URAC, the nation’s leading independent health care accreditation authority, today announces the availability of its Rare Disease Pharmacy Center of Excellence Designation. The new designation is an “add on” to URAC’s popular Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation and is intended to recognize the high level of skill and commitment required to serve the estimated 30 million Americans affected by some 7,000 recognized rare diseases.
“The care and handling of rare disease medications requires stringent storage and handling demands,” notes Shawn Griffin, MD, URAC President and CEO. “These are some of the most vulnerable patients in healthcare, and service providers know they must be committed to attaining and maintaining the highest possible level of professional standards. Pharmacies that garner URACs Rare Disease Pharmacy Center of Excellence Designation are demonstrating to patients, manufacturers, and the entire world they are serious about the vital work they do.”
The Rare Disease designation was developed in 2019 with the input of a wide range of industry and other thought leaders. In June, URAC convened an expert advisory panel including Amber Pharmacy, PANTHERx Rare Pharmacy, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), and other interested parties to ensure the designation reflected current and proven best practices, said Jennifer Richards, Pharm.D., Pharmacy Reviewer
URAC recognizes that individuals with rare disease diagnoses require in-depth, often long-term medical and pharmacy management. “The role of pharmacies caring for individuals with these rare diseases is invaluable to their treatment,” said Heather Bonome, Pharm.D., Director, Pharmacy Accreditation. “When manufacturers see that a pharmacy has this new designation, they’ll know they are working with a high-quality organization that can handle these sometimes delicate, sometimes expensive medications and treatments,” she added.
This program is a designation in addition to Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation and will be valid only while the organization actively holds Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation. Program standards address patient management, staff education, coordinated patient care and transitions of care.
To apply, an organization must be a licensed pharmacy in good standing, operating in the U.S. The organization must hold or be seeking URAC’s Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation. An eligible Rare Disease Pharmacy treats patients taking an orphan medication (a medication without any non-orphan indications).
Founded in 1990, URAC is the independent leader in promoting health care quality through leadership, accreditation, measurement and innovation. URAC is a nonprofit organization that uses evidence-based measures and develop standards through inclusive engagement with a range of stakeholders who are committed to improving the quality of health care. Our portfolio of accreditation and certification programs span the health care industry, addressing health care management and operations, health plans, pharmacies, telehealth providers, physician practices, and more. URAC accreditation is a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC marked its thirty-year anniversary in 2019 by unveiling a new tagline as chosen by employees: “30 Years of Setting the Standard in Health Care."