Creighton pharmacy student develops drug solution to save health system close to $100,000 annually

A Creighton pharmacy student has discovered a cost-effective solution to potentially treat pancreatitis.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 5:32 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A rectal suppository isn’t a prescription most people want to fill. Even worse, having to do it twice in one go.

Tyler Brisso, a fourth-year pharmacy student and Methodist employee, created a solution where both the patient and pharmacy benefit.

“So what I found is the desired strength that’s recommended by most clinical studies, and then I found a recipe to compound that medicine and that desired strength,” said Brisso.

It’s a way to turn two suppositories into one, with a clinically proven effective dosage to treat pancreatitis as a result of a specific endoscopic procedure.

“I didn’t see this becoming such the project it turned into be,” said Brisso.

It was assigned by the Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital pharmacy director, Melanie Ryan.

“Tyler kind of hit the ground running with that particular project,” she said. “We’re not just doling pills out, so we are making sure that what is prescribed by a provider is the actual best medication for that patient and the safest medication for that patient.”

Brisso’s innovative thinking –to compound indomethacin a commercially found drug–is expected to save the Methodist Health System $100,000 a year.

“It is scalable,” said Brisso.

“Drugs are super expensive. They’re not getting less expensive, so we have to come up with innovative ways to find savings when we can,” said Ryan.

As pharmacy director, Ryan shared Brisso’s 10-step method with other Midwest health systems.

“We are willing to share innovative ideas because we’re all in the same boat. We’re all spending too much money on medications and want to be able to do the right thing for patients in an economical way,” said Ryan.

Brisso said he was particularly moved by his innovative accomplishment.

“A pharmacist can have an impact on pretty much every patient-directed goal. We want to improve the quality of care for our patients, and I think this is yet another example of how a pharmacist can impact that care,” he said.

Because the pharmacy is saving money, patients enjoy cheaper costs for the drug too.

Brisso’s work impressed Methodist enough that he has a job waiting for him when he graduates.