Thomas O'Neill (right) and Christopher Quesenberry (left)
Heritage Biologics was founded in 2014 by Tom O’Neill and Chris Quesenberry. O’Neill’s motivation came from caring for his own daughter who was born with rare health issues, in addition to suffering from preventable complications shortly after birth. After taking her to numerous clinics and hospitals for care, and then relying on mail-order pharmacies to get her the medication she needed, O’Neill felt the chasm between the patient, provider, and pharmacy. On multiple occasions she was prescribed medications that caused unforeseen adverse effects. Receiving correspondence and appropriate guidance from the dispensing pharmacist responsible for her care often proved to be an insurmountable hurdle. Additionally, the physician overseeing her care was frequently unaware of these adverse effects experienced by the therapies he prescribed, unless informed by O’Neill.
Quesenberry is a rare disease patient diagnosed with hemophilia, a life-threatening and rare blood disorder. Due to the complexities of his disease and the lack of knowledge of the condition, he felt isolated without resources and appropriate clinical support. Quesenberry learned at a young age how important it would be to learn how to navigate the complexities of health care and wanted to be a driving force in the hemophilia community to demand more from the health care system today. Ultimately these experiences from gaps in their care led O’Neill and Quesenberry to the question: How do we get all providers — the pharmacy, doctor, insurance payers, and the manufacturers — on the same page?
O’Neill and Quesenberry set out on a mission to redesign the home infusion and specialty pharmacy industry. The result was Heritage Biologics, a specialty home infusion pharmacy focused on providing preeminent care for rare disease patients.
The company’s model includes the first formalized Patient Experience program in a pharmacy setting, known as RXPX®. The RXPX® program is committed to keeping the patient at the center of their care by facilitating a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach between the patient and all providers. Traditionally, physicians of rare disease patients write a prescription for a therapy and do not hear anything from the pharmacy other than a refill request. Heritage Biologics’ model is designed to prevent these gaps in care and keep all stakeholders informed in real time, which is facilitated through a data analytics platform called RareCare®. All providers can log in through a private portal to monitor how infusions, medications, and treatments are affecting the individual’s quality of life. This information empowers providers to determine in real-time whether the patient’s therapy regimen is working, the dosage needs to be revised, or if the medication needs to be stopped and switched to something that better fits their therapeutic needs.
Rather than designing a pharmacy that serves as a one stop-shop for the community, Heritage aims to serve the often overlooked rare-disease patient population. Reconfiguring patient care involves the collaborative efforts of all members of the patient’s clinical team. Each clinician is an expert in the patient’s disease state and sets his or her focus on long-term patient outcomes.
Licensed in all 50 states, Heritage is expanding this model of care for patients nationwide. Continuous innovation is another pillar of Heritage Biologics’ success. The relentless search to improve patient outcomes led to adding augmented reality devices to their clinical toolkits. Adopting this advanced technology helps to assist the infusion nurse in vein mapping, improving venous access for infusions. The merging of innovations, paired with the RXPX® program, has proven Heritage Biologics to be an unstoppable industry leader.