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...
Plus, the British Medical Journal publishes a peer-reviewed scientific research paper that analyzes "whether the acute consumption of cannabis (cannabinoids) by drivers increases the risk of a motor vehicle collision." Can you guess the shocking answer?
IIR tells me that this will be the first conference since CMS issued its Proposed Rule. Comments are due by April 2, so this will be a very timely networking and learning event. Plus, you'll hear directly from CMS Policy, Technical and Operational officers. For some fun pre-reading, see the five expert analyses in More Analysis of the Proposed AMP Rule.
So, get your AMP on and register today! IIR is offering a special 25% discount to Drug Channels readers. Just register with your VIP code: XP1751DRUG. Thanks, IIR!
Today, I take a more normative approach by describing elements of commercial channel strategy that support product security and reduce the risk of counterfeit infiltration. In my experience, a good channel strategy complements such traditional anti-counterfeiting tools as package design, security features, pedigree, track-and-trace, and aggressively prosecuting the bad guys.
Below, I discuss the rationale for limited networks for specialty drugs and provide 6 channel strategy guidelines that manufacturers can use to improve product security. Please add your own suggestions below.
Unfortunately, the latest information supports my contention about the economics behind the counterfeit purchases. The fake product entered the U.S. supply chain through good ol' fashioned, financially-motivated diversion. I stand by my initial observation: Greedy Physicians Invite Fake Avastin Into the Supply Chain.
Today, we'll take a deeper look at what went wrong. Tomorrow, I'll explain how a manufacturer's commercial channel strategy can support product security and reduce the risk of counterfeit infiltration.
This event promises to be an important new meeting for anyone working in the rapidly growing specialty pharmacy marketplace. I won’t be speaking, but will definitely be attending. PCMA is expecting more than 800 people, so the networking and connections should be outstanding.
PCMA is also launching a new online community site so any attendee can request and pre-schedule onsite meetings in private facilities provided by PCMA. I'll be signing up when it launches, so you can search and schedule time with me. PCMA is setting aside 11 hours for business meetings.
The real crime? This situation was completely avoidable.
From what we know so far, these 19 medical practices knowingly purchased the fake product from a non-authorized distributor. By looking for a "good deal" outside of the legitimate channel, the physicians in charge of these practices were foolish, irresponsible, and unethical. Patiens caveo. (Patients Beware.)
Following last week’s look at preferred pharmacy network plans, I got multiple requests for a broader market overview of 2012 enrollment data for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs). On Valentine's Day, what could be more romantic than a Part D day!
Below, I present a summary of the largest Part D plans and parent organizations. The big story is enrollment concentration:
The top 10 Part D plans include 68% of enrollees in a stand-alone plan.
Three companies—UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH), CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), and Humana (NYSE: HUM)—now operate plans for almost 6 out of 10 enrollees.
Despite this concentration, PBMs such as SXC's InformedRx (NASDAQ: SXCI) or CatalystRx (NASDAQ: CHSI) have minimal Part D penetration. Is yesterday's CatalystRx/AARP (non-Part D) deal a signal of things to come?
This event should be particularly valuable for Drug Channels readers with commercial, managed markets, or contracting responsibilities. Last year’s sessions covered topics such as specialty drugs, key account management, and demonstrating value to the payor. eyeforpharma is lining up an impressive roster of speakers again this year.
Please take a moment to check out this worthwhile event.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just released the 2012 enrollment data for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs). These new data dispel any doubts about preferred pharmacy networks’ consumer appeal.
There are seven Part D PDPs with preferred pharmacy networks in 2012. (See table below.) Highlights from my data crunching:
Enrollment in preferred network plans grew twice as quickly as overall PDP enrollment.
Almost one-third of all PDP enrollees are now in a plan with a preferred pharmacy network design.
The Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, the preferred pharmacy network PDP launched in October 2010, is now the third-largest PDP.
Two of the three new preferred network plans in 2012 attracted more than 680,000 enrollees.
The PDP with Rite Aid as the preferred pharmacy was a bust.
Once again, we see how the power of competition is lowering drug costs for seniors. Needless to say, pharmacy owners who neglected to join a preferred network are complaining.
Does the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) understand the distribution system for legitimate, prescription drugs? It sure doesn't look that way.
The DEA once again went after Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) by suspending the company’s controlled substances license at its Lakeland, FL, facility. Late Friday, Cardinal successfully won a temporary restraining order against the DEA. See Cardinal Health’s statement.
Kudos to Cardinal Health CEO George Barrett for standing up to an overzealous DEA. When this happened in 2007, Cardinal’s tentative and indecisive response led to major business losses, from which the company has never fully recovered. I'm curious to see how CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) reacts to last Friday's raid at 2 of its Florida stores.
As I explain below, the DEA started targeting wholesalers and manufacturers because they can't stop the real criminals—the patients abusing prescription drugs, the physicians running “pill mills,” and the pharmacies dealing these drugs.
And don’t even get me started on how the DEA has created a shortage of ADHD meds by putting manufacturers under their thumb…
By April 2, CMS will receive many detailed comments. But who can wait that long?
So, here’s my pre-Super Bowl round-up of 5 especially useful and insightful analyses of the proposed rule. These reports and articles are written by lawyers and government pricing experts, so they are scarily-specific and have many more details than my cursory overview.
As a bonus, I also include a look at how much Americans will be eating (by food type!) on Sunday and share the new Ferris Bueller commercial. Ooooh yeah.
As I discussed in last week’s Big Trouble in the VA Contract: Who will win?, McKesson (NYSE:MCK) has been facing questions about “improper buying” under its Department of Veterans Affairs pharmaceutical prime vendor (PPV) contract.
Below are some highlights from the testimony along with my updated but still-unscientific guess at which wholesaler will win the contract. BTW, there was also an interesting discussion about drug shortages and how McKesson manages supply and handles allocations.