BioScrip unites community, specialty Rx

As a specialty pharmacy provider, BioScrip probably isn’t the first name that comes to mind when one hears “retail pharmacy,” but its network of 31 community pharmacies around the country gives it a comfy spot at the table. The kinds of products and services it’s able to offer — ranging from home infusion and treatments for complex, chronic disease states to over-the-counter medications and sometimes even consumables — as a result of its combination of community pharmacy and specialty pharmacy make BioScrip stand out.

In July 2010, it spent $10.5 million to close the purchase of DS Pharmacy, the prescription drugs business of, a deal that also included an agreement whereby customers could order prescription drugs from BioScrip through the website. In March, Walgreens purchased the remaining portions of for $429 million.

In February, BioScrip launched a Web-based service at designed to connect healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers in order to help patients manage their medications and improve their overall care experience. The site uses HealthyCircles, an online platform that enables people to manage and share health information. “It’s time we created a patient-
centric model in the specialty space, and BioScrip is proud to be the first,” said Rick Smith, who replaced Richard Friedman as CEO in January.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the company’s strategy and approach to pharmacy has earned it a healthy amount of recognition. Last month, the Washington-based healthcare accrediting organization URAC awarded BioScrip its specialty pharmacy and mail-service pharmacy accreditation. Gaining the accreditation required it to participate in a complex application process that included comprehensive review of its customer service and clinical pharmacy processes against a combined 146 quality standards by expert analysts.

In addition to its community pharmacies, BioScrip operates 33 home nursing locations, 45 home infusion locations, three mail-service facilities and two contract-affiliated infusion pharmacies.

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