Opportunities and Challenges: An Industry at Warp Speed

Specialty Pharmacy Times, August 2012, Volume 3, Issue 4

The specialty space is growing fast as companies get on board, especially from the retail side. Read about the hottest topic in specialty today, and learn from expert authors.

The specialty space is growing fast as companies get on board, especially from the retail side. Read about the hottest topic in specialty today, and learn from expert authors.

With every challenge there comes an opportunity. You can either look at the landscape and decide to retreat—or forge ahead and see where those challenges may lead you. I like to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit whenever I see it—and clearly, there is an entrepreneurial spirit in the profession of specialty pharmacy. It’s the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry, and it is time to get on board as our expert authors in this issue strongly suggest. The question is, how?

Retail chains are now entering this new frontier at a faster rate than before, with the resulting need for more accountability. The costs for specialty drugs far outpace the “usual” medications that people take, so adherence is an even more critical issue for this patient population. While it is still incumbent on the patient to take the lead in their own health as a step toward personal responsibility, the nature of their illnesses and the complex medications needed make the professional health care team approach a “must.”

The specialty pharmacist—and the specialty pharmacy itself, with its trained staff—becomes a critical element of that health care team. Patients are in need of deeper clinical knowledge about their conditions to better understand their medication adherence and the consequences of not taking responsibility. For this reason, specialty pharmacists are considered “hightouch” in addition to the many other functions they perform to keep patients on a successful medication program.

This issue zeroes in on a hot topic in specialty pharmacy today—the opportunities and challenges for retail in the specialty pharmacy arena. Three leaders in the industry provide valuable insight here by answering the pressing questions of how to get into specialty and what it takes to be successful if you do get involved. From the manufacturer’s viewpoint on launching a product, to the necessary attributes one must have as a company and an individual to enter this segment of pharmacy, to how to grow a business in specialty, our 3-part cover article offers the cuttingedge knowledge needed to understand and respond to the challenges of specialty pharmacy.

The frontier is waiting for those who are willing to take the plunge and enter this unique marketplace, one that another of our expert authors says is moving at “warp speed.” Are you up for the challenge?

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy Chairman/Chief Executive Officer/President