If you answered yes, you probably are not alone. The cost of certain prescriptions, like those for hepatitis C, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, have skyrocketed. Many of these special drugs cannot be accessed from a regular retail pharmacy. The patient must acquire the treatment from a “specialty pharmacy”, that may not even be in their hometown. This obviously leaves lots of questions and concerns in the back of a patient’s mind.
- How will I get a prescription drug from a specialty pharmacy that is located out of my state?
- If it’s an injectable drug and requires self-administration, how will I learn to do this? What if the drug is complicated?
- Who will be my primary point of contact?
- What if I cannot afford my medication?
The high cost of new medications like the biologics is a concern not only for patients, but for health care providers that care for them. In fact, the total cost of specialty medications dispensed in 2013 exceeded $60 billion. And these numbers are only expected to grow in the future.
Patients have the right to understand their medications to make informed decisions, to be able to gauge the benefits and risks of treatment, as well as grasp important cost issues. However, many patients can be confused about specialty pharmacy services, insurance, and even how they will receive the drug.
If you need the services of a specialty pharmacy, your healthcare provider will let you know. Read over Drugs.com latest post entitled “The Specialty Pharmacy: A One-to-One Personalized Approach” to see how this fast-growing segment of pharmacy can be a boost to your health and well-being. A specialty pharmacy may even ease some of the pain associated with these high cost, but often life-saving medications.