Choosing a Specialty Pharmacy

When treating chronic or serious health conditions like cancer, MS, or Crohn’s disease, patients rely on the added support and access to complex medications that Specialty Pharmacies offer. Specialty medications have profiles that involve diligent patient management and, at times, special handling. Medications might have special storage protocols, time-sensitive treatment plans, or complex drug administration. When choosing a Specialty Pharmacy, there are key factors to consider, which give patients a more successful experience and improve outcomes. 

Education and Resources

Specialty drugs often require extensive patient education to understand proper use, side effects, and symptoms. Choosing a Specialty Pharmacy that offers education to inform and advise patients of a medication’s proper use, as well as, resources to remind and coach patients, is critical.  When patients receive education and guidance, side effects and adverse symptoms are minimal and patients have a better experience. Consider Specialty Pharmacies that offer educational services and special training for complex drug administration, like injections. In addition, Specialty Pharmacies with patient monitoring and frequent communication with physicians can keep patients up-to-date about any changes or adjustments that may need to be addressed during a treatment plan. Patients who receive continued education and reminders see better results and have more successful outcomes. 

Medication Adherence 

Medication adherence is one of the more important factors to consider when choosing a Specialty Pharmacy because it can be a matter of life and death. For certain disease states, medication adherence plays a huge role in a patient’s overall experience and success with a treatment plan. Specialty Pharmacies that work to improve clinical outcomes by ensuring medication adherence have additional staff and procedures available to communicate with patients and physicians, which can increase the effectiveness of a treatment plan. Proactive patient outreach for prescription refills and renewals supports a patient’s adherence protocols, which can increase effectiveness and minimize adverse complications. Often patients with chronic conditions require multiple medications and a Specialty Pharmacy managing medication adherence will assist with supervising drug interactions and compliance. 

Limited Distribution Drugs 

Medications that are exclusively distributed to a limited network of pharmacies are considered Limited Distribution Drugs. Considering a Specialty Pharmacy with LDD’s, means the pharmacy has demonstrated a high level of standards for clinical excellence. These standards include patient education and monitoring, which allows for manufacturing protocols to be better met. High-risk medications require extra safety measures and pharmacies who agree to LLD procedures make promises to the manufacturer to aid in patient safety and adherence. 

Specialty Pharmacy Accreditations 

Specialty Pharmacies with accreditation go through a thorough review of pharmacy standards for patient safety and quality control. There are also certain measures of sterility that must be met in order to receive accreditation. Choosing an accredited Specialty Pharmacy increases assurance and gives patients peace of mind extra safety methods are in place. Accreditation is required for certain drugs needing specific quality and handling standards, so choosing an accredited Specialty Pharmacy, can add to a patient’s comfort that they will receive the highest quality of care. 

Financial Assistance 

Specialty Pharmacies that extend financial assistance to patients help to avoid unnecessary medical costs and can end up being critical for patients to have the means to receive a specialty medication. Specialty Pharmacies can investigate a patient’s benefits to confirm coverage is possible and submit the proper claims. Once authorization is approved, if a patient cannot afford a copay or medication cost, the pharmacy will have access to extensive networks of financial assistance, subsidies, and manufacturer free-drug programs. Programs like the 340B Drug Pricing Program allow low-income patients to receive medications at an affordable price. Financial assistance allows patients of all economic backgrounds to receive a prescribed medication, without the obstacle of financial limitation.  

 

PFSP Specialty Pharmacy provides patients and their physicians an exceptionally high standard of care with our growing team of specialized pharmacists and staff.  Our dedicated team of pharmacists focuses on improving adherence for patients and works to find an approach that works best for them. Bringing a fresh take on what a Specialty Pharmacy can and should be, we are committed to the care of our patients.  We take pride in being an ethical resource within our community and strive each day to help our patients live enriching and full lives.

 Sources: 

https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/the-ins-and-outs-of-specialty-pharmacy

 https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/the-importance-of-specialty-pharmacy-accreditation