What Is a Specialty Pharmacy?
While you may have heard of a specialty pharmacy, you may not know what type of pharmacy it is until you need one. Specialty pharmacies and traditional pharmacies vary in many ways. Specialty pharmacies are quite common and vital to populations with specific disease states. According to a recently released report, in 2017 specialty drugs represented 40.8 percent of total prescription spending.
What is the Definition of a Specialty Pharmacy?
On its website, the American Pharmacists Association defines a specialty pharmacy as “a service created to manage the handling and service requirements of specialty pharmaceuticals, including dispensing, distribution, reimbursement, case management, and other services specific to patients with rare diseases or chronic diseases.” Some of these diseases include immune disorders, cancers, infertility, and even intolerances. For those with Sucrose Intolerance or Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID) specifically, specialty pharmacies could be of direct benefit to you.
What are the Advantages of a Specialty Pharmacy?
A specialty pharmacy has many distinct differences from a traditional pharmacy. First, some pharmaceuticals are only available through a specialty pharmacy because of their complex nature and cost. Moreover, traditional pharmacies rarely have the time, computer systems, or resources necessary to provide the degree of care that is needed to ensure the ideal use of specialty medications. Ensuring the ideal use of these medications provides cost-saving measures to the patient.
Furthermore, specialty pharmacies are typically able to dedicate more time to each patient for consultation. On average, in traditional retail pharmacies, a pharmacist consult lasts for approximately two minutes. In contrast, specialty pharmacies spend an average of 15 to 18 minutes per patient on clinical consultations for those with serious diseases.
Specialty pharmacies also offer clinical services, including around-the-clock pharmacist access, physician consultations, and care management for those with rare diseases. Care management provides safeguards when dispensing and delivering specialty pharmaceuticals to a patient.
How can a Specialty Pharmacy Help a Person with CSID?
As previously mentioned, some pharmaceuticals are only available through a specialty pharmacy. For example, for patients with CSID, certain medications pertinent to the disease are obtained through a specialty pharmacy. CSID is a rare disease that disrupts the digestive process and causes symptoms when a person eats certain types of foods containing sugar.
Specialty pharmacies can assist those with CSID by offering the benefit of being available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moreover, specialty pharmacists can provide dosing and side-effect information as well as work with the patient’s physician to clarify any medication orders. Click the link for more information about CSID, its causes, and symptoms.
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