New nonprofit advocates models to manage specialty pharmacy

December 1, 2012

The specialty pharmacy market is currently fragmented with extreme variation in knowledge and education, patient care management, service, and outcomes.

NATIONAL REPORTS-The specialty pharmacy market is currently fragmented with extreme variation in knowledge and education, patient care management, service, and outcomes. This market fragmentation has fueled the formation of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP).

"Specialty will become the standard for pharmacy," says Gary M. Cohen, BSPharm, RPh, interim executive director of the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board.

NASP is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to represent all specialty pharmacy stakeholders.

Deeper knowledge and educational programs are required for the drugs, complex therapies and the diseases they aim to treat, according to Nameth.

"High-touch services are required for the handling, administration and care management of specialty drugs," he says.

Only 3% to 5% of the population currently use specialty drugs and in some cases drugs are only available through a limited network of pharmacies.

TREND REACHES 20%

Specialty is the fastest growing segment in pharmacy today. Nameth also says payers are experiencing a 15% to 20% annual trend for specialty drugs and the management of specialty in the pharmacy and medical benefit will be a primary focus for payers going forward.

Additionally, 50% of the top 100 drugs and eight of the top 10 will be specialty pharmaceuticals by 2016.

"The future of pharmacy is specialty, and with technology and medical advancements, specialty will become the standard for pharmacy," Cohen says.

NASP will provide accredited educational programming for all healthcare professionals servicing specialty patients, provide preparatory programs for the Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP) credential, provide organizational and business-to-business education and training for specialty pharmacy stakeholders to improve their operations and compliance to accreditation and licensure standards. The new organization will develop national and regional forums for networking among healthcare professionals and specialty pharmacy stakeholders. NASP also will develop committees and task forces committed to challenge the status quo in all areas of specialty pharmacy, and provide a foundation for development, and improvement through innovation and science. NASP will also help define or improve standards and practice parameters that will improve patient outcomes, both clinically and economically.