How Should Specialty Pharmaceutical Stakeholders, Advocates Collaborate to Create Data Standards?

John Giannouris, vice president, Specialty Pharmacy Services, ValueCentric, discusses how data connectivity is crucial for the specialty pharmacy industry.

Giannouris: I think there are some activities underway already. Through [National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP)], there are some data standards that are being worked on for specialty pharmacies, as it relates to datasets that a manufacturer may contract for directly with specialty pharmacies.

There are some efforts underfoot there. I think it’s a good start, I don’t think it’s all-encompassing. Many manufacturers—depending on the product and the way its distributed and administered—have unique data requirements. I think what the NCPDP is working on right now in terms of specialty pharmacy standards is a good first step—try it out, put it in place, and then let’s see where we can expand.

I think continuing with that effort is one and other organizations maybe getting involved down the road. So, there’s conferences like the NASP conference, which is focused on specialty. If they could focus a little more on data down the road. They talk about technology, so maybe talking a little more about data standards there I think will help.

It’s sort of an evolution start with what the NCPDP is working on. Data aggregators work with a variety of data from a variety of providers, not just specialty pharmacies. Me, in particular, I’d love to see a standard to start off of and work from there.