A specialty pharmacy carries medicines that need special storage and handling, or that are very costly. You may not be able to buy these specialty drugs at your local pharmacy.
UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy serves UW Medicine patients who are taking specialty drugs. Our team will work with you and your doctor to help you get the best results from your drug therapy. Learn more below or by downloading the Specialty Pharmacy printable PDF.
Where to Fill Your Medications
Specialty drug prescriptions can be filled at our Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center outpatient pharmacies. You may also enroll in our mail order service. This service is provided by the UW Medicine Eastside Specialty Center Pharmacy.
Your insurance may require you to get your drug from a specific pharmacy. If this occurs, we will transfer your prescription to that pharmacy and have them contact you. If you have questions about where you can get your prescription filled, call the UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy Call Center.
We can call you to remind you when it’s time to get your refill. Or, we can set up a delivery several days before you will need a refill.
If you are about to run out of medicine, call the phone number on your drug bottle label. For questions about the status of your order, call your pharmacy or the UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy Call Center.
If, for any reason, there is a delay in getting your specialty drug, a member of the Specialty Pharmacy team will call you.
If there is an emergency or other problem that could delay your getting your specialty drug, please call the UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy Call Center. We will do our best to help.
UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy follows Washington State laws when filling prescriptions with generic drugs. If a substitution must be made, we will call you to inform you of the change.
Most pharmacies are not able to accept returned or unused drug. To dispose of your drugs safely, please go to the FDA or King County website for information and instructions. Please call us if you have questions.
Specialty drugs are usually very costly. Before you begin treatment with a specialty drug, our staff will work with your insurance to make sure they will cover the drug costs.
To do this, we go through a process called "prior authorization" (PA). Our team works closely with your doctor and insurance on this process. If your insurance does not cover your drug, your doctor will talk with you about other options.
At the same time, a member of our staff will enroll you in our Specialty Pharmacy. Enrollment is your choice. You can call us at any time and tell us you do not want to enroll in our pharmacy.
Some insurance companies may require that you fill your prescription at a different specialty pharmacy. If this happens, we will work with you to make sure you can get your drug in a timely way. We will transfer your specialty drug information to the other pharmacy and have them contact you. But, if you still choose to receive your specialty drug through UW Medicine and pay for it yourself, we will provide you the cost of the medicine in writing.
If your insurance policy changes, please call the UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy Call Center. We want to keep your information up to date.
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As a patient of the UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy, you are enrolled in our Patient Management Program (PMP). You do not have to pay for the services this program provides. If you do not want to use this program, you may call and tell us at any time.
The PMP helps make sure you get the best outcomes from your drug therapy. Our pharmacists will work with you directly. We will talk about your treatment plan, problems, concerns, or questions you may have about your specialty drugs. Our goal is to help you improve your overall health.
Potential Benefits of the PMP
Benefits of the PMP program may include help managing any side effects, improved overall health, more education and awareness about your disease and medicine, better compliance with taking your medicines, and help coordinating care with your provider when needed.
Potential Limits of the PMP
The limits of this program depend on you, the patient. You must be willing to follow the directions of your provider and pharmacist, to take your medicines as directed, and to talk with your pharmacist about the details of your disease, health history, and current healthcare practices.
Patient Rights & Responsibilities
In addition to the Patient Rights and Responsibilities* specified by Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center, patients enrolled in the Patient Management Program (PMP) have these rights and responsibilities:
- Patients have the right to know about philosophy and characteristics of the patient management program.
- Patients have the right to have personal health information shared with the patient management program only in accordance with state and federal law.
- Patients have the right to identify the program’s staff members, including their job title, and to speak with a staff member's supervisor if requested.
- Patients have the right to speak to a health professional.
- Patients have the right to receive information about the patient management program.
- Patients have the right to receive administrative information regarding changes in, or termination of, the patient management program.
- Patients have the right to decline participation, revoke consent, or disenroll at any time.
- Patients have the responsibility to submit any forms that are necessary to participate in the program, to the extent required by law.
- Patients have the responsibility to give accurate clinical and contact information and to notify the patient management program of changes in this information.
Read Patient Rights and Responsibilities for Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center.
After hours and on weekends and holidays, call one of the numbers listed above and ask to talk with a clinical pharmacist. Our team at Harborview Medical Center will answer your questions. They will also follow up with your care team during business hours.