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Schnucks meets specialty pharmacy ‘gold standard’

Regional facility first of nine to earn key accreditation

Schnuck Markets Inc. is pursuing accreditation for its nine specialty pharmacies.

Schnucks said Thursday that its regional specialty pharmacy in Maryland Heights, Mo., has earned accreditation from URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based health care standards organization. The St. Louis-based grocer reported that “in the near future” it plans to seek URAC accreditation for its other specialty pharmacy locations.

“URAC accreditation not only demonstrates our commitment to coordinated care for patients with chronic illnesses and complex medical conditions, but it is also considered the specialty pharmacy ‘gold standard,’” Noah Tennyson, director of specialty pharmacy at Schnucks, said in a statement. “We are proud to have earned this honor and to be one of just a few St. Louis-area specialty pharmacies with this designation.”

Schnucks specialty pharmacies provide medication therapy for patients with complex diseases and chronic conditions, ranging from cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS to hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), rare genetic disorders and transplants.

Schnucks said its regional specialty pharmacy met 94 URAC standards to gain accreditation, which represents a commitment to quality care, improved processes and better patient outcomes. The chain’s eight other specialty pharmacies are in St. Louis (four locations); Brentwood, Mo.; Springfield and Rockford, Ill.; and Evansville, Ind.

“With URAC accreditation, people know that Schnucks’ regional specialty pharmacy strives to adhere to industry best practices,” said URAC President and CEO Shawn Griffin. “It’s necessary for specialty pharmacies to provide a higher level of treatment for patients so desired outcomes are achieved, and Schnucks’ regional specialty pharmacy shows a dedication to patient education and safety through the recognition of quality it received with URAC’s independent accreditation.”

Specialty pharmaceuticals are the fastest-growing segment of the prescription drug market. Because of the high cost of these medications and the special handling and support services they require, retail pharmacy operators have often partnered with — and in some cases acquired — specialty pharmacy providers. The market is led by pharmacy benefit managers, health insurers and large drug chains.

Along with the specialty pharmacies, Schnucks operates 109 retail pharmacies and one care center. The grocer boosted its pharmacy count last fall following the acquisition of Shop ‘n Save stores from Supervalu. The deal included 15 supermarket pharmacies plus one freestanding pharmacy.

Overall, Schnucks operates 119 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.

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