Diplomat Pharmacy expands its specialty services into 'integrative pharmacy'

Partners with natural-products chain, Pharmaca, for specialty pharmaceutical access

Diplomat Pharmacy, which has grown to multi-billion-dollar scale in the past several years by focusing on dispensing and delivery of specialty products, has announced a partnership with Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy (Boulder, CO), which has grown since its founding in 2000 to 28 locations throughout the US West, and styles itself as the nation’s largest integrative pharmacy, meaning that it blends traditional pharmacy with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including homeopathy, holistic medicine and other forms of health and wellness therapy.

With some controversy over spending money on medical therapies with little to no scientific evidence, alternative medicine has been researched at NIH since the late 1990s. Late last year, the NIH agency involved was renamed the National Center for complementary and Integrative Health, bringing more focus to interdisciplinary treatment for health and wellness.

For Diplomat, the partnership represents another outlet for its Retail Specialty Network, by which it provides delivery (and access to) specialty products to regular pharmacies who might not have access to the limited-distribution networks being set up for many specialty products. For Pharmaca, it brings greater access to patients who, while they’re taking specialty products, might also want access to the CAM therapies it offers.

Pharmaca’s leadership is ambitious: The company believes it can grow to 400-500 locations over time. It has won numerous awards in the chain-pharmacy arena in the past several years. The relationship with Diplomat conjures interesting possibilities between CAM and the usually complex therapy regimens that specialty products entail.