By Tony Schueth, CEO and Managing Partner
Specialty medications are high-cost, complex drugs with special handling and delivery requirements. They are primarily used to treat rare or chronic conditions. Retail pharmacies are highly computerized and most noncontrolled substances are prescribed electronically. In contrast, specialty pharmacy has lagged behind and is ripe for automation. Specialty medications are generally still being prescribed using antiquated paper-phone-fax methods. This results in significant delays in getting needed medication to the patient. The speed-to-therapy lag is a major pain point for both patients and providers, which also has implications for the quality and safety of care.
The industry has been working to develop standards as well as fill information and workflow gaps related to the unique requirements of specialty prescribing. Many of these issues will be addressed by the new Task Group for Specialty Prescribing, which was created by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP). It is chaired by our own Pooja Babbrah and a colleague, Laura Topor.
We expect that these and other efforts to automate specialty pharmacy will accelerate in 2019. For example, we predict that:
Point-of-Care Partners is heavily involved in laying the groundwork for automating specialty prescribing. For more information and a sense of the landscape, feel free to contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pooja Babbrah, email@example.com.