At Wellmark, we have a special program in place for complex, chronic and often costly conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or blood disorders. The Wellmark Specialty Drug Program provides access to medications to treat these conditions in a cost-effective, convenient way.
Specialty drugs are prescription medications that require special handling, administration and monitoring. See what drugs are considered “specialty” by searching the Wellmark Drug List on Wellmark.com by the category of the specialty drug.
“Specialty drugs are highly sophisticated,” says Matt Hosford, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield pharmacy director. “Rather than just treat the symptoms of a disease, specialty drugs treat the root cause.”
Often, specialty drugs are self-injected or administered in a physician’s office or through home health services.
While the drugs are more costly than most prescriptions, they provide crucial health benefits, says Hosford. “Specialty drugs have great potential to keep a patient healthy and productive. They may even reduce the chance of hospitalization or surgery. For example, a patient with rheumatoid arthritis may be able to delay the need for a joint or hip replacement.”
Prescription drug costs typically outpace inflation. But the cost of specialty drugs is increasing at an even more dramatic pace. According to Hosford, just one class of drug, used to treat blood cancers, has skyrocketed 47 percent over the last three years.1 Spending on specialty drugs is expected to increase as the medications are used for more conditions.
Get your specialty drugs delivered directly to your home or office by ordering them through one of Wellmark’s two specialty drug vendors: Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions or CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy. Both specialty providers also offer extra support to help you understand your condition and take your medication as prescribed.
1 Source: Wellmark Pharmacy department