The network will serve the cooperative’s member pharmacies as well as independent retail pharmacies. Care unveiled plans for the network last May in announcing its partnership with specialty pharmacy provider Aureus Health Services Inc.
Under Care Connect, customized specialty pharmacy management services will be provided by Aureus, and Care’s member pharmacies will serve as the first-fill option for limited distribution drugs.
Care noted that the network’s internal hub model enables its member pharmacies to keep dispensing specialty medications within the cooperative, instead of sending them out to other pharmacy providers.
The inception of the network is well-timed with the boom in the specialty pharmaceuticals market, Care added. The company cited projections that the specialty drug spend is expected to exceed 50% of the total drug spend by 2018, and eight of the top 10 drugs by revenue are expected to be specialty drugs in 2016.
“Care Connect was designed to be able to provide the highest level of care to our specialty patients,” Care Pharmacies chief executive officer Michael Wysong said in a statement. “Connect is a unique and comprehensive care management model that gives our stores — and other retail independent pharmacies — a level of support and expertise that their patients require. The model is solely predicated on maintaining access to our patients, their medications and ensuring great outcomes.”
Overall, the Care cooperative encompasses 79 pharmacies in 15 states and the District of Columbia.