Safety First Blog

Patients Reap Rewards from Healthcare’s Increased Investment in Specialty Pharmacy

Posted by Laura Paxton on May 19, 2021 3:47:54 PM
Laura Paxton
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Throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, hospitals and other surgical centers lost a major revenue stream in the form of elective surgeries. However, federal COVID relief funds, traditional investments in commercial real estate and a rise in investments in healthcare tech like specialty pharmacy, have helped to fill in the revenue gaps. 

Commercial real estate has been a lucrative investment for healthcare organizations for decades and isn’t slowing down as seen in the Goldman Sachs Asset Management report, “The Healthcare Investment Diagnostic” which discovered that 97 percent of the respondents plan to increase or maintain their allocations to private real estate in 2021.

As the tried and true investments continue to bear fruit, healthcare organizations are also investing in technology that will provide improved patient care while adding increased revenue. Specialty Pharmacy is one such innovative and applicable investment that has seen an uptick in interest in the last year. 

According to the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, “A specialty pharmacy is a state-licensed pharmacy that solely or largely provides medications for people with serious health conditions requiring complex therapies.” 

Many of the drugs they dispense are genetically engineered to treat specific, often rare conditions including cancer. According to Pharmacy Times, these treatments “attack cancer cells in different and more effective ways, harnessing cutting-edge science and genetic manipulation.” Targeted treatments and immunotherapy treat a tumor based on its specific genetic makeup instead of its location in the body. Often these treatments result in better outcomes and fewer adverse reactions. 

An example of technology from specialty pharmacy research is the COVID-19 vaccine which uses messenger RNA (mRNA) strategy that was developed not only to protect against viruses but also cancer. This innovative treatment enabled the rapid production of the COVID-19 vaccine and hopefully soon will be applied to treatments for cancer and other diseases. 

Specialty Pharmacy is a high-growth market and is predicted to comprise 60% of medicine spending in 2025 in developed markets and 50% of spending globally, according to the IQVIA Institute’s “Global Medicine Spending and Usage Trends Report: Outlook to 2025.” 

The IQVIA Institute goes on to say, “In developed markets, new medicines that are increasingly specialty, niche and rare-disease-focused will drive growth and be offset by declining costs in older medicines.” 

Specialty medicines saw a huge 47% increase in spending in 2020 by the 10 largest developed countries up from 24% in 2010. 

This is great news for patients as the race is on to develop these ground-breaking treatments, which will also lower the cost of treatments being currently. As healthcare organizations look for investments and revenue streams, patients will benefit from the innovative technology being used to develop the future of specialty medicines and pharmacies. 

Topics: Rhazdrugs, Policy, USP <800>, Formweb

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