The Role of the Specialty Pharmacy

The advent of specialty pharmacies began roughly 30 years ago and continues to be a major player in the healthcare system today. These types of pharmacies focus on highly specialized medication therapy for patients with complex diseases such as hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer to name a few. As the name implies, the medications filled at these types of pharmacies require an escalated level of clinical attention involving ongoing monitoring, patient education and patient management by well qualified clinical staff. They often times require special handling and storage, as well as specific administration requirements such as injections or infusions. This complexity drives the cost of the medication up, which oftentimes can exceed $10,000 annually for certain therapies. All of these factors lend to the need for a more focused practice of a pharmacy-based-on-patients that encompasses all aspects of the patient’s therapy. Specialty pharmacies are specifically designed to manage complex patient therapies while controlling drug spending and waste.

Additionally, specialty pharmacies offer services that go above and beyond a traditional retail pharmacy. Making sure patients have access to these costly medications is of the utmost priority. Often times these pharmacies have specific teams dedicated solely to patient financial assistance. These teams have extensive experience in obtaining authorizations from third party payers as they are well-versed in all the requirements needed to obtain approvals. Moreover, they are also experts in helping with financial assistance to help cover the high copays that are often times associated with these therapies. The financial assistance offered is personalized, detailed and ranges from seeking manufacturer copay cards to applying for specific charitable foundations that are crucial to patient accessibility of these medications.

Gastro Health Specialty Pharmacy is proud to be a part of this niche area of pharmacy. In addition to all the services that a specialty pharmacy provides, Gastro Health Specialty Pharmacy is unique in that it is a part of your Gastro Health clinical provider’s team. The clinical pharmacy staff has direct access to your healthcare provider and allied staff members, as well as has access to patient records to provide a more integrated approach to patient therapy. This integration allows the pharmacy staff all the critical patient information needed to make appropriate clinical decisions as well as expedite all third party payer claim requirements. Patients of Gastro Health Specialty Pharmacy have the advantage of having their multidisciplinary clinical team working together to manage their complex condition.

Specialty pharmacy is a rapidly expanding field that has now grown to over 200 pharmacies and is still growing. With the advancement in medication therapy for complex, rare and chronic conditions there is an obvious need for the specialized services they provide. Specialty pharmacies will continue to meet the challenges of this rapidly evolving field of healthcare.