Specialty medications are generally seen as high-cost or high-risk therapies that are utilized to treat complex, chronic or life-threatening conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and hepatitis C); and often require greater patient education and monitoring. It is estimated that by 2018, seven of the 10 top-selling drugs in the United States will be specialty products. Currently, most patients receive their specialty medications through mail-order pharmacies.
The UVM Medical Center, along with many other academic medical centers across the country, is working to provide these medications for its patients. The clinical pharmacists and patient care coordinators at The UVM Medical Center work directly with the providers and clinic staff of the various specialty clinics to coordinate initiation, patient education (including face-to-face teaching and training), and ongoing monitoring of these medications. In addition, they perform benefits investigation, prior authorizations, and obtain co-pay assistance (when applicable), to ensure patients are able to afford these often costly medications.
The specialty pharmacy team is readily available to patients to provide support throughout the entire process.
To speak with a member of the specialty pharmacy team, please call 800-284-6630 or 802-847-3353. Visit The UVM Medical Center Special Pharmacy Online.
Joseph Aloi, Pharm.D., BCPS, is the Supervisor of Ambulatory Care and Specialty Pharmacy Services in the Pharmacy Department at The University of Vermont Medical Center.