Specialty pharmacies provide access to medications for complex conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis (MS). Many specialty medications have unique storage or shipping requirements that a traditional pharmacy simply cannot accommodate. As such, specialty pharmacies like Avella and BriovaRx are essential for patients and providers alike—and choosing the right one is critical for ensuring that medication access, adherence, and assistance is all as it should be.
Below, we highlight a few things to consider when choosing a specialty pharmacy.
1. Does the specialty pharmacy offer proactive education and support?
Patients who are prescribed specialty medications need access to the right educational resources and clinical support options to increase medication adherence and help with treatment management. Specialty pharmacies like Avella and BriovaRx offer a high level of expertise and support that patients can count on. When choosing a specialty pharmacy, look for one that offers proactive education and clinical support for patients undergoing complex treatments.
2. Does the specialty pharmacy help with financial assistance?
Specialty medications are costly and can create a significant financial burden for many people. That’s why it’s important to look for a specialty pharmacy that will work with patients to gain access to more affordable medications when possible. Many specialty pharmacies like Avella and BriovaRx work with medication manufacturers, non-profit organizations, and insurance companies to apply for financial assistance, secure prior authorizations, and reduce costs to avoid any interruption of treatment.
3. Are there programs to help with medication adherence?
As a result of medication non-adherence, many patients experience preventable complications, acute events, and disease progression. In fact, studies show that around half of all medications for chronic conditions are not taken as prescribed, and 30-50 percent of treatment failures are caused by non-adherence. Some specialty pharmacies offer programs to help with medication adherence, such as text messaging programs to send patients reminders and smart pill bottles that alert patients when it’s time to take their medication.
4. What is the specialty pharmacy’s availability like?
There are some specialty pharmacies that offer 24/7 clinical support, while others offer less support options to patents. Make it a point to look for a specialty pharmacy that offers consistent pharmacist availability to ensure support is always there when questions or issues come up.
5. Is the specialty pharmacy in limited distribution networks?
While some medications are available at different specialty pharmacies across the country, limited distribution drugs (LDD) are only available at a select few. Specialty pharmacies like Avella and BriovaRx that demonstrate high standards for clinical excellence, patient education, and treatment monitoring are selected as a limited distribution medication partner for different medications that are difficult to attain.
6. What are the specialty pharmacy’s accreditations?
Some specialty pharmacies have received accreditation by nationally recognized, impartial institutions. To receive accreditation, there is a thorough review of a pharmacy’s standards for quality control, patient safety, and sterility. Choosing an accredited specialty pharmacy offers increased certainty and provides patients with peace of mind that they’re making a smart decision.
7. Does the specialty pharmacy offer mobile health tools?
There’s an app for just about everything these days, and specialty pharmacy is no exception. Some specialty pharmacies offer free mobile health technology tools to help patients and providers access the most up-to-date medication information. At Avella, we offer a free medication management text message program for patients, as well as medication guides and a portal designed for providers.
There are many factors to consider when selecting the best specialty pharmacy to meet your needs. If you’re researching specialty pharmacies and comparing them to traditional options, we’re here to help. Download our infographic to learn about the difference between specialty and traditional pharmacies, along with the benefits to going the specialty route for treating complex conditions.