Using Pathways in specialty pharmacy prescribing can support greater predictability of drug spend and inventory

As best practices are established across the specialty pharmacy network, better patient outcomes become possible.

There are many ways specialty pharmacies can create alignment with a healthcare system or hospital to leverage its unique attributes to support patient access and outcomes, explained Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA , director of pharmacy at Emory Healthcare and Winship Cancer Institute, in a presentation at the 2022 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meeting.

“We can leverage best practices from all of our sites and create better access to regional influence for certain drugs with a number of prescription providers that are used,” Haumschild said. “We want to engage employers not only to leverage them to gain access to medicines to gain coverage from our payers, but also at the same time to integrate quality of life and patient-reported outcome data as we let’s select different therapies from the side clinic.”

Haumschild noted that implementing clinical research conducted on-site can also help support innovation and ensure the specialty pharmacy remains at the forefront of treatment protocols. Additionally, this approach can help create strong pathways that can add value to cancer center affiliates to support their ability to follow established specialty pharmacy pathways in their prescribing habits.

From there, Haumschild noted that it’s important to ensure that specialty pharmacy journeys align with local internal payers and external payers to ensure better decisions and coverage determinations.

“When we prescribe medications that we don’t constantly call, we realize better and faster turnaround times for our patients,” Haumschild said.

Using these pathways also allows specialty pharmacists to use stronger internal data to guide decision-making for the organization. As the specialty pharmacy acquires more hospital and community practices, they are able to use the pathways to better adapt to the specialty pharmacy’s prescribing habits since the data is already available to them on file. medical electronics; this then facilitates an easier and faster process.

Additionally, Haumschild noted that as best practices are established across the specialty pharmacy network, better patient outcomes become possible. In addition, to achieve this, the establishment of shared decision-making processes is also essential.

“We know that evidence-based care is important, not just for the college campus, but even for this community clinic 53 kilometers away. So we do this to leverage best practices in a consensus of a group of suppliers,” Haumschild said. “This means we engage faculty and community providers to have a shared decision on what treatment to use by line of treatment and specialized disease state. This way we know there is a more consistent practice and we know we have predictable results across the site.

This level of predictability can help specialty pharmacists support better utilization management practices and track the most commonly prescribed medications. With this data at their disposal, specialty pharmacists can then better negotiate with manufacturers around contracts to secure the best possible price, as well as support greater access to the most commonly prescribed drugs.

With greater predictability around drug spending, specialty pharmacists can also support greater predictability around inventory. Haumschild noted that this level of predictability regarding drug expenses and inventory is helpful when specialty pharmacists are looking to manage cash and cash equivalent for their organization.


Haumschild R. The road to success: use of prescription channels in specialized pharmacies. Presented at: ASHP Summer Meeting 2022; June 13, 2022; Phoenix, AZ.

Comments are closed.