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Specialty Pharmacy Networks for Hospitals in the Offing

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Two competing hospital networks are racing against one another to assemble specialty pharmacy programs. Excelera Corp. and UHC, the academic medical center consortium, would serve as middlemen between hospitals and drug manufacturers, supplying the kinds of administrative support, data aggregation services, and clinical follow-up, among other things, that specialty drug manufacturers require in order to deliver expensive, restricted distribution (also referred to as “limited distribution”) drugs to hospitals. Currently, many specialty drug manufacturers decline to provide new, expensive oncology, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis C drugs and drugs in a few other categories to hospitals. These are almost all self-administered oral and injected medications, half covered by the patient’s pharmacy benefit, the other half by his or her medical benefit.

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