While specialty pharmacies are transforming prescription delivery to certain patients, another category of pharmacy that might be called “special services pharmacy” is emerging. One such example is DaVita Rx, which has just announced the delivery of its 15th million prescription to, mostly, renal disease patients, including those making use of DaVita’s network of dialysis centers nationwide. The primarily mail-order pharmacy (it has three locations, in California, Texas and Florida) seeks to provide all prescriptions (not just those for kidney disease) to patients, and handles approximately 80,000 patients at any given time, according to Josh Golomb, president of DaVita Rx. (Dallas-based DaVita Health Partners, DaVita Rx’s parent, operates or services over 2,000 dialysis centers in the US, managing 165,000 patients; and has more dialysis centers abroad.)
For payers, DaVita Rx offers savings in improved care and outcomes; a paper published in 2013 found that DaVita Rx patients experienced 14% fewer hospital stays, and a 21% reduced mortality, as compared patients not using the pharmacy. For manufacturers, Davita Rx develops sponsored patient-care programs and related services; another DaVita division, DaVita Clinical Research (Minneapolis) works with manufacturers and CROs on trials and outcomes research. DaVita Rx’s services include 24/7 call centers, assistance with prior authorization requirements, and helping patients structure financial assistance plans.