Press Releases

Specialty pharmacies positioned to play valuable role in growing accountable health care marketplace

URAC's Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation program recognizes organizations that meet highest quality management, consumer protection and empowerment and patient safety standards

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 100 new CMS Shared Savings accountable care organizations have come online in 2012, joining at least that many ACOs in the private sector in a test of whether a focus on the health of a defined population can improve health outcomes and lower health care costs. As ACO providers search for partners to achieve better population health, specialty pharmacies are positioned to collaborate and bring targeted expertise in ensuring drug regimens are properly managed—for better health outcomes and lower costs.


Spending on specialty drugs topped $50 billion in 2010, and is expected to represent 40 percent of health plan drug spending by 2020.[1] The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services defines a specialty drug as one that costs more than $600 per month. Specialty drugs may also be defined by their narrow use to treat specific, mainly chronic, and often rare conditions; special handling required; and the need for patient counseling in their use.  With these highly specialized drugs comes the need for a more specialized pharmacy to manage the demanding clinical and patient safety aspects required for their safe and effective use.

"Specialty drugs are a rapidly growing area of health care, and will continue to grow with increasing attention to patient management in transitions between care settings and the emphasis on lower costs through higher quality," said Janice Anderson, RPh, director of pharmacy programs of URAC. "ACOs are envisioned to create a medical neighborhood in which high-quality providers collaborate to improve the health of a population. URAC's Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation offers assurance that organizations meet the highest standards in the industry for quality management, patient safety, and prescriber and consumer communication."

Specialty pharmacies with URAC accreditation or that are in-process include:

  • Accredo Health Group, Inc.
  • Acro Pharmaceutical Services
  • Apothecary Shop of Deer Valley, Inc. and Greater Sacramento Pharmacy, Inc.
  • ASAP Pharmacy
  • Axium Healthcare Pharmacy, Inc
  • Bank's Apothecary
  • Bergen Pharmacy
  • Biologics, Inc.
  • BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Services, Inc.
  • BioScrip, Inc.
  • Blount Discount Pharmacy
  • Bluegrass Pharmacy of Lexington, LLC
  • Brame Huie Pharmacy
  • Burman's Specialty Pharmacy, LLC
  • Caremark Rx, LLC
  • CareMed Pharmaceutical Services
  • Centric Health Resources
  • Commcare Pharmacy
  • CoramRx
  • CuraScript
  • Cystic Fibrosis Services
  • DDP Pharmacy, Inc.
  • Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc.
  • Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Fast Access Specialty Therapeutics
  • Fresenius Medical Care Rx LLC
  • Giannotto's Pharmacy
  • HPC NC Inc
  • Humana, Inc.
  • ICORE Healthcare
  • Josefs Pharmacy LLC
  • JVJ Pharmacists, Inc. dba University Chemists
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
  • KCC, Inc. dba Vital Care Rx
  • Kerr Health LLC
  • Kings Pharmacy LLC
  • Livingston Infusion Care, Inc., dba Discover Rx Infusion & Specialty Pharmacy
  • Longs Drugs of Lexington, SC Inc.
  • Main Street Pharmacy
  • Mast Drug Company, Inc.
  • MedCart Specialty Pharmacy
  • MedfusionRx, LLC
  • Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy
  • MedPro Rx Inc.
  • Noble Health
  • Novant Specialty Pharmacy
  • OncologyRx Care Advantage
  • OncoSource Rx
  • OptumRx, Inc.
  • Orchard Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
  • Park Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc.
  • Pharmacy Advantage
  • PharmaHealth Pharmacy
  • Piedmont Hematology and Oncology Associates
  • Portland Professional Pharmacy Associates dba Ascend SpecialtyRx
  • Premier Kids Care, Inc.
  • Prime Aid Pharmacy, Inc
  • Reeves-Sain Drug Store, Inc., dba EntrustRx
  • Reliance Rx
  • Transcript Pharmacy
  • Tyro Family Pharmacy
  • UNC Health Care System
  • US Bioservices - An Amerisource Bergen Specialty Company
  • Value Specialty Pharmacy
  • Vanderbilt Outpatient Pharmacy
  • Village Fertility Pharmacy
  • Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC
  • Wal-Mart Specialty Pharmacy

About URAC
URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, promotes health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system and provides a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit

[1] URAC white paper, "The Patient-Centered Outgrowth of Specialty Pharmacy." URAC, 2012.