Message From the CEO
March 31, 2014
The rapid pace of innovation is catapulting specialty pharmacy to the forefront of the healthcare industry. Advances in drug discovery and delivery methods as well as new technology platforms for monitoring and reporting patient outcomes are shaping an environment in which the precision-based pharmacy practice model is essential. This model requires that specialty pharmacists have advanced training and that specialty stakeholders build IT platforms to support clinical therapy management programs and outcomes reporting.
The pipeline of specialty pharmaceuticals is robust and will dictate the future of pharmaceutical care. Specialty pharmaceuticals will dominate the landscape, new therapeutic categories will emerge, and the use of the precision care model will expand. The increase in the specialtyfocused pipeline is also causing a ripple effect in the distribution channels, causing all channels from hospital networks, infusion, mail order and retail to expand their services and incorporate specialty and precision pharmacy into their business models.
Manufacturers are also re-thinking their distribution strategies and are taking multi-channel approaches for product launches. They are beginning to standardize requirements for the dispensing and monitoring of their products to specialty patients. At the same time, technology companies are racing to build sophisticated platforms to support the integration of dispensing and outcomes monitoring systems, incorporate the use of Android and Ipad patient reported outcome (PRO) applications, utilize electronic medical records (EMR) and combine pharmacy and medical claims data. This is creating a need for standards and measures to validate comparative, effective, real-world patient data. The new Affordable Care Act and the advent of exchanges is causing payor and reimbursement challenges that will need to be addressed by all specialty stakeholders, including patients.
The rapid pace of innovation and change has both made entry into the specialty market more difficult and, at the same time, opened up a pathway that did not exist before. Consulting and IT firms, GPOs, and wholesalers are being asked by members and clients to provide expanded specialty services that meet the criteria required to dispense and administer specialty products.
Addressing the needs of this increasingly complex healthcare environment also requires leadership from within the specialty community to provide education, advanced training, professional certification and a framework to synthesize and utilize the available technology and data. NASP is committed to filling this role. We are focused on leading our members and all specialty stakeholders by building collaborative partnerships that ultimately benefit all specialty patients.
Precision pharmacy services is the future of Specialty. Specialty is the future of pharmacy. Adapting to this new model creates challenges, but is essential to success.
Gary M. Cohen, BS Pharm, RPh, CSP