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Why Specialty Pharmacies Receive Limited Distribution

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Specialty drug manufacturers will often limit the number of specialty pharmacies that can dispense their medications.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers strategize a distribution plan based on product characteristics, patient education, market reach, and administration and distribution characteristics. At first glance, it may seem as though a limited distribution plan would be counterproductive to the bottom line. However, the potential benefits are clear once you take a deeper dive into the drug manufacturer’s reasonings.

The Patient Journey

The pharmacy is a very important stop along the patient journey. Pharmacies and manufacturers benefit when a patient is adherent to medications, involved with their therapies, and satisfied with treatments. When a manufacturer is deciding to include a specialty pharmacy into their distribution network or not, the manufacturer looks for differentiate the pharmacy. Factors include specializations such as oncology, sophisticated adherence tracking, patient follow-up, patient education programs and/or financial assistance programs.

When a drug manufacturer contracts with a specialty pharmacy that can better assist with positive patient outcomes, the overall patient experience is better. In a limited distribution model, the pharmaceutical manufacturer is able to control supply and better influence patient services.

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