A customized pharmacy option
Most people in the healthcare industry are familiar with the standard models of pharmacy services. They include retail, mail order, specialty and specialty lite, to name a few. Each of these models serves an important purpose in providing much needed therapy to patients. But each of them follows a relatively standard set of processes specific to their intended service.
Most retail pharmacies focus largely on more common, less costly drugs that treat routine day to day afflictions. With a mix of Rx and OTC therapies, they are designed to serve a very broad audience and require a very high volume of overall sales to achieve their desired ROI. Typical mail-order pharmacies are similar in nature having the same volume-based strategy and relatively low touch attributes. Both models depend on high-volume, quick-turn dispensing.
Specialty pharmacies are the antithesis of retail or mail order. They specialize in dispensing therapies with a much higher wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) and, typically, a smaller patient population. These therapies require a very high-touch, often intensive, clinical care model. Specialty pharmacies also expend considerable effort helping their patients overcome financial access barriers due to the much higher cost of the drugs they manage. All these factors contribute to a higher operating cost suitable only for higher-cost therapies.
The specialty lite model is a relative newcomer to the pharmacy space having become more popular during the last decade as technology evolved that could automate some of the more common tasks within specialty pharmacy, largely around patient access and adherence. In general, the result was a specialty-like model that could accommodate products with a lower WAC. But at its core, the basic process is still very much the same as specialty.
Today, in a growing number of cases, a brand needs a solution that addresses challenges across multiple traditional pharmacy models. In some cases, these new challenges were never even considered in the traditional models and require new, more innovative solutions to address them. This is where a new breed of specialized pharmacy service comes into play called “custom pharmacy solutions.” This model leverages robust infrastructure, broad talent and technology prowess to combine features and functions of many pharmacy models with new process and technology that is outside the box of traditional pharmacy.
Recognizing this shifting landscape, independent specialty pharmacies such as KnippeRx are seeking to combine existing high-touch, high-tech, patient-centric pharmacy services with high capacity infrastructures, expanded talent pools and enhanced technology tool kits. Scalability is key. The goal is to provide brands the ability to leverage the infrastructure of a nationwide distributor with multiple locations, automation and talent and technology assets, to develop solutions that are tailor made to address each brand’s unique needs.
Customized-oriented pharmacy support can potentially serve the commercial and non-commercial efforts of small, medium and large pharma. Those can include single-brand launch initiatives, support for multi-brand solutions for mature products, and even direct-to-patient cash approaches for brands that have lost exclusivity or those that are better served outside the retail model.