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What Makes a Great Launch Partner? 5 Expectations You Should Have For Your Specialty Pharmacy Network

In our blog, ‘Three Things to Consider When Your Launch Network Underperforms’, our Trade team offered three tips for saving your product launch. But what does a successful launch look like? And what can you look for in a launch partner that ensures success?

Every product and manufacturer is different. But after years of research, development, clinical trials and preparation – a successful launch looks the same to almost everyone: getting your medications to the patients that need it the most. And that needs to happen without losing momentum to things like insurance denials, unmanageable copays, and referral or patient enrollment snags.

Now, you have your product, and you’ve declared your goals and expectations for a successful launch. It’s time to vet the specialty pharmacies you entrust to carrying out your mission and your vision. So what kind of qualities and differentiators should that ideal pharmacy partner possess?

We compiled a list of the top 5 differentiators to look for when evaluating specialty pharmacies and choosing the best launch partners.

1. Quickly executing a contract and having a program upright.

90 days is the industry norm, but if you needed it, could your specialty pharmacy partner do it in 60 days? 45 days? Ask your potential specialty pharmacy partners what their best practices are for a thorough and seamless implementation.

2. Disease state and patient population experience.

What direct or applicable experience does your potential partner have in supporting patients that benefit from your new drug? How do they support the patient and caregiver beyond the diagnosis? An ideal partner will have innovative but proven solutions. Don’t be afraid to look for the balance between quantity and quality when it comes to experience.

3. Pharmacy and medical billing expertise.

New drugs often face an uphill battle when it comes to being approved by insurances or getting added to formulary lists. Your ideal partner will have a knack for navigating and eliminating these hurdles. They should anticipate such challenges and have a plan to make sure your launch doesn’t lose steam due to coverage issues.

4. Productive and accessible collaboration makes all the difference.

Before, during, and long after launch, you should have no trouble reaching your points of contact to address issues. No matter the partner, problems are going to arise. The best pharmacy partners are ones that you trust to meet the challenge head-on. They won’t run from it or avoid discussing it with you. Can you trust your chosen network to quickly handle a problem without affecting patients or the launch?

5. Alignment of cultures.

You’re trusting your launch network with the success of your program and the health of your patients. More than just ‘talk’ and beyond all the best laid plans and presentations, pay attention to the feelings you get when you visit your partners. It is a rare and priceless, tangible quality to find a partner with whom your goals and culture truly align.


Your organization has put years of hard work towards bringing a new drug to market. Your chosen specialty pharmacy network should be relentless in pursuing the best outcomes for you and your patients. Be clear with your expectations so that they can build the best possible program.

To learn more about Amber Specialty Pharmacy’s approach to making your launch a success, visit our website and start a conversation with our Trade team today.

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