Specialty Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition Just Published (link below)

The most prolific area of drug discovery is oncology and it is considered to be the “The Holy Grail” of specialty pharmacy. Cancer treatment or oncology medication therapy has evolved tremendously over the last decade and is more accessible to the benefits of specialty pharmacy practice. In this third edition of Specialty Pharmacy Times, we have again tapped the “best of best” to help provide our readers with insight into a number of the dynamics focused exclusively on oncology. We delve into the role of specialty pharmacy including the integral ethical decisions that specialty pharmacy providers are challenged to make as members of the patient’s health care team.
Dr. Correia, a member of our Editorial Board, discusses how when pharmacists focus on the whole person, patients are better able to follow their treatment plan—leading to better health and lower total health care costs. Dr. Brennan and The Zitter Group provide insights into a shift from “buy and bill” to a more cost-focused delivery system of leveraging specialty pharmacy, including infused products. Rena K. Goins explores the landscape of oncology care and the curious dynamics that come into play with the interrelationships of the various oncology organizations —from treatment pathways to distribution. Furthermore, we offer practice information on Accountable Care Organizations, MedGuides, e-Prescribing, Financial Assistance Programs, and some practical insights from the specialty pharmacy “bench.”

With this special edition focused on oncology, we continue our mission: Specialty Pharmacy Times is THE journal fully committed to setting the publication standard through peer-written and reviewed articles focused on the “real world” of specialty pharmacy practice.

Oncology treatment or “chemo” has most often been exclusively an oncologist office–administered therapy. However, the pharmaceutical industry has been working hard to provide more convenient dosage forms for patients, including many self-injectables and orals, which raises the challenge of where patients will receive their medication therapy in the future. Treatment access decisions are being made based on a number of factors, including reimbursement, cost, dosage form, patient care, and supply chain requirements—and are more recently, pharmacogenomics, to name a few. These decisions are frequently made by payers and the manufacturer and often driven by the services offered by specialty pharmacy. Which raises the question, is your pharmacy operation “in the game, or in the stands watching?” Many of the answers to this question and more lie ahead in this inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition. We invite you to enjoy this issue and pass it on!



Specialty Pharmacy Times Now Available on Line: Focus on Pharmacogenomics

Specialty Pharmacy Times launched to fill an important niche for one of the fastest growing markets in pharmacy. This new journal provides new concepts and deliverables to assist professionals who are interested in expanding their practice and keeping up to date with the field. We cover key topics for specialty pharmacists, providing valuable resources for this dynamic market.

Our articles are written by major thought leaders in the industry and we bring insightful commentaries to your inbox. We’ve welcomed experts on REMS, new product pipelines, Washington insights, and current trends. Our focus is on the business and practice of specialty pharmacy.

If you would like to subscribe to Specialty Pharmacy Times, it's easy to sign up for free! Sign up today by going to www.SpecialtyPharmacyTimes.com – and share the news about this new journal with your colleagues so they can also subscribe!

View the Spring 2011 issue here!


Bea Riemschneider
Editorial Director
Specialty Pharmacy Times
Dan Steiber, RPh
Specialty Pharmacy Times



Specialty Pharmacy Times New Edition Features Pharmacogenomics

Welcome to the second edition of Specialty Pharmacy Times. This month’s SPT features articles from several of the leaders from specialty pharmacy—from a pharmacist/owner in independent practice to one of the largest PBM-owned specialty pharmacies to related best of breed support organizations. Our SPT authors have taken note of key trends that will greatly affect the future of specialty pharmacy. You’ll be informed about pharmacogenomics, REMS, patient care, new regulations, reimbursement, excellence in staffing, what it takes to prepare your business for a potential sale, and more— all by industry experts.

In fact, this issue serves as a great reminder of our mission: Specialty Pharmacy Times is THE journal fully committed to setting the publication standard through peer-written and peer-reviewed articles which are focused on the “real world” of specialty pharmacy practice.

An emerging area that will greatly affect specialty pharmacy is molecular diagnostics and pharmacogenomic testing. Genomic testing predicts how effective therapies will be for specific patients and their diseases, allowing health care professionals to target the right drug for the circumstances. Product targeting optimizes the patient’s therapy, which in turn can drive treatment decisions. An excellent example is oncology patients, such as those treated for breast cancer with targeted products, who are screened for their HER-2 status. Pharmacogenomics testing assures that the right patient receives the right drug at the right time in the right dose, thereby improving patient outcomes while managing overall health care costs.

Other future disease states that can benefit from pharmacogenemomics include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, oral contraceptives, depression, and osteoporosis. Isn’t this much of what specialty pharmacy is all about?

Pharmacogenomics is here and now and is driving trends resulting in changes to our specialty pharmacy practice and businesses. The health care system can ill afford a one size fits all product selection model when the ability to personalize therapy exists. There will be challenges to overcome, among them, that the pharmaceutical industry is reluctant to potentially limit the use of its products, reimbursement for tests is still in flux, regulators and ethicists debate what the appropriate standards should be for testing, physicians are not certain what to do as clinical standards have yet to be determined, insurers have yet to see a strong ROI on the technology, and patients have not come together to demand access.

But new business models are emerging where specialty pharmacists are inserting themselves into a gatekeeper role in pharmacogenomics and product access. We invite our SPT readers to understand where these trends have placed us: at a dynamic crossroads from an ethics and standard of care perspective. Where does your business see pharmacogenomics working in your operation?