it to be commercialized.

“When hospital pharmacies can keep their costs lower, those savings are passed on to patients and their families so at the end of the day, this platform helps us all save more money,” Yantis said in the release.

According to MUSC Health, the hospital saved millions of dollars in its first year using the platform.

Reach Shamira McCray at 843-849-3119.

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