While there are hundreds of pharmacies accredited for specialty dispensing, only a small number operate both nationally and separately from the giant mail order pharmacies operated by pharmacy benefit managers. Now, Dallas-based Senderra Rx has expanded its footprint with a North Carolina dispensing location, an addition to one in Richardson, TX, plus patient services centers in Dallas, TX and Flint, MI.
What’s equally significant to Senderra’s business plan, though, is its national network of 17 sales offices. These offices house reps who call on physicians and clinics, which fits the company’s position as being a valued support system for physicians prescribing the specialty products that Senderra offers. Win Purifoy, chairman, explains that Senderra has carved out what he considers to be a dominant position in filling prescriptions for immunology products for patients in so-called open-network insurance plans (i.e., they are not obligated by the insurer to use a particular PBM’s pharmacy).
“Over the past decade, we’ve built out a business model where we provide valuable services to physicians in assisting them to get their patients on therapy, and then supporting those patients on their journey,” says Purifoy. “This has created a relationship between us and the physicians such that they send their scrips to us for fulfillment.” The rep network calls on some 13,000 physicians in inflammatory diseases, multiple sclerosis, asthma and allergy, as well as cardiovascular disease and hepatitis, among others.
The company has developed proprietary case-management programs, which it calls CarePath, to engage with the prescriber, the payor, and the patient; CarePoints, to manage ongoing therapy and refills; and CarePlan, for formulary management and data reporting to payers. Overlaid on this are WellPaths for specific disease states: rheumatology; dermatology; and gastroenterology, to manage therapy more closely based on Senderra’s experience in dealing with these conditions. “These IT systems have been designed to serve all the stakeholder in specialty care—the patient, the prescriber, the insurer and the manufacturer,” says Purifoy.
Some of the services Senderra provides are supported financially by manufacturers, and in this regard, Senderra competes with outsourced hub and patient-support services. “We compete against hubs for patient-support services,” Purifoy says. “We believe that because we have a more robust service offering than hubs, and because we get the prescription first, we will win on this front,” he says. Senderra will work with hub service providers that are working for manufacturers, usually by dividing up necessary services. In theory, patient support for specialty products can come from providers, from pharmacies like Senderra, or from manufacturers (by way of outsourced hub services); who wins in this competition for patient loyalty will depend on the cost and quality of service.