We provide support, resources and personalized therapy for people going through cancer treatment.
Cancer treatment and support
When you’re diagnosed with cancer, the specialty medications you take are an important part of your treatment plan. At Optum® Specialty Pharmacy, we offer resources, programs and clinical support to help manage your medications with confidence.
Medication and treatment plans for a cancer diagnosis can be complex. Our pharmacists and patient care coordinators are specially trained in cancer care and work with you to provide extra guidance and support. We also provide oral (by mouth) and intravenous (IV) chemotherapy treatments.
To help you get started one of our patient care coordinators will call you to set up your account and answer any questions you might have. You'll also get access to Optum® Connections, an online platform built to help you manage your condition through virtual visits and a video series where you can:
- See how other patients with your condition have managed their diagnosis and treatment
- Get advice from clinical experts
- Learn more about your treatment and how to infuse at home, if applicable
Managing a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but we'll be with you every step of the way. Learn more about Optum Connections here.
Ingrid's stage four lung cancer requires ongoing treatment. After undergoing infusion chemotherapy every 3 weeks for 4 years, Optum® Infusion Pharmacy helped transform Ingrid's care and quality of life.
Meet Ingrid, a Patient with Lung Cancer
My dad was a driver in Manhattan and my mom was a stay-at-home mom, which was awesome. Cooking was really, really big. She would cook every single night. We'd have dinner together every night. And it was like my favorite thing ever. I'd watch her. I watched her for years, and then finally I started helping and so I always did that with her and that was awesome. Went to Cornell for undergrad. I had this lump on my neck and I kind of ignored it 'cause I was like, eh, this is nothing. Who cares what it is?" Got really sick in March, just got like the flu. But the doctor was like, "I don't wanna freak you out, "but what's this bump? "Like how long have you had it for?" And I was like oh I've had it since January, And he's like, "That's not okay. "You should probably go get it checked out." The night before I was supposed to go home for spring break, I woke up in the middle of the night with this really weird shooting pain in my back and, like right here in my, in my, like, chest. And I just like couldn't breathe. It was so bizarre. It lasted for like two hours. I was just lying in bed in like so much pain and just like totally random. Next day, I'm supposed to be going home. So I go home, go to the doctors and, and he's like, "Okay, like you need to get like I don't know "what this is. "So we need to get it tested. "Let's do a CT scan 'cuz that's like the only way "to really know if anything's wrong with you." And the results came back and they found masses in my liver, abdomen, pelvis and lung. And the doctor was like, "I'm so sorry. "Like I can't help you. "You have stage four lung cancer." Got in the car, driving home. That's the like the one time I cried, didn't cry after that pretty much ever. But that was like the one day I remember like breaking down from it. And my friend Isabelle, she was like, " You know. "like we know this doctor. "We're gonna get you an appointment with him stat." And it was like as good of an appointment as it could have ever been for like someone in my situation. He was so great. So nice. Like talked to us, laid everything out, like asked me personal questions, was just so nice. Like he was so caring. I was like all right, I can do this. This is okay. And so, yeah, so basically he was like, "We're gonna do these three chemos. "It's gonna be every three weeks. "You're gonna come in here. "It's gonna take six hours. "It's gonna be really long. "You're gonna feel really tired. "But like this is what we're gonna do." And then yeah, then it started from there and every three weeks after that I'd go in for chemo. It was six hours. I think I did nine rounds of it. And then now I'm on oral chemo. It's okay because I had have like all these other great things in my life that are okay. Emotionally, mentally it's, it's it's okay. You know, you're, you're gonna be okay. You're gonna get sick, but you still, you still live. You still do what you need to do. When I was first diagnosed, I had this random lung cancer foundation call me. And it was really cool 'cuz at the time I didn't know that people my age were diagnosed with stage four lung. I thought it was all old people who had been smoking, right. But that's not true for lung cancer. It's not. Anyone can get it. Doesn't matter. My sophomore year of college, I put on a 5k walk for Ingrid. We called it, it was "Jog for Ingrid" and we've held it every year since. So it's been going on for five years now at my school and it was great. I put it on. And so many people came out. We raised almost $60,000 my first year doing it on my campus. So now it's like a big philanthropy thing that happens at Cornell every year, which is so cool. And we've raised at this point, over like $120,000 for lung cancer. Which is great because it's a really underfunded disease. They don't wanna put any money into it because they think it's because you smoke. And it's such a sad stigma to have 'cuz it's not always the case. It's really important to think positively because mentally like you need to tell yourself, you know you're gonna be okay, you're gonna take this drug and it's gonna sting for a little bit but it's gonna be worth it. And as long as you think positively about it, even though the drug can be hard and you're sick of it and you wanna stop and you want it all to be over, as long as you're like, no. You know it's okay. You're gonna do this and it's gonna be okay. You're gonna be strong, you're gonna be positive. You're gonna keep fighting 'cuz it's worth it. And you're gonna do things that make you happy and then you'll be living a normal life.
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Optum Specialty Pharmacy has access to more than 130 oncology medications, including 60+ limited-distribution drugs (LDDs). LDDs are therapies made available to only a small number of pharmacies. Because LDDs are only available at specific pharmacies, they're difficult for patients to access.
We offer many LDDs. This means that if you need to switch medications over the course of your treatment, you won’t have to switch pharmacies. We can also help you get your medications faster and for less — which may translate to better health outcomes.OR
We work with your doctor’s office and pharmacy insurance plan to get any needed approvals. Our appeals team has helped overturn 8 of out 10 coverage denials resulting in more than 2,500 patients whose coverage was denied get the treatments they need.*OR
We're here to help you find ways to access and afford your medication. We accept all major insurance plans. This includes Medicare Part B and Part D, Medicaid and commercial insurance.
If you need copay help and are eligible, patient care coordinators can help find grants, state or manufacturer-supported programs or drug copay cards that may be available to you.
We’ll find out if you qualify. Then, we'll connect you with their programs. We’ll also help you with the paperwork. Ask us and we'll be ready to help you start. Learn more about financial aid options here.OR
* 2020 Optum Specialty Pharmacy internal analysis