Not all specialty pharmacies offer the same support. While some offer expert personal services, others just mail the medications. Some patients experience mail delays, delivery of incorrect medications or dosages, or a lack of clear guidance on the proper use of the medication. If your medication is not delivered when it should be, you should immediately call the insurance company or your “Pharmacy Benefit Manager” (also called a “PBM”), which is the company that manages your prescription drug benefits and should be listed on your insurance card. Ask about the delay, get a tracking number, try to allow a local pickup, or even request an urgent replacement.
Some cancer medications require special care to provide them safely to patients. They may need certain handling such as refrigeration or to be tailored to the patients’ specific needs. In some cases, different medication schedules need to be coordinated, or patients must be watched carefully when they are taking certain treatments. In these cases, specialty pharmacies provide the medicine and can help coordinate items such as the delivery of chemotherapy and how it will be given to the patient.
Your insurance company may require you to get your medicine from a specific specialty pharmacy that it chooses. This may mean you can’t use your healthcare provider’s pharmacy or a local pharmacy that you have trusted for many years.
Some patients may also find it challenging to have to use several different pharmacies and to keep track of where each medication is filled and how to get it.