What’s So Special About Specialty Pharmacy?
“What’s so special about specialty pharmacy?” is a phrase that is often used to describe this growing area of pharmacy. Let us help you further understand this complex area by reviewing the basics of specialty pharmacy and how it impacts 340B.
First, what exactly is Specialty Pharmacy?
Specialty pharmacy can be defined in many ways. The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) defines it as “Specialty Pharmacy’s patient-centric design provides a comprehensive and coordinated model of care for patients. The medications and expert services that specialty pharmacies provide expedite patient access to care, ensure appropriate medication use, and achieve superior clinical and cost-effective outcomes.” (nasp.org) Yet, Medicare uses a monthly cost of $670 or greater to designate a specialty medication. To add more confusion to the mix, The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) points out distinctions of specialty to traditional pharmacy services with “Specialty pharmacies are distinct from traditional pharmacies in coordinating many aspects of patient care and disease management. They are designed to efficiently deliver medications with special handling, storage, and distribution requirements with standardized processes that permit economies of scale. Specialty pharmacies are also designed to improve clinical and economic outcomes for patients with complex, often chronic and rare conditions, with close contact and management by clinicians.”