Specialty Pharmacy is quite an unknown concept in India. With many people suffering from chronic diseases, it appears to be the need of the hour. Understanding the same, Zelthy, a company based out of Gurugram, launched India’s first specialty pharmacy.
Though there is a broad range of what comprises specialty drug, pharmacists say that they are given as a complex therapy for a complex disease. The diseases include hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease and diabetes amongst others.
Another problem that arises is the clinical monitoring of the drugs. Most of the people and their families are uninformed in this area. Such drugs need specialized administration and require comprehensive and coordinated delivery and support.
The medicines generally cost over Rs.50,000 per month and aren’t available at neighbourhood pharmacies. So, Zelthy is providing the medicines at minimum interest rates.
“While we are working to make specialty medicines easily available and to improve treatment outcomes, we realize that affordability is a major barrier for patients in India. Unlike western economies, India is largely a self-payor market. Our medicine financing program ensures that right treatment can be made affordable for all sections of the society,” said Anshuman Chaudhary, Co-founder at Zelthy.
“A dedicated care manager and a pharmacist works with each patient to make sure that the patient understands his or her treatment, side effects of the medicine and their management and that the patient adheres to his medication regimen. Disease experts regularly counsel patients and their families. We also regularly updates patient’s physicians on the patient’s progress with his treatment,” said Chaudhary.
Currently, the company serves more than 200 patients per month. And by 2020, the market for Specialty pharmacy is expected to be a USD 5 billion.