Pharmacists have expanded their services far beyond traditional drug dispensing. As essential members of the continuum of care, independent pharmacists consistently recognize needs in their community and rise to the challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how critical pharmacists are when it comes to patient care, and the role of the pharmacist is evolving quickly as a result.
As drug prices increase and DIR fees threaten pharmacy revenue, independent pharmacists are searching for new avenues to expand their business. Providing clinical services not only improves patient outcomes and boosts medication adherence but helps diversify revenue. Another solution gaining traction among independent pharmacies is adding specialty pharmacy services to their portfolio of offerings.
Rising Demand for Specialty Pharmacy
In the United States, 39% of community pharmacies already dispense specialty medication of some kind, according to the National Community Pharmacy Association. The US healthcare market has also seen a consistent rise in the demand for specialty medication for specific disease states and chronic illnesses. As the country’s population ages, chronic care services and costs have increased, and specialty pharmacy is expected to grow to a $500 billion market.
By the end of 2020, specialty medication is expected to reach 50% of all outpatient drug spending. According to the FDA, 60% of new drugs that sought approval in 2019 were specialty medications with a significant number in the oral dosage form. In past decades, specialty pharmacy was limited to a short list of medications, but that list is steadily increasing year over year and continually changing based on plan formularies.
Add Revenue Streams with Specialty Pharmacy
Expanding a pharmacy’s portfolio to include specialty pharmacy services and medications enables patient-focused pharmacists to set themselves apart from the rest of the industry. Specialty pharmacy presents unique opportunities for pharmacists to provide coordinated care for chronic disease states and better serve the needs of their patients.
Adding specialty pharmacy offers a long-term profitability increase. Specialty medications are high-value prescriptions and filling them can immensely increase a community pharmacy’s bottom line. The pharmacy’s network of customers increases to include patients filling specialty drugs, thereby retaining and increasing the routine prescriptions at the same pharmacy. Specialty pharmacy services can build trust with patients who rely on their pharmacist and create loyal customers that return to the store month after month.
Make the Most of Specialty Pharmacy for Your Business
Independent pharmacies that offer specialty pharmacy services have an opportunity to build relationships with local doctors that frequently prescribe specialty drugs. It is often more convenient for patients to fill their prescriptions from a local pharmacy than a different specialty pharmacy. By informing local doctors of your specialty drug dispensing capabilities, you can gain referrals and care for additional patients in your area.
Independent pharmacies that dispense specialty medications have the opportunity to lower out-of-pocket costs for their patients. Patients appreciate the dedicated time and knowledge of a local pharmacist, which can build a trusting relationship and longstanding loyalty.
Interested in the ability to better serve your patients by expanding into specialty pharmacy services with the added benefit of increasing revenue?
TDS is proud to cater to the needs of specialty pharmacy with KloudScript, a cloud-based specialty pharmacy solution. Contact us today to learn more about KloudScript and how your independent pharmacy can benefit from specialty pharmacy services.