Specialty pharmacies help meet the medical needs of patients with complex diseases and health needs while also reducing total medical expenses. Continued growth in this marketplace highlights the need for these specialty pharmacies. Recent reports show the use of specialty mergers has increased approximately 17% every year and specialty pharmacies in large hospitals have more than doubled since 2015.
As noted in a recent publication by HIT Consultant, a healthcare technology news sources, benefits can include more streamlined medical care for patients, reduced administrative paperwork for physicians and increased medication adherence rates for patients. And hospitals are taking note. Shields Health Solutions and Excelera recently announced a major merger with a specialty pharmacy that is poised to serve over 700 hospitals in 43 states.
With continued steady growth, entrepreneurs may consider expanding into this market. Those who are interested are wise to take note the unique regulations that apply to healthcare businesses. When it comes to pharmacies, owners need to navigate requirements from multiple federal agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These agencies will check for the following:
- Proper licensing.
- Clear inventory, documentation and record keeping showing the movement of medications.
- Proper disposal of any hazardous waste generated by the pharmacy.
Opportunities for success in this marketplace abound, but entrepreneurs are wise to carefully craft a business plan with these regulations in mind. Thorough due diligence at the start of the deal will better ensure a successful arrangement while also mitigating the risk of any potential violations in the future. This is important, as violations can result in serious financial penalties and, depending on the details of the allegations, potential for criminal charges.