Foods that have been described as specialty foods as per not precisely corresponding to other food categories include:
Some specialty foods may be ethnic specialties.
There has also increases in the consumption of coffee from countries traditionally responsible for growing coffee. Brazil’s overall coffee consumption in 2014 was 21 million bags, close to that of the US at 23.4 million bags. Guatemala is also experiencing a surge in popularity of specialty coffee.
While specialty coffee in North America is rarely offered in major coffee chains, the Third Wave of Coffee has resulted in a significant increase in specialty coffee consumption. Independent, ‘Australian-style’, or artisan cafes have opened in multiple cities. An SCAA report estimated the US had 29,300 specialty coffee shops in 2013, up from 2,850 in 1993.
Asia is projected to soon represent the world’s largest consumer of specialty coffee, with over US$3.7 billion in new value growth projected from 2016-2020. Despite Asia being traditionally dominated by tea consumption, it is now easy to find specialty coffee shops across many Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cities.
Europe is already a major coffee market accounting for 30% of global consumption, but is seeing a growth in demand for specialty coffee while overall demand remains stable. In 2016, specialty coffee was Europe’s fastest growing major restaurant category, with an increase of 9.1% from 2014-2015. Western Europe saw a particularly large growth of 10.5% in the specialty cafe market, while the overall coffee industry reduced by 1.5%, perhaps due to a longer history of coffee consumption.
In Australia and New Zealand, specialty coffee is considered mainstream with major specialty wholesalers like Campos coffee supplying hundreds of Australian cafes. This is perhaps partly due to a long history of espresso consumption, fuelled by large Italian and Greek migrations in the mid-twentieth century.
The term "specialty channel" has been used most frequently in Canada, having been used as a marketing term by the cable industry for various simultaneous launches of new channels throughout the 1990s. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) term for such a channel is specialty service (or even more explicitly "specialty television programming undertaking"), referring to virtually any non-premium television service which is not carried over the airwaves or otherwise deemed exempt by the CRTC. They are primarily carried, therefore, on cable television and satellite television.
The CRTC previously enforced strict regulations on the types of programming that may be carried by specialty services, employing minimums and restrictions across specific genres on a per-licence basis, and a category system granting exclusive rights to specific categories of channels. These restrictions were imposed to discourage networks from deviating from the programming format which they were licensed to broadcast. Under a deregulation scheme, the CRTC has since replaced these with streamlined, standard terms for most specialty channels (discretionary services), whose only major restrictions are on the broadcast of live sports programming. Contrarily, a service licensed as a mainstream sports network is restricted in their carriage of non-sport programming.
Achieving this would require conducting studies that assess value, such as comparative effectiveness studies and using those studies to determine pricing. Comparative effectiveness would examine all aspects of the use of biologics, from outcomes such as clinical benefits and potential harms, to efficiency of administration, public health benefits and patient productivity after treatment. This is a new direction in managing the high costs of specialty pharmaceuticals and not without challenges. One of the barriers is strict regulation by the Food and Drug Administration of what pharmaceutical manufacturers may communicate to the public, limiting that communication to formulary committees for managed care, for example. Additionally, studies tend to be constructed using observational design, instead of as randomized controlled trials, limiting their usefulness for real-world application.
The 21st Century Cures Act which addressed fast-tracking approval of specialty pharmaceuticals was particularly beneficial for dealing with the development of 2nd run biologics (which might be more easily understood as "generic biologics", though they do not exist). Debate around the act raised some important questions about the efficacy of biologics and their continued high costs. Some call for insurers to pay only the cost of production to manufacturers until the benefit of these biologics can be proven long-term, stating that insurers should not bear the full cost of products that may be unreliable or have only limited efficacy.
Due to the complexity, risk of adverse events and allergic reactions associated with biologics, management is very important for the safety of patients. Management includes areas from patient education and adherence to the delivery of the medication. These medications often require very specific storage conditions and monitoring of temperature, the level of agitation and proper reconstitution of the drug. Because of the high risk of error and adverse events, provider management of delivery is required, especially for injection or infusion of some biologic medications. Such biologics are often coded in a way that ties reimbursement to delivery by a provider—either a specialty pharmacist or medical care provider with those skills. As more biologics are being designed to be self-administered pharmacists are supporting the management of these drugs. They make calls to remind patients of the need for refills, provide education to patients, monitor patients for adverse events and work with primary care provider offices to monitor the outcomes of the medication.
The high cost of specialty pharmaceuticals is one of their defining characteristics; as such, cost-containment is high on the list of all the players in the arena. For physician-administered biologics, cost-containment is often handled by volume purchasing of biologic drugs for discounted pricing, formularies, step therapy to attempt other treatment before beginning biologics and administrative fees by insurers to keep physicians from artificially inflating requested reimbursement from insurance companies. Cost-containment for self-administered biologics tends to occur via requiring authorization to be prescribed those drugs and benefit design, such as coinsurance for cost-sharing.
Difficulties experienced with patient adherence to specialty pharmaceuticals also limit the availability of real-world outcomes data for biologics. In 2016, real world data evaluating the efficacy of biologics was only publicly available for multiple myeloma through ICER (where biologics were found to be overpriced for their outcomes) and for hepatitis C treatment (which achieved high cure rates—90%—for patients co-infected with HIV and Hep C) through Curant Health. These studies show how useful value-based pricing may become for cost-containment in the field. The good news is that there are effectiveness studies on biologics currently underway aiming to provide more of this data.
URAC's Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation "provides an external validation of excellence in Specialty Pharmacy Management and provides Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) oriented processes that improve operations and enhance compliance".
The specialty pharmacy business had $20 billion in sales in 2005. By 2014 it had grown to "$78 billion in sales".
As the market demanded specialization in drug distribution and clinical management of complex therapies, specialized pharma (SP) evolved. By 2001 CVS' specialty pharmacy ProCare was the "largest integrated retail/mail provider of specialty pharmacy services" in the United States. It was consolidated with their pharmacy benefit management company, PharmaCare in 2002 to In their 2001 annual report CVS anticipated that the "$16 billion specialty pharmacy market" would grow at "an even faster rate than traditional pharmacy due in large part to the robust pipeline of biotechnology drugs". By 2014 CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and Walgreens represented more than 50% of the specialty drug market in the United States.
Specialty pharmacies came into existence to as a result of unmet needs. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network the "primary goals of specialty pharmacies are to ensure the appropriate use of medications, maximize drug adherence, enhance patient satisfaction through direct interaction with healthcare professionals, minimize cost impact, and optimize pharmaceutical care outcomes and delivery of information".
Also known as the Specialty Food Association, it is a non-profit trade association founded in 1952 in New York that has over 3,000 members. The organization also oversees its Specialty Food Foundation, a foundation that "works to reduce hunger and increase food recovery efforts via grantmaking, education and industry events".
According to Nicolas Basta, by 2013 there was "a spate of new entities" called hub services, "mechanisms by which manufacturers can keep a grip on the marketplace" in specialty pharma. The "biggest and oldest of these organizations" are "offshoots of insurance companies or [Pharmacy benefit managers] PBMs, such as Express Scripts' combination of Accredo and CuraScript (both specialty pharmacies) and HealthBridge (physician and patient support). UnitedHealth, an insurance company, operates OptumRx, a PBM, which has a specialty unit within it. Cigna has Tel-Drug, a mail-order pharmacy and support system." Basta described how Hubs have been around since about 2002 "starting out as "reimbursement hubs"", usually provided as a service by manufacturers to help patients and providers navigate the process of obtaining permission to use, and reimbursement for, expensive specialty therapies". Industry observers look to pioneering efforts by Genentech and Genzyme under the tenure of Henri Termeer, "when some of their earliest biotech products entered the marketplace". Specialty hubs provide reimbursement support to physicians and patients as well as patient education including medical hotlines. There is a voluntary program enrollment and registry intake with Patient Assistance Program management.