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Specialty pharmacy services can be loosely defined as providing care and services to patients with complex conditions requiring intricate care, using complex, high-value, high-touch medications.  Neighbourhood Pharmacies has embarked on a Specialty Pharmacy Strategy and developed a set of Guiding Principles underpinning all the activities arising from the Strategy.

Guiding Principles:

  1. Neighbourhood Pharmacies supports an environment for our Members and Partners that promotes healthy competition, that is inclusive and does not prevent or limit competition.
  2. Neighbourhood Pharmacies will uphold and advocate for the highest level of patient care in the delivery of specialty pharmacy services.
  3. Neighbourhood Pharmacies believes the delivery of specialty pharmacy services requires appropriate due diligence to thoroughly comprehend the expertise, investment and infrastructure necessary to provide expected standards of patient care.

Through the work of the Specialty Pharmacy Strategy, Neighbourhood Pharmacies seeks to:

  • Educate the pharmacy sector on the unique and complex nature of the wide range of specialty pharmacy services.
  • Quantify the value of specialty pharmacy services to patients, to the health system, to payors and to manufacturers.
  • Reach consensus on the level of patient care needed in the delivery of specialty pharmacy services.
  • Shape policy to support and uphold a minimum standard level of patient care in the delivery of specialty pharmacy services.
  • Protect the sustainability of the infrastructure and the resources required to deliver the highest quality of specialty pharmacy services through advocacy.

Many biologic medications are considered to be specialty medications. A biosimilar is a medication that is highly similar to its reference biologic, with no expected clinically meaningful differences in efficacy and safety. A biosimilar may enter the market after the expiry of the reference biologic drug's patents and data protection. In order to save on drug costs, jurisdictions have begun implementing "Non-Medical Biosimilars Switching Policies", where public payers will only provide coverage for biosimilars, instead of their more expensive reference biologic. Neighbourhood Pharmacies has also developed a set of Guiding Principles outlining our beliefs and position with respect to any Non-Medical Biosimilar Switching Policy implemented by public or private payers.