Is specialty pharmacy suitable for you?

Visiting a pharmacy to fulfill your medicinal needs is a common practice. The retail pharmacies are a link between drug manufacturers and the general public. Finding a medicine for cold, cough, fever, and related common illnesses is possible at a nearby general medicine store. However, for people with unique needs the best solution is a compound pharmacy.

Obviously everyone now has enough awareness with respect to compound pharmacy. People know that if they have allergies or swallowing issues then compound pharmacies can assist them by creating a custom medicine. But what people don’t know is about specialty pharmacies. Surfing specialty pharmacies near me on the internet provides a specialty pharmacy list. However, in order to choose the right pharmacy one must know the key features of a specialty pharmacy.

Difference between specialty pharmacy and compound pharmacy:

Usually, specialty pharmacy and compound pharmacy are used interchangeably. However, the fact is that these are two different types of pharmacies. Undoubtedly, both aim to provide medicinal solutions for patients as per their unique needs. The difference between the two lies with the use of patient-specific prescriptions. 

Specialty pharmacies create medicine only when they get hold of a patient-specific prescription. On the contrary, the compound pharmacies do not necessarily require a patient-specific prescription for manufacturing of custom drugs.

Specialty pharmacies and its features:

Specialty pharmacies are a type of pharmacy with focus on treating complex medical issues. Cost and complexity are the two main points of focus for specialty pharmacy. When it comes to major diseases like cancer, HIV, infertility, liver diseases, and other complex issues, then patients find their unique medications at a specialty pharmacy.

Following is a list of features which one can find at a specialty pharmacy. Only pharmacies ticking on this list are eligible for classification under the head of specialty pharmacy.

  1. Treatment of rare illnesses – Regular health issues like fever, cold, cough, aches, etc are under control of the commercially available medications. When it comes to problems like allergies, swallowing issues, or age related inconveniences then compound pharmacies come to the rescue of the patients. While both regular and compound pharmacies are playing a vital role in the lives of the patients, they still fall behind in the race of treating rare illnesses. Illnesses like cancer, HIV, etc which affect each patient’s body in a different manner require the knowledge of specialty pharmacies. The specialty pharmacies curate medicines as per the bodily needs of the patients suffering from such fatal diseases.
  2. High cost – Clearly, because there is no mass production by specialty pharmacies, every medicine manufacturing leads to high cost. An annual cost of $100,000 is common with specialty pharmacies. While the high cost may be a limitation in the eyes of the patients, this is unavoidable. Treatment of rare illnesses naturally comes with high cost. However, the good part is that specialty pharmacies acknowledge the problem of high medicine costs and hence also provide financial assistance to those dealing with financial problems. 
  3. Limited distribution – Obviously, because specialty pharmacies are treating rare illnesses the availability of specialty medicines is through exclusive, restricted or limited distribution. Not all pharmacists are eligible for manufacturing these patient-specific drugs. Proper qualification and licenses must be in place to provide patients what they need. 
  4. Special handling requirements – Commonly, treatment of rare illnesses requires higher use of injections. The specialty pharmacy drugs are inject able or oral medicines. They do not come in the form of capsules or tablets. This is because rare illnesses make absorption of medicines difficult. Hence, injections become the solution for easy absorption. Obviously, it goes without saying that special drugs require special handling methods. 
  5. Continuous monitoring – A unique feature of specialty pharmacies is the continuous monitoring. The continuous monitoring enables specialty pharmacies to check the progress in the medical status of the patients. It also helps in executing the changes in medicines in an effective manner. Because the specialty pharmacies are in the process of manufacturing unique medicines, the requirement of assessing safety and efficacy is immense.
  6. Risk evaluation and mitigation strategies – The specialty pharmacies do not just outrightly start with the curation of patient-specific medicines. These pharmacies ensure to undertake a risk evaluation and mitigation program. It enables proper analyses of the risk and benefits of the patient-specific prescription. Only when the benefits outweigh the risk of the ingredients, does the specialty pharmacy begin the process of manufacturing special medicines.


To conclude, specialty pharmacies are special in a true sense. These are 24 hour facilities aiming to provide the best and continuous support to their patients. Whether it is patient education or financial assistance, specialty pharmacies stand with their patients throughout the treatment. For every patient who needs more knowledge about the cause and effect of drugs, meeting a specialty pharmacy will be of great help.

The continuous guidance and improvement in drugs is the driving force for all the specialty pharmacies. So, if you are looking for such a place for your near and dear ones, where knowledge and quality meet then get in contact with a specialty pharmacy as soon as possible.

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