The Drug Channels blog delivers timely analysis and provocative opinions on pharmaceutical economics and the drug distribution system. It is written by Adam J. Fein, Ph.D., one of the country's foremost experts on pharmaceutical economics and channel strategy. Learn more...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

How Payers Contributed to the EpiPen Pricing Controversy

Ronny Gal, Ph.D., a senior analyst at the investment bank Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., just published a great client note on the Mylan EpiPen pricing brouhaha. Ronny graciously agreed to let me share his viewpoints below.

As a contrast to the mainstream media coverage, Ronny offers a grounded, industry-informed perspective. As he notes, payers responded to Mylan’s price actions by shifting costs to consumers. It’s a useful lesson on how drug prices to consumers are really determined.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Drug Channels News Roundup, August 2016: Rite Aid, Teva, Anda, AmerisourceBergen, Specialty Pharmacies, and Walmart

Sigh. Summer is almost over. Time to pack away your bathing suit, send the kids back to school, and savor this curated collection of curiosities, combed from the Drug Channels beach.

In this issue:
  • Mini me! Rite Aid finally launches a 90-day program with its PBM
  • A warning for big wholesalers? Teva and Perrigo both buy distributors
  • Unusual: Specialty Pharmacies’ Fraud Risks with U&C
  • Steady On: An enlightening interview with Peyton Howell of AmerisourceBergen
Plus, Walmart demonstrates its true commitment to health and wellness with a bold new food innovation. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

P.S. Check out @DrugChannels on Twitter for my daily links to stuff you should be reading.

Monday, August 22, 2016

7th Specialty Product Distribution and Channel Optimization Summit

7th Specialty Product Distribution and Channel Optimization Summit
October 26-27, 2016 | Princeton, NJ

This October, navigate evolving trends, models and strategies to propel commercial success and ensure patient access at the 7th Specialty Product Distribution and Channel Optimization Summit. Key stakeholders within the supply chain continuum representing manufacturers, GPOs, wholesalers, PBMs, hubs, specialty pharmacies and health plans unite to address the complexity and evolving need to effectively customize channel strategies.

Perspectives and Innovative Insights Representing:

AHIP • Avella Specialty Pharmacy • Biogen • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan • Blue Fin Group • Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation • Cleveland Clinic • DHL • D2 Pharma Consulting • Depomed • Fairview Pharmacy Services • Gentry Health Services • Incyte Corporation • Intarcia Therapeutics • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals • Managed Health Care Associates • MAXOR • McKesson • Mylan • New Era Alliance • Onco360 • Orsini Healthcare • Polaris • Raptor Pharmaceuticals • Theratechnologies • UCB

For more information, please download the complete agenda or visit www.cbinet.com/specialtydistribution.

Drug Channels readers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code ZSA458.*

*Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rates. Other restrictions may apply.


The content of Sponsored Posts does not necessarily reflect the views of Pembroke Consulting, Inc., Drug Channels, or any of its employees.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Retail Pharmacist Salary Growth Stalls, while Hospital Pharmacists’ Salaries Rise

There’s some bad news in our latest exclusive annual analysis of pharmacist salaries, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) recently released Occupational Employment Statistics (OES).

In 2015, the average gross base salary for a pharmacist at a retail, mail, and specialty pharmacy was $119,517—up a paltry 0.1% from 2014. Retail employment grew slowly, with slightly fewer pharmacists working at drugstores and mass merchants.

Meanwhile, employment at mail pharmacies and hospitals grew. Pharmacists who work at hospitals also got some good paycheck news: Their salaries rose by 1.6%. The share of pharmacists who work at hospitals grew, too.

My $0.02? The pharmacy industry’s ongoing shift from traditional to specialty drugs is altering long-standing pharmacist employment patterns. Pay attention.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Catching Up with Valeant and Walgreens—and Their New Best Friend

Attention, trainers! Time for an update on Valeant and its relationship with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the biggest and most difficult to catch Pokémon.

Last week, Valeant revealed that in the first six months of 2016, its sales via Walgreens were about $150 million. That’s almost half of Valeant’s entire dermatology business.

Valeant also stated that prescriptions dispensed by Walgreens are now profitable. This evolution is due largely to the company’s new relationship with CoverMyMeds, which will try to catch all of the scripts that require prior authorization.

Grab your Poké Ball and battle with my analysis and commentary below. Let’s go!

Monday, August 15, 2016

AMP Final Rule: Your First Chance to Discuss the Application, Implementation, and Impact at MDRP

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Summit 2016 is a platform to connect with 550+ MDRP executives and 100+ industry experts and deep dive into the most critical elements of the rule and provide you with instruction on how to manage them. Roll up your sleeves and work with colleagues to best embrace the adjustments you need to make.

Get a Front Row Seat Today and Participate LIVE at the Event!

Register Now to SAVE $200 off the Current Rate.
Use Code XP2158DRUG

See how MDRP 2016 will facilitate industry comments to CMS across all three days of the conference:
  • Deconstructing the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) Final Rule: A Step by Step Analysis of the Key Implications of the Final Rule—Celgene Corporation, Eli Lilly, & Amgen
  • Identification & Alternate Rebate Formula for Line Extensions—Hogan Lovells US LLC
  • Bundling—IMS Health
  • 5 i AMP: Eligibility, Calculations & Implications—King & Spalding
  • Retail Communities Pharmacies: Identification and Impact of The Final Rule—National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
  • Impact of The Final Rule on COT—Model N
  • Service Fees: Bona Fide or Constructive Price Concessions—Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Revenue optimization: What Should Manufacturers be Doing in this Period of Change?

PLUS! Get 340B Updates directly from HRSA during the main conference from Krista M. Pedley, Director, Office of Pharmacy Affairs, HRSA and Michelle Herzog, Deputy Director, Office of Pharmacy Affairs, HRSA.

Register Now to SAVE $200 off the Current Rate! Use Code XP2158DRUG

This is your opportunity to benchmark best practices and gain solutions to overcome new operational challenges brought on by AMP Final Rule, 340B, Medicaid Expansion, Class of Trade, Fair Market Value, FSS, VA, OIG, and other critical government programs.


The content of Sponsored Posts does not necessarily reflect the views of Pembroke Consulting, Inc., Drug Channels, or any of its employees.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bringing Calm to the World of Complex Specialty Therapies

Today’s guest blog post comes from Nicole Hebbert, Vice President of Patient Access and Engagement at United BioSource Corp. (UBC).

Nicole discusses next generation patient support centers, a.k.a., hubs, that leverage technology to address patients' challenges between diagnosis and access to therapy. She also provides insights about how a hub can best operate as a central point of contact and information for all the stakeholders.

UBC offers electronically-enabled patient access solutions that are customized to meet the unique needs of each patient population. Click here to learn more about UBC's new suite of electronically-enabled patient access services.

Read on for Nicole’s thoughts.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Six Retail Chains Now Dominate the Still-Booming 340B Contract Pharmacy Business

The pharmacy industry’s role in the 340B Drug Pricing Program continues to expand.

Our latest analysis finds that nearly 18,000 pharmacy locations contract with 340B-eligible covered entities. That accounts for more than one in four U.S. retail, mail, and specialty pharmacy locations.

Walgreens remains the biggest player, with about the same number of locations as those of Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, and Albertsons combined. If Walgreens acquires Rite Aid, it will account for more than 4 out of 10 340B contract pharmacy locations. Despite retail chains’ dominance, I didn’t hear NACDS even mention 340B during this week’s Total Store Expo.

Amidst the contract pharmacy boom, we’re still left wondering what’s really going on. How many prescriptions do contract pharmacies provide at discounted prices to uninsured, underinsured, and low-income patients? Who is really benefiting from the contract pharmacy business?

Monday, August 08, 2016

Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) Legal Update

PAP Legal Update
September 21-22, 2016 | Alexandria, VA
www.cbinet.com/papupdate

As a critical update to CBI’s longstanding Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) Conference, this PAP Legal Update forum provides insight into key and pressing legal issues, emerging legislation and compliance considerations driven by the OIG to ensure that PAPs can continue to serve patients while compliantly remaining within the boundaries of laws and guidelines.

Advanced Discussion on Key Issues and the Path Forward for Patient Programs:
  • Complexities of patient access programs in an era of ambiguity
  • OIG’s jurisdiction relative to PAPs, Co-Pay Foundations and hub services
  • Impact of the most recent OIG Special Advisory Bulletin
  • Legal nuances and restraints with co-pay assistance and foundation support
  • Compliant reimbursement services around patient coverage and benefits
  • Projected evolution of PAPs and patient support programs
For more information, please download the complete agenda or visit www.cbinet.com/papupdate. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code UMF446.*

*Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rates. Other restrictions may apply.


The content of Sponsored Posts does not necessarily reflect the views of Pembroke Consulting, Inc., Drug Channels, or any of its employees.