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How to grow your specialty pharmacy business

As many industries struggle under the weight of staff shortages and sluggish revenue cycles, organizations are forced to do more with less. Growth and expansion have been put on the back burner while businesses focus on just staying afloat.

Specialty pharmacies are especially challenged, because it’s more than just the industry that has changed – so have their patients. Today’s patients are tech-savvy and have a consumer mindset, expecting a seamless experience in their healthcare encounters and they’re willing to change pharmacies, doctors, or hospitals to get it.

While patient relationships are certainly important, specialty pharmacy expansion on a larger scale hinges on two key areas: getting access to limited distribution drugs (LDD) and earning payer network contracts. But how do you achieve growth in these areas and prepare your pharmacy for the increased patient load if you’re successful?

The table is set for specialty pharmacy growth

The pharmacy industry is set to have a busy 2023. The number of new complex drug approvals increases annually, presenting a huge opportunity for specialty pharmacy growth. In fact, 65% of new drug approvals in the next three years are estimated to be for specialty drugs,1 and each will come with its own set of unique service level agreements and LDD considerations.

As of 2019, 75% of manufacturers were dispensing through a limited distribution model.2 And it’s important to note that during evaluations, manufacturers and payers look favorably on specialty pharmacies that can confirm reliable data sources and data exchange methods.

How specialty pharmacy software supports expansion

Beyond just patient counts and interoperability, the reporting and workflows you have in place can make or break your chances of winning new contracts. Pharmacies must meet certain requirements to be considered, and should be able to demonstrate:

    • An efficient tracking and reporting system
    • The ability to produce accurate, shareable clinical data
    • Clinical expertise to handle certain conditions
    • Workflow alignment with contractual requirements and profitability

Reports should be accurate, timely, and auditable. Workflows must be aligned to specific payer contractual requirements, flexible enough to support exceptions and be able to support consistent activities and interventions.

The right pharmacy software solution will automate many of the time-consuming or repetitive tasks that contribute to human error. The data it collects and houses should be secure, but still easily accessible by authorized individuals as needed. And the ability to customize and scale is imperative. Technology is only useful if it adapts to your business and conforms to your needs, not the other way around.

Why specialty pharmacies trust Inovalon

Inovalon has established data exchange and interoperability pathways that support secure data sharing among all the patient’s healthcare partners.

ScriptMed® Cloud is a specialty and infusion pharmacy software that delivers unmatched connectivity, functionality, and financial benefits. It not only reduces costs; it also streamlines pharmacy operations and workflows, and is backed by the industry’s largest primary source dataset.

Because it is scalable and customizable, ScriptMed allows you to easily configure your software to meet the needs and requirements of manufacturers and payers.

From clinical data collection capabilities to customized workflows, pharmacies trust ScriptMed to ensure that they’re not only well positioned to take that next step, but will be prepared for the growth and success that follow.

Learn more about ScriptMed Cloud here.


1 "Six Payor Tactics to Control Drug Spending," Karen Blum, Specialty Pharmacy Continuum, June 1, 2022, https://www.specialtypharmacycontinuum.com/Policy/Article/06-22/6-Payor-Tactics-to-Control-Drug-Spending/67022

2 “Limited Distribution Drugs 101,” Clarivate, accessed December 14, 2022, https://clarivate.com/blog/limited-distribution-drugs-101/

By Inovalon