Magazine article Drug Topics

Specialty Pharmacy Association of America Launches

Magazine article Drug Topics

Specialty Pharmacy Association of America Launches

Article excerpt


SPAARx publishes benchmark definition of "specialty pharmacy"

Specialty pharmacy is a significant pharmacy practice area and stakeholders now have a new advocate with the recent formation of a new pharmacy association representing the interests of specialty pharmacy supporters. The Specialty Pharmacy Association of America (SPAARx) will be formally unveiled during the 201 3 Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit in Las Vegas, taking place May 7-10, but it is already building a substantial membership.

As part of its early efforts, SPAARx seeks to more clearly define the term "specialty pharmacy." It is important to note that the proper use of the term can impact provider and payer issues, supply-chain routing transmission of data related to specialty drugs, and state pharmacy laws/regulations, as well as FDA requirements pertaining to REMS, such as clinical outcomes, compliance/adherence, and storage/handling. Therefore, the new definition serves as a benchmark for many stakeholders.

The original definition of "specialty pharmacy" was drafted in 2006 with input from more than 20 leading specialty pharmacies. The most recent définition by SPAARx, was released on February 26, 2013, and again reflects input of numerous specialty pharmacy stakeholders and thought leaders. Public comment was sought through March 2013.

Specialty pharmacy defined

According to SPAARx, "specialty pharmacy is a unique class of professional pharmacy practice that includes a comprehensive and coordinated model of care for patients with chronic illnesses and complex medical conditions. Specialty pharmacies provide expert therapy management services, coupled with patient education and counseling that collectively drive adherence, compliance, and persistence, manage dosing, and monitor appropriate medication use. This unparalleled, patient-centric model is organized to dispense/ distribute typically high cost, injectable/infusible/oral and other hard-to-manage therapies within a collaborative framework designed to achieve superior clinical, humanistic, and economic outcomes."

Three core elements

Three core elements are included in the SPAARx definition.

The specialty pharmacy service model. The specialty pharmacy service model is "high touch" and has the primary differentiating goal of monitoring and positively impacting adherence, compliance, and persistence. …

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