Specialty Pharmaceutical Distributor
Pharmaceutical usage is growing in emerging markets. Specialty pharmaceuticals are generally understood to be medications that are Injectable. Indicated for the treatment of chronic illnesses and are expensive. Single therapy can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $350,000 per patient per year.
- Non-oral administration. Specialty drugs are almost always administered by non-oral means (such as injection or infusion).
- Biological origin. Many specialty products (such as blood products and gene-based therapies) are manufactured with a biological basis by biotech companies, or by traditional pharmaceutical companies through biotech divisions or through business partnerships with biotech companies.
- Non-hospital administration. Usually, specialty products are administered in a non-hospital setting (such as a physician’s office, a clinic or the patient’s home).
Specialty pharmaceuticals deliver a number of clinical benefits that further distinguish them from traditional oral medications. For one thing, specialty products tend to offer new and effective treatments for diseases with few therapeutic options. A few years ago, treatment choices for cancer patients were essentially limited to surgery and radiation. Currently, in addition to many widely used chemotherapeutic and blood-cell replacement agents, cancer therapies include a wide range of specialty products that not only attack the disease, but also help to diminish pain and side effects such as nausea. The specialty market accelerated with the rapid growth of managed care. Managed care organizations offered vendors large payer contracts, which in turn led to the growth of high-volume specialty pharmaceuticals companies. For the first time, specialty pharma companies became key players in healthcare delivery. Over time, the volume contracts attracted more players, which led to price compression, reducing margins and forcing companies to develop many of the efficiencies we see today, such as centralized distribution and billing, comprehensive customer service operations, sophisticated cost-tracking, and extensive mail-order capabilities. The dominant players today include specialty pharmacy providers, pharmacy benefit managers, care management and disease management companies, and MCOs.
Wholesalers are deeply involved in the specialty market, and several chains operate their own specialty pharmacy divisions. Meditpharma is one of the wholesalers creating new impact in market. Many retailers, including Walgreen’s, CVS, Rite Aid and Wal-Mart, also partner with pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers to offer compliance programs, reimbursement assistance programs and distribution channels. Regarding distribution, the path from manufacturer to patient for specialty drugs differs from the one traveled by retail prescription drugs. The typical oral medication moves from the manufacturing plant to the wholesaler and then to a retail pharmacy for dispensing to the patient. In the specialty environment, the specialty pharmacy provider takes the place of the wholesaler, and there are multiple endpoints in the distribution chain. Examples include infusion suites, stand-alone clinics, physician offices and patients’ homes (for self-injectable). Specialty drug manufacturers usually contract with more than one specialty provider, and distribution models vary. For example, a specialty manufacturer may manage an open distribution program in which it sells to any authorized purchaser. The specialty pharmaceuticals market will continue its rapid growth, driven by hundreds of product launches through the end of the decade and beyond.
Contact us now!