Cancer Patients and the Affordable Care Act


Hope Lodges pic
Hope Lodges

Based in Melville, NY, Ellen Scharaga is a professional in the pharmaceutical industry. She works as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. In addition, Ellen Scharaga supports the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society raises funds to support cancer research and treatment. The organization also shares resources with cancer patients and their families. These resources include a health insurance assistance service (HIAS) that helps patients and their caregivers determine which insurance options offered in the Affordable Care Act are right for them.

American Cancer Society studies have revealed that people who have health insurance coverage have a lower likelihood of being diagnosed with late-stage disease and a higher likelihood of surviving the disease. This makes the Affordable Care Act especially relevant.

The provisions of the Affordable Care Act include preventive screening and treatment, as well as follow-up care. In addition, the new healthcare law provides better training to healthcare professionals who manage cancer pain and symptoms, allowing them to offer a higher quality of life to their patients.


OncoMed Senior VP of Operations Ellen Scharaga

From 1997 through 2009 Ellen Scharaga was the Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Group Health, Inc. Ellen was responsible for the direction and implementation of all pharmacy, home infusion and specialty injectable PPO, HMO, Medicare Part D and Government Programs. The responsibilities included contract negotiation, maximizing effectiveness and profitability, pharmacy vendor and specialty contract relationships, formulary administration, utilization management and integration of medical management cost initiatives. Ellen served as the primary advisor on all pharmacology-related matters including new product development and member and provider relations.

In addition, Ellen provided training support to sales associates, assisted in completion of RFP’s and conducts presentations to key accounts with the goal of quality services, profitability, retaining existing business and assisting in selling new business, distinguishing the pharmacy management program in the marketplace. Ellen has reported to the Chief Medical Officer; external contacts include physicians, healthcare professionals, executives of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), trade and professional organizations and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

American Cancer Society Hope Lodges Make Traveling Easier


Hope Lodges pic
Hope Lodges

For more than three decades, Ellen Scharaga has been a leader in the pharmacy industry. Having held such positions as director of pharmacy, pharmacy supervisor, and general manager, she currently serves Alegria Specialty Pharmacy as an operational consultant. Dedicated to helping others, Ellen Scharaga supports several charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society.

As part of its mission to end cancer around the world, the American Cancer Society maintains numerous programs and services that help cancer patients and caregivers ease some of their burdens during their battle against cancer.

One such service, the Hope Lodge program, provides patients and their caregivers with a free place to stay while they receive treatment away from home. Hope Lodge was created to alleviate the expense and stress of traveling to obtain treatment, which oftentimes prevents individuals from getting the help they need. Hope Lodge helps patients focus on getting better rather than worrying about paying for lodging.

There are currently more than 30 Hope Lodge locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Although each location varies in terms of eligibility requirements, they all provide guests with a home-like environment and offer various resources related to cancer treatment. Hope Lodges also give guests the option to connect with other patients or to maintain their privacy.

The LLS Praises the FDA’s Approval of Blinatumomab

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Melville, NY, resident Ellen Scharaga is committed to helping others. Beyond promoting improved medical patient outcomes through her role as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, she supports several charitable organizations. One of the many organizations Ellen Scharaga supports is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

For more than 65 years, the LLS has been committed to educating the public, helping patients with blood cancer, and funding blood cancer research. The organization recently praised the United States Food and Drug Administration’s approval of blinatumomab as a treatment for individuals with a unique form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The therapy, which is a bispecific antibody T-cell engager, directs the body’s T cells to a specific protein found on the surface of B cells, including B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Modified antibodies then engage a specific target on both the T cell and B cell, forcing the two cells to connect to one another and allowing the T cell to destroy the other cell.

Blinatumomab received the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy designation in mid-2014 and was approved for patients with refractory B-cell precursor or Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia in early December. The FDA will maintain its approval of the treatment once its clinical benefit is proven through additional research trials.

Four Mobile Apps for Online Shoppers

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A resident of Melville, NY, and a registered pharmacist, Ellen Scharaga has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the course of her career, she has served at the executive level, directing all pharmacology-related matters in various companies. Outside of work, Ellen Scharaga enjoys reading, walking, and shopping.

Although regular shoppers prefer taking trips to the mall for an authentic shopping experience, technology has made shopping more accessible and convenient. Here are some mobile applications for online shoppers:

ShopStyle. This app features a catalogue of over 1,400 retailers. It also allows shoppers to custom search and receive alerts when favorite brands go on sale.

Poshmark. Since most items sold in Poshmark are gently used, shoppers can get items at a discounted rate.

Amazon. The online marketplace features a wide array of products, from electronics to pet supplies. Amazon also has a review section to help buyers purchase from trusted sellers.

Sephora. This app caters to beauty junkies, with its curated collection of beauty products. The Sephora app also has a Virtual Artist feature, which allows shoppers to try on various lip shades before buying.

How to Simplify Life with an Alzheimer’s Patient

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America pic
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Ellen Scharaga, an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, works on developing specialty medications to treat diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. Currently living in Melville, NY, Ellen Scharaga is a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can feel overwhelming at times. However, there are several adjustments that you can make to help day-to-day life run more smoothly. For instance, help your loved one with Alzheimer’s establish a predictable daily routine. Schedule medical appointments at the time of day when your loved one tends to be most agreeable. Allow extra time to complete daily activities, since moving through them with someone with Alzheimer’s will take more time than before.

Limit choices, but make room for independence at the same time. For instance, lay out two outfits to choose between, but allow your loved one to get dressed independently if they are able. Give any instructions one step at a time and be sure to turn off any distractions, such as the television, to allow your loved one to focus better on the task. Finally, remember to stay flexible, as your loved one’s preferences and moods are likely to change more than before.

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Plans Next Meeting for April 2016

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy pic
Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, currently works as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. Active in professional societies, Ellen Scharaga is a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

The next annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy will be held from April 19 to 22, 2016, in San Francisco, California. This is the premier event for various experts and pharmacy professionals to come together to discuss the industry and share their viewpoints on such matters as managed care pharmacy, breakthrough drug therapies, and their impact on health care. A highlight of next year’s event will be the growing field of specialty pharmacy.

Sessions will bring participants up to date with current pharmaceutical regulations, as well as cutting-edge research developments and the future of the profession. The target audience for the event includes managed-care pharmacists, medical directors, health plan and Medicare/Medicaid administrators, and health practitioners who focus on pharmacy benefits.