- How much does it cost? Am I paying the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost?
- When will it be available?
- If it requires extra processing, what is the most recent status?
Having a team member to communicate regularly with doctor’s offices and patients can vastly improve communication. Another option is to adopt a software solution that can take on this role, which are scalable and even more cost-effective in the long run.
3. Leverage Delivery
The majority of independent pharmacies have some form of local delivery system in place. This acts as a leg up for the local independent pharmacies, as out-of-state specialty pharmacies often take over a week to deliver such prescriptions. Leveraging various networks and digital services to aid in prescription delivery is a key factor to breaking into the specialty drug channels.
4. Lower out of pocket costs
Applying manufacturer coupons can immensely help to lower out of pocket costs for your patients. These significantly affect prices while still ensuring a healthy amount of profitability for the pharmacy itself. Investing in systems to file insurance prior authorizations will also lower the average out of pocket expense for the patients—a win-win for both parties.
Specialty drugs act as a significant economic opportunity for independent pharmacies, while simultaneously presenting an opportunity for the local community that capitalizes on the key strengths of these independents. With the right investments in strategy and overall execution, specialty prescriptions can be a fantastic revenue and margin booster, and also an incremental method of engaging more patients within your own community.
Deepak Thomas is CEO of Phil, Inc., a San Francisco-based software platform that connects patients who take specialty Rx with their prescribers and pharmacies.