ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Beginning in August, Wegmans Food Markets is now offering an enhanced Specialty Pharmacy Service for medications used to treat conditions in the fields of rheumatology, gastroenterology, neurology and dermatology, the chain announced Thursday.
“Specialty medications are a demanding, but growing area of pharmacy,” stated Jack Coultry, Wegmans manager of managed care. “Health outcomes can be improved through close contact with the prescribing physician and additional counseling by the pharmacist. Adding this enhanced care model for those customers who need it is a natural next step for us.”
James DiNicolantonio, who joined Wegmans in 2009, has been named the company’s first specialty pharmacist. He has received advanced training to meet the needs of this patient group, and this is his area of focus.
“I’ll talk regularly with these customers by phone,” DiNicolantonio said. “We’ll discuss any problems they’re having, like self-injecting or dealing with side effects. When necessary, I’ll consult with their physician. I’ll also talk to customers about programs that may lower out-of-pocket costs. We’re well equipped to deal with all of these concerns.”
DiNicolantonio pointed out another important advantage, beyond convenience, for Wegmans customers who are now filling these prescriptions at a specialty pharmacy. “We have a history of all prescription medications that a customer has filled with us. That puts our pharmacists in an excellent position to alert the customer to any red flags such as potential drug interactions.”
Wegmans also offers free home shipping for these and all prescription refills.
Fifteen medications are currently covered under Wegmans Specialty Pharmacy Service. Brand names include Avonex, Enbrel, Humira, Stelara, Cimzia, Rebif, Betaseron, Extavia, Kineret, Xeljanz, Forteo, Copaxone, Gilenya, Simponi and Orencia.
“From the viewpoint of customer service and patient care, we want to be the gold standard,” Coultry said. “We want all of our customers, including those who are taking a specialty medication, to maximize whatever potential their medication may hold to improve their health and well being.”