New NCPDP Specialty Pharmacy Workgroup to Meet on August 3

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By Pooja Babbrah, Practice Lead, PBM Services

NCPDP’s newly formed Work Group 18 on Specialty Pharmacy will hold its first meeting on August 3, 2018, in St. Louis. This is a level-setting meeting to establish the scope and goals that will guide the Work Group, which is co-chaired by myself; Julie Hessick, R.Ph., CoverMyMeds, LLC; and Laura Topor, Granada Health, Inc. All industry stakeholders are encouraged to attend. (Click here to register).

The Work Group was formed in response to stakeholder demand to automate and standardize specialty pharmacy transactions, as well as eliminate administrative burdens and improve speed to therapy.  The goal is to bring greater focus and coordination in how NCPDP standards are used for the electronic exchange of data in specialty pharmacy. This will complement and support ongoing NCPDP efforts to automate various aspects of specialty pharmacy, including the patient enrollment process.

Specialty pharmacies and specialty prescribing are ripe for automation. While retail pharmacies are highly computerized and most noncontrolled substances are prescribed electronically, specialty pharmacy has lagged behind. Specialty medications are generally still being prescribed using antiquated paper-phone-fax methods. In fact, it’s uncommon for specialty medication prescriptions to be sent electronically to specialty pharmacies, even though most have the ability to accept NCPDP SCRIPT transactions.  Moreover, the SCRIPT standard doesn’t accommodate all the data that specialty pharmacies need to get the patient on therapy. The new Specialty Pharmacy Work Group will identify such challenges and how they might be addressed through the NCPDP standards-setting process.

To learn more information about the new work group and existing specialty pharmacy task groups at NCPDP, please reach out to me at pooja.babbrah@pocp.com.