Discover more from Thoughts From a Healthcare CIO
Walmart's move into HIV specialty pharmacy
This month, Walmart launched 70 SPOCs in Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, expanding its presence in Florida. The company paired these openings with free HIV testing events. By the end of the year, Walmart expects to have more than 80 SPOCs open in 11 states.
Walmart has trained pharmacists on specialty HIV treatments in communities that are highly affected by the virus, and it plans to expand the program to nearly a dozen states this year.
The HIV specialty pharmacies work with local clinics and community groups to engage patients in testing and gaining access to treatments.
CVS and Walgreens have launched similar programs, partnering with an initiative from the federal government to reduce the HIV epidemic by 2030.
What is a specialty pharmacy?
Medicines Must Exhibit Four of These Seven Criteria to be Considered Specialty:
Are high in cost (list price over $6,000 or more per year)
Initiated/maintained by a specialist
Require administration by another individual or healthcare professional (i.e., not self-administered)
Require special handling in the supply chain (e.g., refrigerated, frozen, chemo precautions, biohazard)
Require patient payment assistance
Distributed through non-traditional channels
Medication has significant side effects that require additional monitoring/counseling (including, but not limited to, REMS programs), and disease requires additional monitoring of therapy (e.g., monitoring of blood/cell counts to assess effectiveness/side effects of therapy)
Specialty drugs are the critical drivers of prescription revenue for pharmacies, and PBM accounts for nearly 40% of outpatient prescription revenues.
HIV injectibles have an excellent margin for these pharmacies.