Follow the Money

Specialty Pharmacy Times, September/October 2014, Volume 5, Issue 5

It should come as no great surprise that the pharmaceutical industry is firmly rooted in business models that focus on a return on investment for what is a complicated set of variables that ebb and flow with the global economy, new drug discoveries, and innovations in health care delivery. The role of the specialty pharmacist—and of specialty pharmacies—is a complex one that involves all of the stakeholders in the mix, from the manufacturer to the payer to the patient.

Our coverage of the specialty pharmacy market and how it has evolved provides insight into the way specialty pharmacies bring positive results in the high-touch, high-care world of diseases that require specialty medications. In this issue, in “Specialty in Retail: What Does It Take to Participate?” we take another look at specialty in retail and exactly what the requirements are to enter that space and succeed in it.

A viewpoint from the manufacturer’s side is presented in “Valued Services from Specialty Pharmacy: A Manufacturer’s Perspective,” which focuses on the shared goals of the manufacturers and specialty pharmacies in keeping patients on therapy and how they go about making that happen. Special customized care programs are a large part of the specialty landscape, and each is tailored to the condition and the patient, so it is not surprising that there are cost challenges in all of these programs.

In fact, cost is always front of mind with payers and those involved in the diagnosis of specialty conditions, as Dan Steiber, RPh, our esteemed editor-in-chief, relates in his insightful editorial, “Who Is the Customer in Specialty?” Economics always come into play when dealing with health care—and in terms of specialty pharmaceuticals, the stakes are even higher. Dan relates how the focus of a recent meeting with a group of payers and medical directors was “not on patient care and services but on cost and cost control.” Should that be surprising as everyone follows the money? You’ll want to read his observations about service and cost.

With Specialty Pharmacy Times and our daily news on www.SpecialtyPharmacyTimes.com, we’re keeping you abreast of all the news you need to know. Follow our coverage in print, online, in our eNewsletters, and on mobile devices, and we invite you to share our articles, news, and commentaries with your colleagues throughout the profession. SPT

Thank you for reading!

Mike HennessyChairman and CEO