Roadmap to Starting a Specialty Pharmacy | Part 1

The number of specialty pharmacies—which provide expensive and difficult-to-administer medications that treat complex conditions—has grown rapidly in the last decade. Nevertheless, the specialty pharmacy market is still viable.

In fact, less than 50 percent of payers are satisfied with the measuring and documenting of their specialty pharmacy provider’s (SPP) services. There is significant potential for continued growth because 70 percent of biologics currently in development are those likely to be administered by specialty pharmacies.

So, while market conditions remain favorable, the process of starting a specialty pharmacy is a journey with several significant destinations along the route.  

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If you are interested in starting a specialty pharmacy, we have outlined nine essential destinations on your route to success and will be outlining them in a series of three separate posts, starting here:

Determine Your Mode of Transport

Specialty pharmacies can be established in three ways.

  1. You can partner with someone currently providing specialty pharmacy services,
  2. Buy an existing business, or
  3. Build your own from the ground up.

handshakesDetermine which method of entry into the market best suits your situation:

  • Partner
    • easy entry into the market
    • immediate access to limited-distribution drugs, payer accounts and experienced staff
    • smallest financial investment
  •  Buy
    • easy entry into the market
    • immediate access to limited-distribution drugs, payer accounts and experienced staff
    • popular with larger organizations, many of which have purchased smaller but successful specialty pharmacies
    • likely to be a significant financial investment
  • Build
    • can create your niche
    • longest time to enter the market
    • many potential roadblocks, such as access to patients, prescriptions, drugs, payer accounts and experienced staff

Plan your Route

mapBefore you hit the road, map out the direction you want your business to go, and develop a plan to create your brand destination. Define your capabilities, and decide which disease states you can best serve.

Define your capabilities, and decide which disease states you can best serve.

  • Determine what services you currently provide that can be adapted
  • Select partners who can help, if needed
  • Pick consultants with current specialty pharmacy expertise

 

Prepare for the Journey

Among the most important tools you’ll need for the journey of successfully entering the market is access—to prescriptions, patients and limited-distribution drugs. Relationships are critical to gaining and maintaining access, so nurture existing relationships, and be prepared to consistently delight everyone you serve, from prescribers to payers.

  • Access prescriptions through relationships with physicians
  • Access patients through managed care contracts
  • Access limited-distribution drugs through group purchasing organizations (GPO)

Check back in the coming weeks for more insight into starting a specialty pharmacy.  

2018-02-21T07:54:08+00:00