The specialty pharmaceuticals market is expected to grow 8 percent annually through 2025, according to a report by Shields Health Solutions, leaving $118 billion for grabs in the market.
Health systems are projected to capture 25 percent, or $29.5 billion, of that market growth.
The number of specialty pharmacies grew 315 percent to 1,570 specialty pharmacies in 2021 in the U.S., from just 378 in 2015, according to the 2021 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers by the Drug Channels Institute. And hospitals are quickly getting on board, now owning about a third of specialty pharmacies — because they are lucrative.
In 2019, only 4.9 percent of commercially insured patients took specialty drugs, but made up about 50 percent of all drug spending that year.
But hospital-owned specialty pharmacies are inefficient, Jankowski said.
“Because of the costs associated with specialty drugs, insurers want a lot of info and, meanwhile, because these drugs are given to usually a very sick patient, a lot of monitoring needs to occur,” Jankwoski said. “If the insurers is going to pay $18,000 for an injection, we need to make sure the patient should require this injection and ensure they are physically able to take the injection and when they should take it.”
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However, there was no software to manage all the data, leaving pharmacists to manage the patient load, insurer requests and information tracking separately.
“These drugs used to be a niche but have become a focused class and the emergence and maintenance of specialty pharmacies grew alongside the rise of these drugs,” Jankwoski said. “But there’s never been a good software to manage the difficulty in administering these drugs. Pharmacists have to check your medical record, maybe take diagnostics and provide a lot of info the payer. We can monitor that in once place now.”
Jankowski said because of streamlined information monitoring, the DromosPTM system also provides pharmacies with preferred access to specialty drugs that can often be hard to source.
“Drug companies want a lot of data,” Jankowski said. “DromosPTM can provide that data and because the supply is controlled by the drug companies, you have a better chance of giving them the data and, thus, receiving the supply using the software.”