Skip to the main content.

3 min read

What is a Specialty Pharmacy

What is a Specialty Pharmacy

The model of care and the types of services it provides to its patients is what defines a specialty pharmacy, not the site of care.

In this blog, we will cover what makes and defines a specialty pharmacy.

  1. What is a Specialty Pharmacy
  2. How do Specialty Pharmacies Work
  3. Examples of Specialty Pharmacy
  4. Specialty Medication

New call-to-action

What is a Specialty Pharmacy

People with chronic diseases and complex disorders use specialty pharmacies, as they focus on high cost, high touch medication therapy. (Click here to skip to specialty medication section.)

Specialty pharmacy definition:

“Specialty pharmacies are distinct from traditional pharmacies in coordinating many aspects of patient care and disease management. They are designed to efficiently deliver medications with special handling, storage, and distribution requirements with standardized processes that permit economies of scale. Specialty pharmacies are also designed to improve clinical and economic outcomes for patients with complex, often chronic and rare conditions, with close contact and management by clinicians. Health care professionals employed by specialty pharmacies provide patient education, help ensure appropriate medication use, promote adherence, and attempt to avoid unnecessary costs. Other support systems coordinate sharing of information among clinicians treating patients and help patients locate resources to provide financial assistance with out-of-pocket expenditures.”

- The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP)

How do Specialty Pharmacies Work

A specialty pharmacy does more than just fill prescriptions. These pharmacies serve members with complex or chronic conditions who need a higher level of medical care, including an array of therapies that are often not covered by their insurance providers or may be too expensive for them to afford alone.

So how do specialty pharmacies work?

Specialty pharmacies help patients with the following:

  • Copay and financial assistance
  • Medication management
  • Patient support and education, like foods to avoid
  • Specialty pharmacist consultations
  • 24/7 access to support
  • Free overnight medication delivery
  • Refill reminders
  • Fast approval and pre-authorization

Specialty pharmacies help doctors, nurses and physicians with the following:

Senderra Specialty Pharmacy Physician Portal

Specialty Pharmacist Types

There are many different settings in which a specialty pharmacist may work in.

Specialty Medication Products

Specialty pharmacists that work in settings only dedicated to specialty medications may perform tasks such as dispensing, medication therapy management, patient advocacy and therapy compliance.

Health Systems

Involvement with in-patient care to ambulatory care through an institution or health system is another way that a specialty pharmacist can be involved in a specialty pharmacy.


Working with an affiliated specialty pharmacy provider, or another practice site, allows for a specialty pharmacist to focus on certain specialty, chronic disorders and disease state medications so they can be dispensed.

Examples of Specialty Pharmacy

Specialty pharmacies in the U.S. are licensed by state, and could either be part of a hospital or health system, or your insurance provider may appoint one to you.

Most specialty pharmacies operate by phone and mail order, instead of going into a building to purchase your medications.

Some traditional pharmacies may also run specialty pharmacies. Your physician or medical team will help guide you in the right direction.

Some examples of specialty pharmacy in the U.S. include Senderra Specialty Pharmacy, CVS, Alliance, Optum and more.

Specialty Medication

In order to treat rare or chronic disorders, specialty pharmacies provides specialty medications to treat those with complex health problems. Due to these costly medications being used scarcely, most local pharmacies can't keep these medications stock.

Specialty medication definition:

"A specialty medication is a prescription drug that is either a self-administered (non-diabetic) injectable medication; a medication that requires special handling, special administration, or monitoring; or, is a high-cost oral medication."

- Michigan Medicine

Specialty medications can range from oral medications to cutting edge injectable, IV therapy, and biologic products, treating a range of disorders and diseases, such as:

Learn more about immunology, autoimmune disorders, dermatology and specialty pharmacies.

Why Senderra Specialty Pharmacy

Why choose Senderra Specialty Pharmacy? As a national specialty pharmacy, Senderra offers specialized treatments with our new state-of-the-art facility and funding assistance for patients with severe, chronic conditions. We leverage our unique technological platform, CarePath, to work with patients and physicians to ensure a streamlined and simplified process, exceeding top standards and providing reliable services to our patients, prescribers, and partners.

New call-to-action

About Senderra

Senderra-Logo_Mark-Only_COLOR-1Senderra is a national specialty pharmacy, serving patients with challenging and ongoing medical conditions through provision of specialty medicationsclinical expertise and support services.

We dedicate ourselves to designing and executing a model to serve the needs of our patients and partners (PrescribersPharma and Payers) in order to make a difference and effect positive outcomes.

Oncology Patient Resources

Oncology Patient Resources

Cancer.Net is the patient information website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All patient education content is reviewed and...

Read More
Hepatitis C Patient Education Resources

Hepatitis C Patient Education Resources

An estimated 2.4 million people are living with Hepatitis C in the United States. About 4 in 10 people with Hepatitis C do not know they are...

Read More
A Guide to Biologics & Specialty Pharmacies for Psoriatic Arthritis

A Guide to Biologics & Specialty Pharmacies for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It's a condition that not only causes joint pain...

Read More