The Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) strongly encourages hospitals and health-systems to develop policies and procedures around specialty pharmacy supplied medications, often referred to as “white/brown bag” medications, that take into account the practice setting, balance the risk of not providing the medication to the patient in a timely manner, and take into consideration the restrictions of specialty pharmacy distribution.
“White bagging” refers to the distribution of patient‐specific medication from a pharmacy, typically a specialty pharmacy, to the physician’s office, hospital, or clinic for administration. It is often used in oncology practices to obtain costly injectable or infusible medications that are distributed by specialty pharmacies and may not be available in all non‐specialty pharmacies.1
“Brown bagging” refers to the dispensing of a medication from a pharmacy (typically a specialty pharmacy) directly to a patient, who then transports the medication(s) to a healthcare facility for administration.1
Health-systems also need to take into consideration the rapidly growing specialty pharmaceutical market that includes high cost, complex, self-administered medications. These self-administered medications are not included in the white/brown bag definitions as outlined above.