An Integrated Health-System Specialty Pharmacy Model for Coordinating Transitions of Care: Specialty Medication Challenges and Specialty Pharmacist Opportunities

Pharmacy (Basel). 2019 Dec 3;7(4):163. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy7040163.


Adherence and persistence to specialty medications are necessary to achieve successful outcomes of costly therapies. The increasing use of specialty medications has exposed several unique barriers to certain specialty treatments' continuation. Integrated specialty pharmacy teams facilitate transitions in sites of care, between different provider types, among prescribed specialty medications, and during financial coverage changes. We review obstacles encountered within these types of transitions and the role of the specialty pharmacist in overcoming these obstacles. Case examples for each type of specialty transition provide insight into the unique complexities faced by patients, and shed light on pharmacists' vital role in patient care. This insightful and real-world experience is needed to facilitate best practices in specialty care, particularly in the growing number of health-system specialty pharmacies.

Keywords: access; and evaluation; comprehensive healthcare; healthcare quality; integrated delivery of healthcare; managed care; medication systems; pharmacy; programs; transitional care.

Publication types

  • Review