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...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Drug Channels News Roundup, August 2014: Walgreens, Compounding, 340B, AWP, and More Weird Al

Wow, hard to believe that summer is almost over. Pack up the beach chairs, send the kids back to school, and enjoy this curated collection of curiosities, combed from the Drug Channels beach.

In this issue:
  • Walgreen's Billion-Dollar Blunder (from the front page of today's Wall Street Journal)
  • Pharmacies’ Compounding Profits
  • A Useful Primer on 340B
  • Déjà Vu for Bad Medicare Part D Ideas
It’s late August, so please enjoy another fun Weird Al video as your bonus.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Real-Time Benefit Verification & ePrior Authorization

Real-Time Benefit Verification & ePrior Authorization
October 23-24, 2014 | San Francisco, CA

As more patients become insured due to healthcare reform, many questions arise around how to best select health plans based on personal health needs, patient eligibility, coverage benefits and out-of-pocket projections. Delays in the benefit investigation/verification process and subsequent submission of paper-based prior authorization requests can lead to harmful delays in patient access to treatment and therapy drop-off.

CBI’s premier Real-Time Benefit Verification & ePrior Authorization Forum convenes key stakeholders to address these challenges and discuss the adoption of ePrior authorization (ePA) and other emerging electronic patient services/technologies to ultimately streamline patient access to medication.

Hear from manufacturers, payers, PBMs, prescribers, leading service providers and more on this evolving and critically important topic. Speakers come from such organizations as AssistRx, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, CoverMyMeds, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Express Scripts, Gilead Sciences, Lash Group, MedImmune, Medivation, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Pfizer, Point-of-Care Partners, Prime Therapeutics, Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, Sonexus Health, UBC, and more.

Register Today! Drug Channels subscribers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use code YRK398.*

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

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Wall Street Journal Covers Our Generic Inflation Analysis

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal's Pharmalot blog covered our generic drug price inflation analysis. See How Much? Some Generic Drug Prices Are Skyrocketing: Analysis.

The article includes some additional quotes from yours truly, along with comments from Actavis and the GPhA. Highlights below.

In case you didn't know, Ed Silverman is now rocking his great Pharmalot blog over at the Wall Street Journal. You can follow the @Pharmalot twitter feed or subscribe via RSS.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Winners and Losers from Generic Drug Inflation

As I note in yesterday’s post Retail Generic Drug Inflation Reaches New Heights, half of all retail generic drugs became more expensive over the past 12 months.

Today, let’s discover who’s winning and who’s losing within the drug channel. I consider generic and brand-name drug manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies, third-party payers, and consumers.

Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Retail Generic Drug Inflation Reaches New Heights

Surprise! Retail generic drugs are no longer getting cheaper over time.

Our latest exclusive analysis (below) finds that half of all retail generic drugs became more expensive over the past 12 months. And some of those drugs got much, much more expensive. One out of 11 generic drugs more than doubled in cost, with some increases exceeding 1,000 percent.

Product shortages appear to be the primary culprit. How did our retail drug supply chain become so fragile?

Drop by tomorrow, when I’ll review the winners and losers from this crazy phenomenon.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Coupon and Co-Pay Off-Set Strategies

Coupon and Co-Pay Off-set Strategies
September 29-30, 2014 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

CBI’s Coupon and Co-Pay Off-set Strategies Conference explores how to leverage ROI-Generating Discount Programs to increase patient acquisition and retention. This year's conference focuses on the effectiveness, advances, and latest information about co-pay assistance programs. It also addresses the continuing controversy surrounding these programs.

All stakeholders will be represented in the speaking faculty, which will include physicians, payers, pharmacies, manufacturers and government. Speakers come from such organizations as Allergan, Astellas, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CSL Behring, Eisai, Emdeon, IMS Health, King and Spalding, Larkin Hospital, Lash Group, McKesson, Office of Inspector General, Primus Pharmaceuticals, PSKW LLC, SampleMD, TrialCard, UnitedHealth, and Walgreens.

Join the dialogue on September 29-30 in Philadelphia and discover cutting-edge strategies to maximize your product throughout its lifecycle by leveraging discount opportunities. You can’t afford to miss it!

Drug Channels subscribers can save $400 off the standard registration rate when they use code TYP392.* Register today!

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

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Walgreens and Alliance Boots to Combine; No Inversion For You!

Walgreens and Alliance Boots today announced the accelerated formation of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., a new US-based holding company. The transaction will close in the first quarter of 2015. Read the press release.

The company is (1) abandoning plans to do an inversion, (2) lowering its financial targets, (3) embarking on a $1 billion cost-cutting effort, and (4) reshuffling and combining the management teams. Stefano Pessina, who will be the combined company’s biggest shareholder, will have big strategic role. He’s reporting to Greg Wasson…for now.

Below are a few initial reactions, along with some selected slides from today’s conference call. Keep in mind that the second stage still requires shareholder approval. This is not a done deal.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The 2015 PBM Formulary Exclusion Lists are Here!

CVS Caremark and Express Scripts have just released their 2015 formulary exclusion lists.

As expected, the two PBMs’ lists keep getting longer, although there are relatively few overlaps. The lists offer some surprises, including Express Scripts’ decision to drop Amgen’s anemia products and both companies’ handling of the testosterone category.

Read on for our exclusive Guardians of the Galaxy commentary and links to the complete exclusion lists.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Specialty Pharmacy Collaboration

IIR’s all-new Specialty Pharmacy Collaboration Summit gives you the opportunity to partner directly with all the key stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy value chain. You will learn from the experts how to increase patient adherence, expand distribution, and improve your bottom line.

As a partner for the event, Drug Channels' readers receive a 15% discount off the standard rates! Register Now to SAVE 15% off standard rates with code XP1968DRUG.