NCCN Task Force Report: Specialty Pharmacy

Authors: Rowena N. Schwartz PharmD, BCOP, Kirby J. Eng RPh, Deborah A. Frieze PharmD, BCOP, Tracy K. Gosselin RN, MSN, AOCN, Niesha Griffith MS, RPh, FASHP, Amy Hatfield Seung PharmD, BCOP, Jennifer M. Hinkel MSc, Philip E. Johnson MS, RPh, FASHP, Shirley A. Johnson RN, MS, MBA, Edward C. Li PharmD, BCOP, Audrea Hotsko Szabatura PharmD, BCOP and Michael K. Wong MD, PhD
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The use of specialty pharmacies is expanding in oncology pharmacy practice. Specialty pharmacies provide a channel for distributing drugs that, from the payor perspective, creates economies of scale and streamlines the delivery of expensive drugs. Proposed goals of specialty pharmacy include optimization of pharmaceutical care outcomes through ensuring appropriate medication use and maximizing adherence, and optimization of economic outcomes through avoiding unwarranted drug expenditure. In oncology practice, specialty pharmacies have become a distribution channel for various agents. The use of a specialty pharmacy, and the addition of the pharmacist from the specialty pharmacy to the health care team, may not only provide benefits for care but also present challenges in oncology practice. The NCCN Specialty Pharmacy Task Force met to identify and examine the impact of specialty pharmacy practice on the care of people with cancer, and to provide recommendations regarding issues discussed. This report provides recommendations within the following categories: education and training of specialty pharmacy practitioners who care for individuals with cancer, coordination of care, and patient safety. Areas for further evaluation are also identified.

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