Minnesota Cancer Care Pharmacy
Welcome to the Minnesota Cancer Care Pharmacy (MCCP), part of Minnesota Oncology. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to provide you with the care and resources you deserve in your journey.
Our practice includes specialists in medical oncology, radiation oncology, hematology, gynecologic oncology and thoracic surgery – as well as on-site laboratory services and access to our specialty oncology care pharmacy.
Our pharmacy mission is to combine the strength of hope with the power of science, one patient at a time. Our philosophy is to deliver patient-centered, comprehensive, and compassionate care in community cancer centers using best-practice, state-of the-art therapies and research, in order to be the premier provider of care for patients with cancer and blood disorders in the region.
What we offer you:
- An in-depth knowledge of medications, pain management, and drug interactions, and the availability to review medications with each patient
- Assistance with insurance approval and obtaining financial assistance through nationally recognized programs
- Choice to either pick up medications from our pharmacy OR have medications sent to your home via FedEx or the United States Postal Service.
- Quick turnaround time to ensure you can start your treatment promptly
- Timely and thorough communication
Oncology pharmacists serve an important role on the patient’s care team because much of cancer treatment is achieved with infused and oral medications, and we thank you for choosing us to be a part of your team.
Feel free to contact us with questions by calling 651-255-8480 or coming to the pharmacy located at 1580 Beam Ave., Maplewood, MN 55109.
Minnesota Cancer Care Pharmacy (MCCP) is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The pharmacy is closed Saturday and Sunday.
MCCP will also be closed all day for the following major holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- The Fourth of July
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
MCCP will be open until 12:00pm on the following days:
- Christmas Eve
Should you have questions outside of normal business hours, please feel free to leave a message on our secure and confidential voicemail at 651-255-8480. Messages will be checked the next business day. Urgent after-hours’ needs should be directed to your primary Minnesota Oncology clinic where the on-call staff will assist you. If there is an emergency with needing a medication for any reason, please contact the pharmacy right away.
We will work closely with your physician and clinic to ensure that all necessary information is gathered before the process is started. Our pharmacy stocks many items that are otherwise difficult to find including: oral and injectable chemotherapy, various pain medications, anti-nausea drugs, oncology and radiology therapy options. If our pharmacy is unable to fill your medication for any reason, we will work to assist in transferring the prescription to another trusted pharmacy to ensure continuity of your care. If you would prefer a medication at your local pharmacy, we can request the physician to send a new prescription to any pharmacy you like.
As a courtesy, our dedicated and experienced Pharmacy Concierge will review your insurance coverage and help determine possible eligibility for copay cards, grants, and/or free medication(s). While we will make every effort to identify and secure resources, there is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain financial assistance to cover all of the potential charges related to your care. You are responsible for remaining co-payments. For your convenience, we accept cash, checks, and most major credit/debit cards. Payment is expected at the time of service.
Counseling on New Medications
Once the medication is approved, a clinical pharmacist will contact you regarding medication counseling and help coordinate shipping to either your clinic or directly to your home. Personalized medication counseling will include the benefits of taking the medication prescribed by your Minnesota Oncology Clinic, proper instruction for medication(s) administration, side effect management, and instructions regarding how to report adverse drug reactions to our clinical pharmacists, if needed.
There are a few ways to refill your prescription. If you are in the clinic you can stop by the pharmacy and let staff know what medication(s) you need. You can also call the pharmacy and speak with our staff to request a refill. If you call outside of normal business hours, you should leave a message with your name and prescription number, so we can contact your clinic for refill information. We do not offer automatic refilling of medications. We ask that you contact our pharmacy approximately 7 days prior to running out of medication. This will ensure that we have adequate time to refill your medication in case any difficulties arise while filling the prescription, otherwise we may proactively reach out to you to refill your medication. All prescription requests will be handled promptly but it can take up to 48 hours (longer if requested on weekend) for a response from the clinic.
Next Day Delivery
We offer a more convenient way to receive specialty medications for patients who are unable to drive to the pharmacy or those who live far away. Medications can be mailed to your home through the US Postal Service. Specialty drugs can be shipped via FedEx where we track shipments and ensure the medication is delivered promptly. FedEx Delivery can be set up for as early as the next business day morning so you do not have to worry about how you will make it in to the pharmacy. For FedEx deliveries, we do require that somebody over the age of 18 is home to sign for the medications to ensure the medications were received.
We do not recommend disposing of any specialty medication in the toilet. If you have extra medication for any reason, bring the medication in the original vials to the pharmacy for us to dispose of. There are also some local pharmacies and police departments that will also accept old medications.
Medicare Part D Overview
The following two figures describe how Medicare Part D works and the benefit structure. If you are currently eligible for Medicare Part D coverage benefits, this overview may be useful to you. MCC always recommends patients speak directly to a Customer Care Representative with their insurance plan for details regarding coverage; this is usually the number found on the back of your insurance card.
Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have (Commercial/Private or Government/Public) you may be eligible for different types of copay assistance when prescribed a high-priced oral medication. Below is a summary of those assistance programs and their eligibility requirements. Our Pharmacy Concierge will investigate if these options are available for your medication(s).
Patients who have commercial/private insurance, regardless of whether it was purchased individually or by an employer, may be eligible to receive a co-pay card for certain medications. These are discount cards offered by the drug manufacturer that may cover your deductible amounts up to a maximum limit designated by the manufacturer. Copay cards are normally only for brand name drugs and may not be available for many medications.
Patients who have government/public insurance and are within a certain income/household size threshold may qualify for a grant that would cover their Part D coinsurance. These foundations are donation-based and designate funding by disease/diagnosis for each of their personalized programs. Income limits are decided based on the Federal Poverty Level percentage of 400-500%; for a household of one, this equates to around $49k to $62k per year, or, for a household of two, around $67k to $84k per year. Patients under this threshold and have Medicare Part D should always inquire about applying for these types of assistance. These grants will usually cover patients’ doughnut hole/coverage gap and catastrophic coinsurance amounts for 6-12 months. If there is no funding available, the next step is to investigate assistance with the drug manufacturer, since some offer free drug programs for eligible patients.
Patients who have no, or limited, insurance coverage, may qualify to receive medication from the drug manufacturer’s pharmacy for free. Each manufacturer has their own income limit, guidelines, and individual applications for these programs. These applications usually require signatures from both the patient and the physician, as well as a proof of income document, such as a recent tax return, social security letter, or bank statement.
An adverse reaction is defined as any unpredictable, unintended, undesirable, or unexpected biological response that a patient may have to medications. Below is a list of the some of the possible common adverse reactions that could be experienced when starting a new medication:
- Headache, tremors, dizziness, muscle spasms, confusion
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Skin rash or flushing
- Hypotension (low blood pressure), Hypertension (high blood pressure), arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), tachycardia (high heart rate), or bradycardia (low heart rate)
- Shortness of breath, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing), or respiratory depression (slowed breathing)
If an adverse drug reaction is reported to our clinical staff, the pharmacist will do a complete clinical assessment with the patient. Based on his/her clinical judgment, a plan of action will be formulated. This plan of action could include counseling on common preventative measures if a known and manageable adverse reaction is reported or contacting your physician to obtain instructions which may involve modifying the dosage or discontinuing the medication completely.
Should you have questions outside of normal business hours, please feel free to leave a message on our secure and confidential voicemail at 651-255-8480. Messages will be checked the next business day. Urgent after-hours’ needs should be directed to your primary Minnesota Oncology clinic where the on-call staff will assist you.
Have you ever wondered?
- Why am I taking these medications?
- Are any of my medications interacting with each other?
- Is it safe to take this herbal medication?
- Do I really need to be taking some of these medications?
- Is there anything else I can do to manage my pain?
If so, then medication therapy management may be for you!
Cancer treatment usually means the use of powerful medications and possibly radiation therapy, which may cause side effects such as hair loss, nausea, mouth sores, and fatigue. Medications to reduce these side effects may become necessary. Medication therapy management can help with many of the questions a newly diagnosed patient or patient in treatment may have.
Managing medications can be quite a challenge. You will need to understand why, when and how your medication is to be taken, and have a comfort level in knowing when to call your physician or pharmacist if side effects should become intolerable or potentially dangerous.
The medication therapy management program is available to all Minnesota Oncology patients and is based at our Maplewood Cancer Center, where oncology pharmacy professionals are available to assist you in understanding and optimizing your medications in the following ways:
- Review all current medications (including prescription, herbal and over the counter) to explain how each one relates to your medical condition
- Check for any negative interactions between medications and suggest alternatives if needed
- Discuss any side effects you may be having
- Contact your physician if any problems are identified by the medication review
- Provide a complete list of medications, including the name, dosage and instructions for taking it
- Because emotional support is so important, information about local support groups may also be offered to help you connect with others with the same disease
We have found that most patients prefer to play an active role in their care. Medication therapy management is one way to do that.
Please speak to your clinic nurse if you are interested in this program or call (651) 255-8480 to speak to the Maplewood Cancer Center pharmacist.
April 2021 - Minnesota Oncology is proud to announce that its Cancer Care Pharmacy has been awarded Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation with Distinction in Oncology by Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). By earning this accreditation, Minnesota Oncology joins an elite, limited group of specialty pharmacies who have been recognized by ACHC for providing cancer patients with exceptional and quality care.
The ACHC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation with Distinction in Oncology recognizes specialty pharmacies who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to ensuring cancer patients receive oral cancer drugs and ancillary oral therapies in a safe, reliable, accessible, and affordable environment that is integrated with their overall plan of care. Achieving ACHC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation with Distinction in Oncology validates Minnesota Oncology’s achievement in meeting and exceeding the highest standards of quality in the delivery of compassionate, personalized cancer care for patients.
“Achieving this accreditation demonstrates Minnesota Oncology’s commitment to compliance with industry standards and best practices, containing costs, and practicing performance improvement in pharmaceutical care,” said Paul Forsberg, PharmD, MHA, BCOP, Director of Pharmacy and Admixture Services at Minnesota Oncology.
In order to achieve ACHC accreditation, the Minnesota Oncology Cancer Care Pharmacy underwent a comprehensive review process that examines organizational structure, policies and procedures, and compliance with state and federal laws. These reviews are conducted every three years by ACHC Surveyors who possess industry-specific experience.
“Our ability to meet and exceed ACHC standards, as well as receiving our certification of distinction in oncology, provides proof that our staff is dedicated to serving oncology/hematology patients requiring highly specialized therapies,” said Brian Meger, PharmD, Pharmacy Services Manager at Minnesota Oncology.
“Our onsite oncology specialty pharmacy is an important part of the comprehensive care we provide for our patients,” said John Schwerkoske, MD, Minnesota Oncology President. “We are so pleased that ACHC recognizes and endorses our commitment to quality in the services we provide to our patients.”
ACHC is a nonprofit organization that has stood as a symbol of quality and excellence since 1986. Accreditation by ACHC reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting quality standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care. For more information about ACHC visit http://www.achc.org
Minnesota Cancer Care Pharmacy (MCCP) is dedicated to providing you and your designated advocate with high quality services that exceed your expectations. We encourage you to review this information. By understanding your rights and responsibilities as a patient, you are better equipped to benefit from your “partnership” with MCCP.
We also encourage you to let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve the patient experience for you. You can call us at (651-255-8480). We would love to hear from you!
You Have the Right to:
- Be fully informed in advance about care/service to be provided, including the disciplines that furnish care and the frequency of visits, as well as any modifications to the plan of service
- Be treated with dignity, courtesy, and respect, recognizing that each person is a unique individual
- Be informed, both orally and/or in writing, in advance of care being provided, of the charges, including payment for care/service expected from third parties and any charges for which the patient will be responsible
- Receive information about the scope of services that the organization will provide and specific limitations on those services
- Participate in the development and periodic revision of the plan of service
- Refuse care or treatment after the consequences of refusing care or treatment are fully presented
- Know the identity and job title of the pharmacy team member that you are working with and, if requested, speak with their supervisor
- Be free from mistreatment and neglect, as well as verbal, mental, sexual, and physical abuse, including injuries of unknown source and misappropriation of patient property
- Voice grievances/complaints regarding treatment or care
- Recommend changes in policy, personnel, or care/service without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal
- Expect confidentiality and privacy of all your protected health information (PHI) and information contained in your pharmacy record as described in the MCCP Notice of Privacy Practices, which is consistent with state and federal laws
- Be informed of any financial benefits when referred to an organization.
- Be fully informed of your responsibilities
You Have the Responsibility to:
- Participate in your care plan by asking questions about your medications and/or pharmacy services
- Follow the instructions for taking your medication
- Care for and safely use medications for the purpose for which they were prescribed and only for the individual for whom they were prescribed
- Provide, to the best of your knowledge, a complete and accurate medication and health history and notify the pharmacy of changes in this information
- Notify MCCP via telephone when your medication supply is running low so coordination of a refill can be made promptly
- Immediately notify the pharmacy of any change in insurance coverage, address, or telephone changes, whether temporary or permanent.
- Co-payments for medications must be paid at time of service/shipping
- Notify the pharmacy if you are going to be unavailable for the scheduled delivery times
- Treat pharmacy personnel with respect and dignity without discrimination as to color, religion, sex, or national or ethnic origin