What Is A Specialty Pharmacy?
A specialty pharmacy provides medications that are used in the treatment of complex or rare health issues. These medications may not be used by many people and so local pharmacies might not keep them in their stock. In addition, these medications may:
- Need special handling
- Infused into a vein via IV or get infused
- Be distributed in a hospital or doctor’s office
- Require follow-up or other special care
Specialty pharmacies were established in response to the need of the industry to better acquire, store, and distribute specialty medications. Pharmacists who are working in these pharmacies offer clinical support and patient education that is beyond the scope of traditional pharmacies.
Where Can You Find Specialty Pharmacies?
These pharmacies are licensed by the state and most of the specialty pharmacies are mail-order. Simply put, you can order your medicines by phone. The specialty pharmacy of your choice can be part of your hospital or you may also prefer the one that is provided by your insurance firm. Some traditional pharmacies also have specialty pharmacies.
How Are Specialty Pharmacies Different?
When compared to local pharmacies, specialty pharmacies tend to be much more involved in the health care of the patient. They can help the person use medications correctly and may follow up with you after you start taking the medication. These pharmacies may also communicate with your healthcare team or your caregiver. There are also specialty pharmacies that offer assistance round the clock.
Medications from these pharmacies can be expensive and even though your insurance may cover the cost of medications, your co-pay can be high. This is the reason why many specialty pharmacies offer free services like insurance support and counseling. In addition, these pharmacies can also help you find programs and rebates that can help cover the cost of medication.
How Can You Get Your Medicine From Specialty Pharmacy?
You can get your medications via mail or pick them at your doctor’s office, health care center, or the pharmacy itself. As retail and manufacturer-affiliated pharmacies are usually not capable of managing the complete range of services and products that patients and Pharmacy Benefit Managers need for the management and distribution of specialty drugs, they rely on the knowledge and expertise of specialty pharmacies to dispense these medications.
Some of the health conditions like bleeding disorders, multiple sclerosis, hemophilia, immune disorders, etc will require medications from a specialty pharmacy. If you are unsure about where to procure your medication, you can talk to your healthcare team or doctor about the same.