Specialty Pharmacy vs. Local Pharmacy, What Is the Difference?

Female Pharmacist in Pharmacy

Many people assume all pharmacies are the same, but this is not the case. The type of pharmacy you use can have a big impact on your level of care. It can affect the types of products and services available. As people age, they use pharmacies more frequently. This is particularly the case for seniors and anyone living in long-term care or retirement community. 

In this blog, we’ll look at some of the differences between the level of service and products available at a specialty pharmacy and a local pharmacy.

What is a specialty pharmacy?

Specialty pharmacies are more involved with patient care. They work more closely with patients and doctors to provide care and medications for chronic or severe illnesses. They work with people who have more complex health conditions.

What is a local pharmacy?

A local pharmacy is often independently owned and operated. They usually have one or two locations and are smaller than the more common big brand pharmacies. You go to local pharmacies to get prescriptions filled and to buy over-the-counter medications and health supplies.

What is the difference between a specialty pharmacy and a local pharmacy?

As the name suggests, a specialty pharmacy offers a deeper level of service to those who use it. Specialty pharmacies focus on providing care to people who have long-term chronic illnesses. They offer disease management and more advanced patient care. Local pharmacies, on the other hand, offer medication for the general public. It is intended for people who occasionally require a prescription or medicine. 

Here are some of the differences between specialty and local pharmacies:

  • Medications: Most of the medications that are offered by local pharmacies are simple to administer. Specialty pharmacies offer more advanced and detailed medicines that require more thorough explanations. This is offered by the pharmacist.
  • Medical advice: Specialty pharmacies offer extensive counselling and medical advice to ensure people are taking medication properly. There is a focus on ongoing care rather than a one-off transaction for minor ailments.
  • The severity of the medical condition: Specialty pharmacies specialize in working with people who have more serious or chronic conditions. This is also why they are a great option for seniors. It allows older people (whether they live at home or in a care facility) to get more advanced care. This includes everything from education, consultations, and assistance with taking medications.
  • Patient monitoring: Specialty pharmacies are somewhat of an extension of your health care provider. They provide monitoring services to help people at all times. They have dedicated staff and great availability to help people with medication needs at all times. Patents are in regular communication with the staff and have the ability to make adjustments to treatment as needed.
  • Standards: Specialty pharmacies are required to go through additional reviews and accreditations to offer more specialized services. They have to meet a certain standard for patient care. They must meet additional safety measures.

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