NCPDP To Consider Formation of Specialty Pharmacy Work Group

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By Pooja Babbrah, Practice Lead, PBM Services

The move to automate and standardize specialty pharmacy transactions could take a big and necessary step forward if a new Specialty Pharmacy Work Group is created by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP).  It is hoped that formation of this Work Group will bring greater focus and coordination to developing standards for the electronic exchange of data in specialty pharmacy.  This would complement and support ongoing NCPDP efforts to automate various aspects of specialty pharmacy, including the patient enrollment process.

The idea of forming the new Specialty Pharmacy Work Group grew out of NCPDP’s February 22 Specialty Stakeholder Action Group meeting (SAG), which was the second SAG held on the topic of specialty pharmacy prescribing at NCPDP. The SAG brought together more than 40 stakeholders representing critical specialty pharmacy industry segments.  It was convened to identify challenges specific to specialty pharmacy and how they might be addressed through the NCPDP standards-setting process. My colleague, Jocelyn Keegan, moderated the discussion on challenges that interfere with the optimal delivery of specialty stakeholder services as well as the workflows and transactions that would benefit most from standardization.

There are several next steps.  An official request will be sent to NCPDP’s Standardization Committee and Board of Directors for review and approval of this new work group. In addition, a follow-up meeting for the original SAG participants will be held the afternoon of Monday, May 7, 2018, in tandem with work group meetings and NCPDP's 2018 Annual Conference at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. Once approved, the workgroup can be formed and we can get to work on helping to automate the tedious, manual process of specialty prescribing.

To learn more information about the formation of the new work group, the existing specialty pharmacy taskgroups at NCPDP or if you have any questions about the February SAG or the follow-up meeting in May, you can reach out to me at pooja.babbrah@pocp.com.