(Washington, D.C.) — A new sPCMA white paper – “PBM Specialty Pharmacies Improve Patient Outcomes and Reduce Costs” – describes how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) use specialty pharmacies to reduce prescription drug costs and improve quality for patients, employers, unions, and government programs.

“Specialty pharmacy management reduces costs, improves safety, and plays a critical role in improving health outcomes. PBMs are essential partners with physicians, patients and payers in this process,” said Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO Mark Merritt.

Specialty pharmacies dispense complex biologic medicines, many of which are infused intravenously. They also manage patient care to optimize outcomes, reduce medication errors, manage and prevent side effects, and promote more affordable alternatives. Polling shows that physicians who prescribe specialty medications are highly satisfied with specialty pharmacies and do not think most drugstores have the “expertise and capability” to provide specialty medications to patients.

The new white paper outlines how PBMs work with specialty pharmacies to manage the use and payment of high cost specialty drugs, explaining how they utilize teams of specialty-trained pharmacists, nurses, social workers, and insurance coordinators to provide tailored services to help patients achieve the best possible outcomes from specialty therapies. The paper also offers a better understanding of the capabilities and services a specialty pharmacy must provide, and helps to differentiate specialty pharmacies from traditional pharmacies.