The Specialty Pharmacy industry is growing, and fast. A study by URAC released in 2010 said “Specialty drugs will account for 40 percent of spending by 2020. Should the financial and usage trends continue as they are currently, the specialty class will comprise two out of every five dollars spent within a health plan’s pharmacy spend.”
Maybe you’re just thinking of becoming a Specialty Pharmacy or you may have even already started the process. One should not take the venture lightly as it takes a significant amount of dedication, resources, planning and patience to become and be successful in the Specialty Pharmacy industry. You have to be organized, aggressive, and dedicated. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
1. What is your specific area of interest?
You need to understand what your patients need from you. You need to find out what disease states you and your staff are excited about
supporting. This is more than just another script; this is a relationship between you, your patient and their physician.
2. Do you understand the local and regional specialty market?
Find out where your patients are currently filling their specialty prescriptions. Analyzing the market and seeing if there are any opportunities
in specific disease states is vital. Know and understand the local and regional payers, as well as your local government payers
(Medicaid/Medicare), and how they are all managing their specialty patients.
3. Are you limited by your current space?
Not only will you need to add staff, but you will need to add facilities like a sterile hood. Making sure you have room to grow is pivotal
because although the process is long, growth can come rapidly.
4. Are you meticulous about your practice?
You need to be.
5. Are you committed to patient care?
You better be.
Challenges will be faced and you can expect a few hurdles:
- You have to become an expert
You need to learn and be knowledgeable on the drugs you dispense and the patients you manage.
- You need to be sales oriented
Specialty prescriptions don’t walk in the door – you need to work for them by either having a sales team or plan to sell yourself.
- You will be required to making an investment in staff
Up-front investment is required for PA/Benefits Investigation, Prescription Assistance/Co-pay assistance programs, Adherence/follow-up, and monitoring of clinical information for reporting.
- You will be required to have capital and cash flow
You will be in the big leagues now – higher ticket scripts, larger wholesaler bills, and more AR is inevitable.
Changing your patients’ lives by having access to specialty medications is important to you. Offering your patients the best service available is imperative in your pharmacy. You know it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of capital, and be a long process – but you know the benefits for your patients and your pharmacy will be worth it if you become a Specialty Pharmacy.
With an expertise in the Specialty Pharmacy market, we understand the challenges and obstacles you will face. Our consulting services offer an opportunity for us to work with you to analyze the opportunities and help you get successful results. You aren’t alone – UpTrend Consulting & Creative is here to help you.
Ready to take the next step? Contact a member of the UpTrend team so that we can find out more about you, your pharmacy, and the desire to become a Specialty Pharmacy. Get ready to Set the Trend. Get Results!