Specialty pharmacies deal with processing prescriptions for complex (“specialty”) disease states like Cancer, Hepatitis, HIV, Rheumatoid arthritis, Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, etc
These unique pharmacies are different from other “regular” pharmacies only because they are equipped with trained staff (clinical knowledge to counsel patients on specialty medications), system requirements and additional compliance criteria from URAC. There are no additional licensing or board certifications needed for a pharmacy to be called a “Specialty pharmacy”. Recently, NASP offers certification to pharmacists to be called “Certified Specialty Pharmacists” or CSP.
Walgreens, for example, has a huge network of local Specialty pharmacies besides their Central facility. These pharmacies and pharmacists are very proactive in resolving prior authorizations with the help of medical offices since they are strategically placed in medical office buildings (MOBs), healthcare centers or hospitals. They also offer to find financial assistance from several foundations and manufacturers’ patient assistance programs when the copays are unaffordable. These pharmacists help patients stay adherent with the tools they are provided, monitor and document side effects, labs, etc. Patients with complex medical conditions must approach one of these Specialty pharmacies to get help promptly while getting the highest quality customer service. There are other companies too who provide Specialty pharmacy services. Based on the third party plans (insurance), patients fill their prescriptions with a particular company.