Drug Channels 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. Drug Channels reaches an engaged, loyal and growing audience of more than 18,000 subscribers. Learn more...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Diplomat Sees Declining DIR Fee Impact—and Perhaps Readies a PBM Strategy

Last week, Diplomat Pharmacy released its quarterly earnings, which included new details about the financial impact of Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees. I provide some background on DIR fees below.

Diplomat, as a public company, is the only entity that is obligated to publish truthful information about DIR fees. While reviewing its data, let’s recall our Drug Channels philosophy, courtesy of the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

As you will see below, Diplomat’s exposure to DIR fees remains relatively modest. DIR fees as a share of its gross profit has even declined since last year. This shift is driven by an evolving business mix along with better accounting of and management control over DIR fees.

In part to counter DIR fees and other payer pressures, Diplomat is signaling its intention to play a more significant role in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) business. Let the rumors begin!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Electronic Benefit Verification & Prior Authorization Summit

Electronic Benefit Verification & Prior Authorization Summit
October 24-25, 2017 | San Francisco, CA
www.cbinet.com/eBenefit

CBI’s Electronic Benefit Verification & Prior Authorization Summit provides attendees with an understanding of key issues and developments in electronic patient services, including electronic benefit verification, real-time benefit verification, prior authorizations, health records and prescribing services.

Gain Critical Insights and Strategies to Improve Patient Access
  • Examine challenges associated with ePA implementation, and understand planning and operational considerations associated with technology adoption
  • Understand the implementation steps needed to achieve real-time benefit verification
  • Compare innovations in electronic patient service technology to identify what solutions fit within company strategies
  • Determine how to leverage patient support programs to overcome formulary barriers, help patients stay on therapy and drive positive physician coverage perception
  • Discuss how to streamline electronic benefit verifications and prior authorization solutions into a hub model
  • Facilitate efficient information exchange between key stakeholders, including manufacturers, health plans, health systems, PBMs and physicians

Visit www.cbinet.com/eBenefit for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard registration rate when they use discount code PSK783*

*Discount expires October 24, 2017; applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, category rates, promotions or applied to an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop only or academic/non-profit registrations.


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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Generic Deflation Roils the Channel—And Will Get Worse

Deflation in generic drug prices dragged down second quarter earnings for drug wholesalers and generic manufacturers. Here’s a useful summary from The Wall Street Journal, which captures the grim marketplace realities in Falling U.S. Generic Drug Prices Hurt Manufacturers, Wholesalers. Yesterday, Mylan's earning release noted "high-single-digit erosion expected in North America."

Below, I review the state of the generic drug market. As you will see, the overall market for mature generic drugs is deflating by about 10% per year. Many generic drugs have dropped significantly in price over the past four years.

Surprisingly, the prices for about one in five generic drugs remain elevated. Scott Gottlieb, M.D., the new head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has prioritized actions that should squeeze the remaining generic inflation out of the system. I expect generic drug deflation to continue—and possibly accelerate—over the next 12 to 24 months.

Payers and consumers will be the ultimate winners, but the drug channel faces significant disruption. In the meantime, let’s all hope that these price declines don’t trigger shortages if generic drug makers flee this sinking market.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Follow the Dollar Math: How Much Do Pharmacies, Wholesalers, and PBMs Make From a Prescription?

Yesterday,The Wall Street Journal published an intriguing article by Jonathan Rockoff titled Behind the Push to Keep Higher-Priced EpiPen in Consumers’ Hands.

The article includes a graphic attributed to me (cited as Pembroke Consulting). It shows that the drug channel—pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), wholesalers, and pharmacies—receive more than $37 in gross profit for a brand-name drug with a $300 list price. PBMs capture about half of this amount.

The WSJ article doesn’t describe how I arrived at the figures. But now you, Drug Channels reader, will get the inside scoop.

Below, I go inside the box and trace these crucial computations. They determine the revenues and profits of the drug channel participants that operate between a brand-name drug maker and the patient. I also reveal how the figures affect the net prescription cost for a third-party payer.

As with many things, you'll have to observe the system to figure out the superposition.

Monday, August 07, 2017

CBI’s PAP Legal Update

CBI’s PAP Legal Update
September 25-26, 2017 | Arlington, VA
www.cbinet.com/PAPUpdate

PAP Legal Update 2017 - Please join the patient assistance and access community for this critical update meeting which will provide important insight into key legal issues, including recent advisory opinions from the OIG, developments in the changing healthcare and regulatory landscapes, and opportunities for industry collaboration in the face of an increased need for risk mitigation. Learn more here.

Compelling Discussions, Pivotal Insights and Interactive Sessions for Forward-Thinking Compliance
  • Hear an analysis of recent OIG advisory opinions related to PAPs
  • Examine the legal and enforcement environment impacting the relationships between manufacturers and 501(c)(3)s
  • Hear insights from advocates on efficient and effective PAPs and identify ways to strengthen your PAP with stakeholder engagement
  • Improve brand image and messaging for PAPs in the era of public scrutiny
  • Discuss policies for reducing risks associated with working with Medicare and Medicaid patients
  • Remain compliant with design and development of co-pay assistance programs
Download the complete agenda here. Visit www.cbinet.com/PAPUpdate for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off of the standard registration rate when they use code RKN333.*

*Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rate or non-profit 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 03, 2017

What’s In, What’s Out: The New 2018 CVS Health and Express Scripts Formulary Exclusion Lists (Plus: A Sneak Peek From Prime)

This week, the two largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)—Express Scripts and the CVS/caremark business of CVS Health—released updates to their 2018 formulary exclusion lists. They are available below for your downloading pleasure.

For 2018, Express Scripts was more aggressive, expanding its list to 159 excluded products. At CVS Health, however, the total number of excluded remained steady. The Prime Therapeutics list won’t be available until September, but it will apparently exclude more drugs that either of its PBM peers.

Read on for my 2018 head-to-head comparison, including comments on inflammatory conditions, multiple sclerosis, epinephrine, biosimilars, and more. I also review the reported savings from formulary exclusions. I conclude with some questions about patients. Remember them?

If I have missed anything important, please comment below.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

New Part B Buy-and-Bill Data: Physician Offices Are Losing to Hospital Outpatient Sites

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the independent agency that advises Congress on the Medicare program, recently released its June 2017 Data Book: Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program. The report is a 201-page wonktastic data dump. Chapter 10 focuses on prescription drugs.

In 2015, the most recent year available, Part B spending on drugs reached $25.7 billion. Hospital outpatient sites now constitute more than one-third of Medicare spending and have been crowding out physician offices. Part B payments to physician practices are growing much more slowly than payments to hospitals.

For some time, I have been tracking the evolution of the buy-and-bill system for provider-administered drugs. These new data confirm my predictions that physician offices’ will account for a declining share of the buy-and-bill market. Still unknown: Is this good or bad for patients?

Monday, July 31, 2017

CBI’s 5th Annual Coupon and Copay

CBI’s 5th Annual Coupon and Copay
September 14-15, 2017 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/CouponAndCopay

Exclusive Offer – Register by 8/25/2017 and save $500*
Use discount code COUPDC

In the midst of a turbulent healthcare system, with drug prices continuing to escalate, patient affordability and access programs have become more critical than ever. Coupon and copay programs are one of the most effective tools for life sciences manufacturers to minimize patient out of pocket costs, while driving access and adherence.

As such, CBI's flagship Coupon and Copay conference, taking place September 14-15 in Philadelphia, PA, serves as the life sciences industry’s foremost event devoted exclusively to manufacturer-driven coupon and copay programs. Join the best of the best in life sciences and discover pioneering strategies to maximize ROI by leveraging these powerful discount opportunities.

The 2017 agenda boasts a diverse, experienced faculty from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, United Healthcare Pharmacy, Healthwell Foundation, Coherus Biosciences, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy, Community Health Network, UVA Cancer Center and many more!

Don't miss your chance to unite with leading innovators in copay design to discuss the future of patient assistance and access:
  • Hear multi-stakeholder perspectives on the future of assistance and access for patients needing high-cost specialty therapies
  • Discuss key analyses (abandonment, redemption, competitive offerings) used to improve the value of copay programs
  • Identify new challenges in an evolving environment including deductible reset, LOE, real-time measurement for launches, distribution channel, OIG risk, denial conversion and e-coupons
  • Navigate the OIG modifications on contributions to charitable patient programs
  • Learn more about copayment assistance funds for Medicare patients
  • Alignment of offer strategy with contracting efforts to avoid “double-dipping” of rebate and copay offerings
  • Consider strategies for fast tracking prior authorization and copay assistance for specialty prescriptions to increase speed to therapy


*Discount offer valid through 8/25/2017; applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, categories, promotions or applied to an existing registration.


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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Drug Channels News Roundup, July 2017: CVS, Anthem, Specialty Pharmacy, INSYS, and Big Box Pharmacy

Cut through the steamy summer haze with our refreshing selection of articles and insights. In this issue:
  • CVS drugstores aim for a healthier look
  • Anthem dissects specialty pharmacy management
  • Takeaways from an Insys employee’s guilty plea over prior authorization
  • Profiling pharmacies inside supermarkets and mass merchants
Plus, The Onion reports on the launch of generic internets following patent loss. Scary!

P.S. Follow @DrugChannels on Twitter for my daily curated selection of news and commentary.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What Will Happen to Rite Aid’s Struggling EnvisionRx PBM?

Let’s revisit the Walgreens Boots Alliance—Rite Aid deal. Instead of an acquisition, the revised transaction calls for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) to buy 2,186 Rite Aid stores and three distribution centers for $5.2 billion. WBA will also pay a $325 million termination fee to Rite Aid.

If the deal receives regulatory approval, Rite Aid will shrink to a multi-regional pharmacy chain with about half as many stores. It will, however, hold onto EnvisionRx, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) that it acquired in 2015.

Unfortunately, EnvisionRx remains a small, struggling regional PBM with limited growth. Its revenues in 2017 have been declining. There also appears to be no material synergies between Rite Aid’s retail pharmacy business and its Envision PBM.

Last week, Rite Aid disclosed that it will use $4.9 billion of its $5.5 billion windfall to repay debt. (Pro forma financials below.) Given the performance troubles that I outline below, I wonder whether investors will trust the current management team to spend the cash wisely.

Monday, July 24, 2017

PBMI 2017 Specialty Rx Forum

PBMI 2017 Specialty Rx Forum
September 12, 2017
Hyatt Regency Hotel | Downtown Chicago

You’re invited to join PBMI for its first regional Specialty Rx Forum in downtown Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This one-day meeting is focused on discussing what's keeping plan sponsors up at night—specialty drug trend.

PBMI has gathered speakers representing different perspectives on the specialty drug industry including senior leaders from the largest PBMs, national employers, specialty drug manufacturers, and specialty pharmacies.


Take advantage of lowest rates before they expire. Early bird rates end 8/1!

For more information about the Forum and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Linda DeChant at ldechant@pbmi.com.

PBMI looks forward to seeing you!


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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

2016’s Top Retail Pharmacy Chains, According to Drug Store News

Drug Store News (DSN) has just released its latest rundown of the top pharmacy retailers in the mightily-titled PoweRx 50. (Links below.)

I recommend the PoweRx list to anyone who competes with, sells to, or otherwise interacts with retail pharmacy chains. This useful resource also provides brief profiles of most organizations.

Below, I show DSN's top 25 retailers. This year, CVS Health tops the DSN list, with $60.8 billion in retail prescription sales. Colorado-based chain Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy is no. 50, with $73 million in prescription sales—0.1% of CVS Health’s retail revenues.

Note that the DSN list is not a complete look at the U.S. pharmacy industry. It excludes many large mail and specialty pharmacies. It also inconsistently (and IMHO, inaccurately) aggregates independently-owned pharmacies by wholesaler and buying group. I highlight how the list differs from our broader but shorter list shown in The Top 15 U.S. Pharmacies of 2016.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Understanding CMS’s Surprising Reimbursement Cut for 340B Hospitals

Last Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shocked everyone with a proposal altering a small part of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. CMS proposed reducing reimbursement for certain Medicare Part B drugs purchased by 340B-eligible hospitals: from Average Sales Price (ASP) plus 6% to ASP minus 22.5%. Hospitals will also have to identify 340B claims with a new modifier.

Below, I highlight the most important 13 pages of CMS’s 664-page proposal. I also offer some observations and commentary on the proposal.

For context, I also include the new background memo for today’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing: Examining HRSA’s Oversight of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The memo highlights the many negative findings from government watchdog agencies.

Like it or not, change may finally be coming to the out-of-control 340B program. Let’s hope Congress can get the program refocused on genuine safety-net providers and financially needy patients.

Monday, July 17, 2017

CBI’s Life Sciences Outcomes-Based Contracting Summit

CBI’s Life Sciences Outcomes-Based Contracting Summit
October 3-4, 2017 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/OutcomesContracting

Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels Readers:
Register Now to SAVE $400* using promo code DCR400
Hurry! This Offer Expires August 14, 2017.

CBI’s 2nd Annual Life Sciences Outcomes-Based Contracting Summit provides critical strategies into the process of outlining, structuring and negotiating risk-sharing agreements between bio/pharma manufacturers and payers.

This timely event will address the continuous challenges the industry faces to lower drug costs and increase patient access, all while demonstrating the value of their drugs to insurers by providing best practices and key insights from thought-leaders regarding the nuances surrounding outcomes-based contracting.

Join us for Solutions-Oriented Sessions, Powerful Payer Insights and Illuminating Case Studies:
  • Gain an understanding of the risk-sharing challenges from the payers perspective, featuring Michael Sherman, MD, Sr. Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Bridge the gap between real-world evidence and health economics outcomes research
  • Manage legal, compliance and regulatory concerns surrounding value-based contracts
  • Examine the benefits and challenges of outcomes-based contracts for target population (orphan/rare disease) therapies
  • Translate successful European managed entry agreements into actionable opportunities for the U.S. marketplace
  • Discuss the challenges and rewards of co-developing drugs and diagnostics for enhanced outcomes
  • And more!
Be the first to view the complete agenda, then register today using promo code DCR400 for this limited time savings of $400* off.

*Discount offer valid through 8/14/17; applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, category rates, promotions or applied to existing registration. Offer not valid on workshops only or academic/non-profit registration.


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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

10 Hospitals With 340B Contract Pharmacy Mega-Networks

For a follow-up to The Booming 340B Contract Pharmacy Profits of Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart, let’s examine covered entities’ contract pharmacy networks in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

Many covered entities have relatively small 340B contract pharmacy networks. However, some have built large networks seemingly designed not to help needy and uninsured patients, but to enrich hospitals and pharmacies.

The top 10 hospitals, listed below, have built mega-networks averaging 277 pharmacies. The largest retail chains and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are active participants in these networks. That’s right: PBMs have joined the 340B party!

Yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a July 18 hearing: Examining HRSA’s Oversight of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Also below, I pose four questions that committee members should consider about 340B contract pharmacy mega-networks.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Booming 340B Contract Pharmacy Profits of Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart

Pharmacies continue to ride the 340B Drug Pricing Program’s explosive growth.

Our latest exclusive analysis finds that nearly 20,000 pharmacy locations now act as a contract pharmacy for the hospitals and other healthcare providers that participate in the 340B Program. Fewer than 3,000 pharmacy locations were in the program in 2010.

Large retail pharmacy chains' rapid expansion (per the fourth chart below) into 340B suggests superior profits.
  • Six large chains account for two out of three 340B contract pharmacy locations in 2017. 
  • Walgreens remains the dominant participant, with nearly 6,400 locations in the 340B program. 
  • Over the past four years, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid have also deepened their engagement. These three chains collectively now have 5,400 340B contract pharmacy locations. 
Every year, I question the economics behind this astounding growth. How many prescriptions do contract pharmacies provide at discounted prices to uninsured, underinsured, and low-income patients? Are pharmacies engaged in profit-sharing agreements with 340B hospitals? Are they earning fees that far exceed fair market value standards? Who is really benefiting from the contract pharmacy boom?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Summit 2017

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Summit 2017
September 11-13, 2017
Marriott Magnificent Mile | Chicago
www.knect365.com/MDRP

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Summit 2017 is a platform to:
  • Network with 600+ government officials, industry leaders, and pharma executives
  • Gain insights on the upcoming 340B Drug Ceiling Price and Civil Monetary Penalties Final Rules
  • Address the potential implications of “repeal and replace” on Medicaid
  • Hear lessons learned following the implementation of the AMP Final Rule
Use discount code XP2258DRUG for $200 off the current rate.

Earn CPE and CLE Credits!

A Universal Continuing Legal Credits (CLE) Certificate of Attendance will be applied for the State of Illinois. Continuing Professional Credits (CPE) will be provided in accordance with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. All credits will be provided following the conclusion of the conference.

Get guidance from key federal officials to ensure compliance on government program mandates
  • Medicaid Reform in the Trump Era – Scott W. Atlas, MD, David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Member, Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy
  • MDRP: Once a Good Idea, Now Not “Good Enough” – Jeff Myers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Medicaid Health Plans of America
  • Part I: General Overview of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program: History, Core Elements, and Manufacturer Requirements and Part II: Understand How to Calculate Critical Price Types Such as AMP, URA, Best Price, Base Line AMP – Miree Lee, Principal at M. Lee Consulting LLC
  • Authorized Generics Price Calculations – John Gould, Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Fireside Chat: External Counsel – Moderated by John Shakow, Partner at King & Spaulding, with KPMG, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Sidley Austin, and Hogan Lovells
Download the Brochure Here for Full Agenda and Speaker Details

Get a Front Row Seat Today and Participate LIVE at the Event!
Register Now to SAVE $200 off the Current Rate. Use discount code XP2258DRUG.


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

Friday, July 07, 2017

What I Told HHS Secretary Tom Price About the 340B Drug Pricing Program (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I'm on vacation. Click here to see the original post and comments from May 2017.

This post is especially timely given President Trump’s draft Executive Order. In Section 4, the Order directs Secretary Price to ensure that the program benefits "the lower income or otherwise vulnerable Americans for which the program was intended." Shortly after the article below was published, I discovered that the 340B program has been growing by more than 30% annually. (See The 340B Program Hits $16.2 Billion in 2016; Now 5% of U.S. Drug Market.) It's time to moderninze the 340B Drug Pricing Program.




Last Friday, I had the privilege of meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price. I was invited to meet with Secretary Price for one of his listening sessions with industry experts and stakeholders. I appreciated the opportunity to share my perspectives.

In our meeting, I highlighted four ways that the 340B Drug Pricing Program is raising drug costs. I then offered eight specific recommendations for improving the program by addressing the widespread channel distortions the program has caused.

Read on for the recommendations and a summary of my comments to Dr. Price.

I have no idea if my suggestions will have any impact. Regardless, your friendly neighborhood blogger enjoyed spending time among some Washington insiders.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Cardinal Health’s Unhappy Profit Surprise: The Coevolution of Pharmacy Buying Groups and Wholesaler Economics (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I'm on vacation. Click here to see the original post and comments from April 2017.



Yesterday probably didn’t turn out as well as Cardinal Health had expected.

The good news: The company announced the acquisition of Medtronic's Patient Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Nutritional Insufficiency businesses for $6.1 billion in cash.

The bad news: Cardinal sharply lowered its outlook for future profits from its pharmaceutical distribution business.

The company cited lower generic drugs prices and “sell-side" pressure from pharmacy customers as two primary causes of its financial woes. Wall Street was unhappy: Cardinal stock closed down a whopping 11%. McKesson and AmerisourceBergen stocks fell in sympathy.

Cardinal Health’s projected profit downturn illuminates a dilemma facing drug wholesalers:
  • Generic buying consortia of wholesalers and pharmacies have reduced wholesalers’ acquisition costs for generic drugs
  • Independent pharmacies—the most profitable customers of wholesalers—are successfully using their own buying groups to extract lower prices from wholesalers
Independent pharmacies have been backed into a corner—and have responded by pushing back against their wholesale suppliers. Cardinal’s warning highlights the coevolution of profits within the pharmacy channel ecosystem. Expect wholesalers to be increasingly desperate to make up these lost funds.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Five Fun Facts About the New Express Scripts-GoodRx Drug Discount Partnership (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I'm on vacation. Click here to see the original post and comments from May 2017.



Last week, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts and the online discount card company GoodRx partnered on a new program called Inside Rx. The program provides point-of-sales discounts to uninsured patients on at least 40 brand-name drugs from eight manufacturers. Click here to read the press release.

This innovative partnership is the latest attempt to offer direct-to-consumer discounts that pop the gross-to-net bubble—at least for uninsured patients. Below, I delve deep inside Inside Rx. I explain:
  • How uninsured patients benefit
  • What’s in it for manufacturers, Express Scripts, and GoodRx
  • Which pharmacies are in the program’s narrow network
  • The surprises on the drug list
  • How inside Rx compares with CVS Health’s Reduced Rx program
Depending on your position in the drug channel, you will feel either joy, sadness, fear, disgust, or anger as this new program rolls out. Please feel free to emote in the comments below.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit
August 16-17, 2017 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/IDNStrategy

As health systems continue to grow and consolidate to form major Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), manufacturers are tasked with learning how to best contract with, and sell to, these evolving systems to ensure product success.

With conflict of interest policies in place and restricted access to physicians, manufacturers are changing their sales approach to better reach and engage these new customers. CBI’s Partnering with IDNs Strategy Summit convenes manufacturers and IDNs to discuss how to create a mutually beneficial partnership that contributes to continual care coordination, strategic product management and enhanced access.


A Dialogue-Driven Forum Providing Next-Generation Approaches:
  • Forecast the 2- and 5-year outlook for IDNs and the overall healthcare ecosystem
  • Understand the impact of current biologic and biosimilar legislation and regulations on Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) used by integrated delivery networks
  • Gain insight into how drug choice impacts speed-to-fill and how specialty pharmacy stewardship affects patient outcomes
  • Choose the right partners for your brand and identify the key decision-makers
  • Learn how to overcome the challenges of limited access to physicians in certain networks
  • Discuss what becoming more “customer-centric” actually means for manufacturers
  • Hear best practices and opportunities for measuring success in the IDN channel

All New For 2017! – Five Expert Case Studies from IDNs:
  • Establishing the Partnerships with IDNs to Affect the Patient Journey and Outcomes
    • Jerry Buller, Director, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Optimize Patient Care through Integration and Collaboration
    • Scott Canfield, PharmD, Clinical Programs Manager, Specialty Pharmacy, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group
  • Gain Insights into Provider Care Coordination and Population Health Management
    • William T. Lee, D.Ph, MPA, FASCP, Pharmacy System Director, Carilion Clinic Healthcare System
  • From Diagnosis to Delivery – Disruptive Innovation in a Specialty Pharmacy
    • JoAnn Stubbings, BSPharm, MHCA, Assistant Director, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Department, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Visit www.cbinet.com/IDNStrategy for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard registration rate when they use code BHN554*

*Discount may not be combined with other offers, category rates, promotions, or applied towards an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop only or academic/nonprofit registrations. 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.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Observations on the New Walgreens Boots Alliance-Rite Aid Deal

Yesterday we got some pre—July 4th fireworks.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) announced a deal to buy 2,186 Rite Aid stores and three distribution centers for $5.2 billion. Rite Aid will also get the option to source generic drugs via the wonderfully named Walgreens Boots Alliance Development (WBAD) organization. Click here to read the press release.

With a potential FTC battle looming, WBA made the debt-laden Rite Aid an offer that it couldn’t refuse.

Before you head off for the long holiday weekend, please enjoy these thoughts on the new transaction along with commentary on Fred’s and the drug wholesalers.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Drug Channels News Roundup, June 2017: Amazon, Whole Foods, 340B, DIR Fees, Provider-Sponsored Health Plans, and Kaiser

Happy 241st birthday, America! Before you launch your July 4 festivities, please enjoy these Drug Channels fireworks:
  • My $0.02 on how Amazon-Whole Foods affects Amazon’s pharmacy ambitions
  • Congress starts to get serious about the 340B program
  • CMS finalizes reporting on pharmacy-related DIR fees
  • A reality check on provider-sponsored health plans
Plus, Kaiser provides a hilarious look at the hospital of the future…as seen from the 1950s!

P.S. Follow @DrugChannels on Twitter for my daily curated selection of news and commentary.

Monday, June 26, 2017

CBI’s 9th Hub and SPP Model Optimization


CBI’s 9th Hub and SPP Model Optimization
September 26-27, 2017 | San Diego, CA
www.cbinet.com/HubsWest

Calling all manufacturers, specialty pharmacies, PBMs and hub service providers!

Head to San Diego this September to discuss the opportunities and challenges for swiftly moving data among all stakeholders to improve patient access and hub performance. Hear expert perspectives from Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, AssistRx, Churchill Pharmaceuticals, Horizon Pharma, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, PharmaCord, Relypsa, Retrophin, Shire, TC Market Access and Welkin Health.


Capitalize on effective strategies to improve hub operations:
  • Optimize the use of field reimbursement managers and data sharing with hubs
  • Design hubs to best measure the right data points and transfer data across multiple organizations (Hub data, manufacturer leadership, contract management team, IT account specialists) for swift implementation
  • Gain best practices to eliminate consuming workflows for the hub
  • Identify how to improve information exchange between Hubs and specialty pharmacies
  • Enhance the hub to propel product success and patient access
  • Align channel and hub strategies to maximize efficiency
Download the complete agenda here, and visit www.cbinet.com/HubsWest for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code HUT465.*

*Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rate or non-profit 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.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Insider Tips to Help Meet Patient Management Standards in URAC’s Specialty Pharmacy v3.0 Accreditation

Today’s guest post comes from Russel Allinson, co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Clinical Officer of Therigy.

Russ discusses the importance of understanding the latest URAC Specialty Pharmacy v3.0 accreditation requirements, particularly relating to patient management. To learn more, register for a free webinar co-hosted by Therigy and Cleveland Clinic. The webinar will be held on July 11, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Read on for Russ's insights.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Profits in the 2017 Fortune 500: Manufacturers vs. Wholesalers, PBMs, and Pharmacies

Time for my annual review of the Fortune 500 list. Every year, this is one of my most popular posts, because it helps us “follow the dollar” and understand how drug channel intermediaries make money.

The 2017 list contains the same seven drug channel companies that the 2016 list did: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, Express Scripts, McKesson, Rite Aid, and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Using the Fortune data, I explore the profitability and shareholder returns of the largest public drug wholesalers, chain pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). I compare these companies with the Fortune 500’s ten pharmaceutical manufacturers and a separate survey of independent pharmacies.

The Fortune data remind us that many multi-billion dollar businesses profit as drugs move through the U.S. reimbursement and distribution system. We must recognize this complex system in order to tackle the price and affordability of drugs.

Monday, June 19, 2017

CBI’s Specialty Pharmacy Network Design Summit

Specialty Pharmacy Network Design Summit
August 17-18, 2017 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/specialtynetwork

Mark your calendar for August 17-18, 2017 and attend the Specialty Pharmacy Network Design Summit in Philadelphia!

Learn about the latest strategies to optimize specialty pharmacy networks, the role of data shaping the future of specialty pharmacy, and specialty drug pricing/contracting trends. This meeting focuses on all aspects of specialty pharmacy network design from a multi-stakeholder approach providing the ideal platform to discuss opportunities and decision-making criteria behind building and expanding your specialty drug networks.


Agenda Sneak Peek:
  • Explore the Specialty Network Design Decision-Making Process – Critical Criteria to Consider for Network Design Success
  • Patient Data Aggregation, Reporting and Interpretation Methods for Manufacturers to Better Understand the Complete Patient Journey
  • Evaluate the Emerging Trend of IDNs/ACOs Role in Specialty Pharmacy – Network Design Strategies Tailored for IDNs/ACOs Partnerships
  • Making the Connection with the Patient - Specialty Pharmacy Services Strategies, Consent Compliance and the Impact on Patient Access
  • Utilizing Innovative Health Information Technology to Transform Network Design
  • Specialty Pharmacy Oncology Case Study
  • Interactive Scenario Planning – Discover the Best Network Design to Achieve Your Goals
Sign up to receive the complete agenda here, and visit www.cbinet.com/specialtynetwork for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code MXZ956.*

 CBI will see you there!

 *Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rate or non-profit 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, June 15, 2017

Will CVS Health’s Point-of-Sale Rebates Deflate the Gross-to-Net Bubble—and Disrupt the PBM Business?

Yesterday, I examined the magnitude of the gross-to-net bubble—the growing spread between a manufacturer’s list price for a drug and the net price to a third-party payer after rebates. See New Data Show the Gross-to-Net Rebate Bubble Growing Even Bigger.

The bubble directly affects patients’ out-of-pocket costs. Many patients now have benefit plans with deductibles and are therefore required to pay the full, undiscounted cost of their prescriptions. Patients taking specialty drugs face large coinsurance computed using the undiscounted list price.

One solution replaces formulary payments made to plan sponsors with prescription discounts for patients at the point of sale (POS). Last week, CVS Health became the first pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) to publicly embrace and explain this alternative benefit design. See below for details.

Which makes me wonder: Do point-of-sale rebates solve the patients’ problems that the gross-to-net bubble causes? And will this benefit design mark the beginning of the end for the PBMs’ traditional economic model?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New Data Show the Gross-to-Net Rebate Bubble Growing Even Bigger

Despite a slowdown in brand-name drug list prices, the gross-to-net bubble is alive and well. The bubble reflects the growing spread between a manufacturer’s list price for a drug and the net price to a third-party payer after rebates.

According to the most recent QuintilesIMS report, the total value of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ off-invoice discounts, rebates, and other price concessions has more than doubled over the past five years, from $59 billion 2012 to an astonishing $127 billion in 2016.

Those payments offset more than half of the increase in list-price based spending. And though the gap between invoice and net prices shrank in 2016, the value of manufacturers’ discounts and rebates payments still grew last year, by $11 billion.

Below I delve into these data and share my observations. Tomorrow, I’ll examine how the bubble affects patients’ out-of-pocket costs and how CVS Health’s PBM business hopes to survive when the bubble pops.

Monday, June 12, 2017

CBI’s Annual 340B Manufacturer Summit

CBI’s Annual 340B Manufacturer Summit
August 22-23, 2017 | Alexandria, VA
www.cbinet.com/340B

With evolving regulations impacting 340B programs, pharmaceutical companies are faced with uncertainty on how to strengthen program compliance and integrity. CBI’s Annual 340B Manufacturer Summit breaks down and clarifies the impending regulations, provides strategies to develop comprehensive self-disclosure response and auditing processes, and establishes best practices to collaborate with contract pharmacies and covered entities.


Expert Perspectives Include:
  • Conference Chairperson: Sabrina Aery, Director, Medicare FFS, National 340B Strategy, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Compliance Spotlight: Chris Hatwig, President, Apexus
  • Covered Entity Insights: Maureen Testoni, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, 340B Health
  • Legal Spotlight: John Shakow, Partner, King & Spalding
  • Manufacturer-Only Discussion: Hae Won Min Liao, Assistant General Counsel, Gilead Sciences
  • And more!
Critical Updates, Interactive Discussions and Valuable Takeaways:
  • Develop proactive techniques to improve new policy adoption and program compliance
  • Determine impact of the Mega-Guidance withdrawal on diversion risk
  • Review manufacturer ceiling prices and civil monetary penalties
  • Reduce duplicate discount loss potential by working with intermediaries to conduct good faith dispute resolution
  • Evaluate the evolving specialty bio/pharma landscape and discuss changes in decision-making autonomy, payment methodology and delivery system structure
  • Discuss options to increase visibility into contract pharmacy operations and understand how claims adjudication has occurred
  • Uncover best practices to respond to covered entities and initiate good faith financial remediation
Download the complete agenda here and visit www.cbinet.com/340B for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code GBZ697.*

*Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rate or non-profit 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.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Trends and Challenges in Specialty Drugs

Today’s guest post comes from Kay Morgan, V.P. of Drug Products & Industry Standards and Clinical Solutions at Elsevier.

Kay reviews specialty drug pricing and discusses strategies to manage spending on these therapies. For more, download Managing the Costs of Specialty Drugs, a free whitepaper from Elsevier.

Read on for Kay’s insights.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Average Pharmacist Salaries Hit $120,000, but Growth Again Lags Other Healthcare Professions

Time to update our exclusive annual analysis of pharmacist salaries. As always, we rely on the latest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) data from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In 2016, the average gross base salary for a pharmacist at a retail, mail, and specialty pharmacy topped $120,000—up 0.6% from the 2015 figure. Retail employment expanded, with the greatest growth at drugstores.

Meanwhile, the share of pharmacists who work at hospitals grew again. Pharmacists who work at hospitals also had salary increases that exceeded those of the average pharmacist. As I explain below, the specialty boom and generic plateau continue to drive the pharmacy industry’s evolution.

Though pharmacist salaries are growing, they are not keeping pace with those of other healthcare practitioners. That disparity should be troubling to every pharmacy school dean.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Latest Data on Pharmacy Market’s Evolution: The Real Story Behind the Retail vs. Mail Battle

QuintilesIMS recently released Medicines Use and Spending in the U.S.: A Review of 2016 and Outlook to 2021. The report is an excellent, albeit often misinterpreted, resource for understanding the pharma market.

Below, I analyze the latest data on how pharmacy dispensing channels have changed over the past five years. Key insights:
  • Retail chains now dispense nearly 6 out of 10 prescriptions. 
  • Mail pharmacies have experienced declining prescriptions, but have soaring purchases of specialty drugs. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, independent pharmacies continue to grow.
Just about every media story inaccurately reported the QuintilesIMS data as “drug spending.” To tickle your inner wonk, I also provide a primer on how to interpret and understand what the QuintilesIMS data really mean.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Reimbursement and Access 2017

Reimbursement and Access 2017
August 16-17, 2017 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/reimbursement

The market access, pricing and reimbursement landscape is rapidly evolving as stakeholders shift to a value-based healthcare system. This transition coupled with increasing drug pricing scrutiny and mounting uncertainty related to potential repeal/replacement of the Affordable Care Act creates tremendous challenges for bio/pharma manufacturers to overcome.

Join CBI in Philadelphia this August 16-17 at Reimbursement and Access 2017. Hundreds of leaders in Access, Reimbursement, Managed Markets and Commercial Operations have benefited from this highly-acclaimed event which arms attendees with best practices and practical strategies during a time of unprecedented uncertainty on complex issues.


Powerful Programming and Compelling Content on Topics Including:
  • The current state and direction of the healthcare landscape
  • Evolution and trends in drug pricing transparency
  • Value-based contracting and rebating strategies
  • Policy, trends and initiatives around Medicare benefit design
  • Updates and real-time analysis on the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace
  • Payer insights on utilization management strategies
  • Recent advancements in value-based care models in oncology
  • Emerging pathways for pricing assessment framework
  • Patient assistance and reimbursement support programs
Dynamic Dialogue Driven by a Multistakeholder Speaking Faculty Representing:
AbbVie • Apobiologix • Aralez Pharmaceuticals • AssistRx • Avalere • BIO • Boehringer Ingelheim • Celgene • Center for Medicine in the Public Interest • Chiesi USA • Churchill Pharmaceuticals • Covance • CSL Behring • Gilead • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care • Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems • Maxor National Pharmacy Services • Magellan Health • NASP • Pacira Pharmaceuticals • Pfizer • Pharming Healthcare • PhRMA • Sunovion Pharmaceuticals • UPMC Health Plan • Walgreens • And More!


Visit www.cbinet.com/reimbursement for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard registration rate when they use discount code EXH946.*

*Discount expires 06/30/2017 and may not be combined with other offers, category rates, promotions, or applied towards an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop only or academic/nonprofit registrations. 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, June 01, 2017

Patient Assistance Programs: Why Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Operate the Biggest U.S. Charities

Ronny Gal, Ph.D., a senior analyst at the investment research firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., recently published a fascinating report on the size of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ charitable foundations. Ronny has graciously agreed to let me share the high-level results below.

Ronny and his team found that pharmaceutical manufacturers’ patient assistance programs (PAPs) account for 10 of the largest 15 U.S. charities and provided $6.5 billion of support in 2014. (See table below.) On average, the manufacturers’ financial support accounts for 8% of their operating expenses.

PAPs are controversial and closely monitored. As I argue below, their growth is linked to pharmacy benefit designs that shift prescription costs to patients. Many insured patients face economically-debilitating coinsurance—in some cases with no limit on out-of-pocket expenses. The programs are an imperfect, but necessary, fix to our imperfect drug channel system. Ronny has provided some valuable facts that show how important these programs have become.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Drug Channels News Roundup, May 2017: Express Scripts, WBAD, DIR Fees, JAMA, and #Asembia17 Photos

Summer is unofficially here! Before you break out the grill, check out these officially noteworthy items:
  • My $0.02 on the new Express Scripts-Walgreens alliance
  • CMS wants more details on pharmacy-paid DIR fees
  • JAMA discovers the drug channel
Plus, revisit Asembia’s 2017 Specialty Pharmacy Summit with an awesome photo gallery. You’ll find two of my favorites lurking below.

P.S. My @DrugChannels twitter feed now has an astounding 4,100 followers. Join them and see why!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

CBI’s Summit on GPO Membership Eligibility and Class of Trade Maintenance

GPO Membership Eligibility and Class of Trade Maintenance
June 20-21 2017 | Parsippany, NJ
www.cbinet.com/GPOCOT

CBI’s Summit on GPO Membership Eligibility and Class of Trade Maintenance is coming up this June 20-21 at the Hilton in Parsippany, NJ. This event convenes over 100 industry professionals representing manufacturers, GPOs, wholesalers, distributors and solution providers and arms attendees with strategies to overcome the significant operational challenges related to the proper management of customer data and GPO membership data.

Interactive Discussions and Actionable Takeaways on Topics Including:
  • Strategic Contracts in the Evolving Healthcare Delivery Landscape
  • Class of Trade Protocol Development Strategies
  • Experiences and Insights to Overcome Challenges of Membership and Class of Trade
  • Wholesaler Insight on Contract Administration Processes and Best Practices
  • Downstream Effects of Class of Trade Implications
  • Partnership Pavilion with Insight on Propelling Collaboration for Streamlined Communication
  • Plus! Benefit from 4-Focused Working Groups with attendees from CBI’s Contracts and Chargebacks conference
Multistakeholder Perspectives and Innovative Insights From:

Alliance Life Sciences • Amneal Pharmaceuticals • Arent Fox LLP • AstraZeneca • Carolinas HealthCare System • Cardinal Health • Chiesi USA Inc • Deloitte & Touche LLP • McKesson • Prometic BioTherapeutics, Inc. • Shire • Zydus Pharmaceuticals • And More!

For more information, please download the complete agenda or visit www.cbinet.com/GPOCOT. Drug Channels readers will save $200 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code JSK589.*

*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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Reality Check on Amazon’s Pharmacy Ambitions

CNBC reported last week that Amazon may enter the pharmacy and/or pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) market. Here’s the story: Amazon is hiring people to break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market.

The news made many people freak out and then begin speculating on all of the amazing ways that Amazon would change the drug channel. USA Today breathlessly mused: Could your next prescription come from Amazon?

Amazon has been successfully attacking the front-end business of chain drugstores. But could it really disrupt the pharmacy and PBM industries?

Below, I provide a reality check on how Amazon could compete—and what it is unlikely to do.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Join me at the World Congress Pharma4 Event

World Congress Pharma4
July 24-25, 2017 | Philadelphia

Please join me at the World Congress Pharma4 event on July 24 and 25 in Philadelphia. I am pleased to be the keynote speaker for this innovative event that brings together multiple stakeholders across the channel. I'll be talking about Winning Strategies for an Integrated Drug Channel.

This 4-track event includes four interrelated conferences:


Registration to one of the four events grants you access to all of the sessions from any Summit part of Pharma4 - giving you the freedom to customize your experience!

Through high-level discussion:
  • Discover new ways to address traditional and emerging patient needs through network design and channel partners
  • Explore IT infrastructure to mitigate risk in data sharing and HUB design
  • Understand how to drive visibility through the Implementation of a serialization model and strategy for visibility to ensure regulatory compliance and traceability in the chain
  • Engage in facilitated discussions around contracting from value-based to specialty pharmacy and FMV pricing
Confirmed speakers include executives from Shire, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pfizer, J&J, GSK, Novartis, Walgreen, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Gateway Health Plan.

Click here to learn more and register for this event. Rates start at $995 for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Use discount code DC300 and save!

Please enjoy this conference introduction from Ray Tancredi of Walgreens.



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

Friday, May 19, 2017

340B Purchases Were More Than Half of the Hospital Market in 2016

Yesterday’s article on the astounding size and growth of the 340B Drug Pricing Program generated a lot of controversy. ICYMI: The 340B Program Hits $16.2 Billion in 2016; Now 5% of U.S. Drug Market

Today, I provide some context by showing how the program has taken over the hospital market.

Most 340B purchases are made by hospitals. My exclusive number-crunching below reveals that hospitals now receive discounted 340B pricing on more than 50% of their drug purchases.

Curiously, the value of hospitals' uncompensated care has been declining while 340B purchases have been soaring.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: The 340B Program Hits $16.2 Billion in 2016; Now 5% of U.S. Drug Market

The 340B Drug Pricing Program’s explosive growth continues.

Our exclusive sleuthing reveals that discounted sales hit $16.2 billion in 2016. That’s a 34% increase over the 2015 figure. Consequently, the 340B program accounted for 5.0% of the total U.S. drug market in 2016.

Covered entities are generating billions in untraceable profits from this fast-growing program. Hospitals, which make up the vast majority of 340B purchases, should be required to account clearly for the billions the program provides them.

This growth should make everyone—especially the manufacturers providing the discounts—pay much closer attention to what’s going on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Five Fun Facts About the New Express Scripts-GoodRx Drug Discount Partnership

Last week, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts and the online discount card company GoodRx partnered on a new program called Inside Rx. The program provides point-of-sales discounts to uninsured patients on at least 40 brand-name drugs from eight manufacturers. Click here to read the press release.

This innovative partnership is the latest attempt to offer direct-to-consumer discounts that pop the gross-to-net bubble—at least for uninsured patients. Below, I delve deep inside Inside Rx. I explain:
  • How uninsured patients benefit
  • What’s in it for manufacturers, Express Scripts, and GoodRx
  • Which pharmacies are in the program’s narrow network
  • The surprises on the drug list
  • How inside Rx compares with CVS Health’s Reduced Rx program
Depending on your position in the drug channel, you will feel either joy, sadness, fear, disgust, or anger as this new program rolls out. Please feel free to emote in the comments below.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP) Summit 2017

Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP) Summit 2017
September 11-13, 2017 | Marriott Magnificent Mile | Chicago

Government rules and regulations affect every department at a pharmaceutical company. However, few areas are as directly-and as frequently-affected as the government programs, pricing, and reimbursement space.

Due to last year’s highly anticipated release of the AMP Final Rule, 340B Mega Guidance and Proposed Rule, HRSA's Rule on Dispute Resolution, and the recent release of CMS' Proposed Medicaid Managed Care Regulation, your day-to-day operations have fundamentally changed.

Join KNect365 in Chicago this September 11-13 at MDRP Summit 2017 the essential event positioned to provide insights into the implications of these inevitable changes. It’s the longest running and the largest MDRP event where 600+ industry, state, and federal government professionals come to get questions answered, gain clarity, and remain compliant.


Ensure you have the most comprehensive educational experience over three days with unparalleled access to government officials creating regulatory rules, the industry leaders interpreting them, and the pharmaceutical executives implementing them.

Use Discount Code P2258DRUG

Collaborate with your peers and benchmark best industry practices to:
  • Navigate Regulatory Hurdles
    • Understand and comply with state processes, operations and requirements
    • Address the impact of AMP Final Rule, 340B Guidance, along with State Policy changes
  • Minimize Wasted Resources
    • Develop strategies to streamline pricing and reporting
    • New Interactive Think Tank & Innovation Theatre - Hear from the industry's leading service providers as they showcase new technologies and products to improve operations
  • Optimize Finances
    • Calculate liability and improve accuracy and accountability
    • Discover the latest in Automation & Customization of finance systems
  • EXCLUSIVE! Meet Face to Face with 14+ States in One-on-One Dispute Resolution Meetings where you can recoup or save millions of dollars in rebates and reimbursements.
Stay ahead of the curve by getting the best networking, education, and technology at MDRP Summit this September. There is no other MDRP event built like it.

(and SAVE $100 off the current rates).
Be sure to use Discount Code: P2258DRUG


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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Three Misconceptions about Channel Strategy

Today’s guest post comes from AmerisourceBergen executives Donna Gilbert, Vice President Specialty and Branded Strategic Accounts, Global Sourcing and Manufacturer Relations, and Akin Odutola, Senior Vice President, Specialty and Branded Product Access, Global Sourcing and Manufacturing Relations.

Donna and Akin discuss how a manufacturer’s channel strategies affect product access and commercial success. Click here to download Changing Channels, a complimentary ebook from AmerisourceBergen.

Read on for their insights.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What I Told HHS Secretary Tom Price About the 340B Drug Pricing Program

Last Friday, I had the privilege of meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price. I was invited to meet with Secretary Price for one of his listening sessions with industry experts and stakeholders. I appreciated the opportunity to share my perspectives.

In our meeting, I highlighted four ways that the 340B Drug Pricing Program is raising drug costs. I then offered eight specific recommendations for improving the program by addressing the widespread channel distortions the program has caused.

Read on for the recommendations and a summary of my comments to Dr. Price.

I have no idea if my suggestions will have any impact. Regardless, your friendly neighborhood blogger enjoyed spending time among some Washington insiders.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The State of Specialty Pharmacy 2017: Reflections from #Asembia17

Last week, Paula and I had the pleasure of attending Asembia’s 2017 Specialty Pharmacy Summit in Las Vegas, itself the summit of spectacle. We even met a new friend, as you can see from the photo on the right.

The Specialty Pharmacy Summit remains the most important forum for conducting business in the specialty marketplace. More than 5,000 people learned, networked, and connected at the wonderful Wynn Las Vegas. Thanks to Larry and Robert Irene for creating an annual event that brings the entire industry together. Click here to enjoy the social media action from #Asembia17.

Today marks the seventh year that I will violate Vegas code and tell you what happened there. Below, I offer reflections on key specialty industry trends, DIR fees, patient satisfaction controversies, and a link to the Featured Session slides. You’ll also find a few incriminating photos! Please add your own observations and photos to the comments section below.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit
August 16-17, 2017 | Philadelphia, PA

As health systems continue to grow and consolidate to form major Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), manufacturers are tasked with learning how to best contract with, and sell to, these evolving systems to ensure product success. With conflict of interest policies in place and restricted access to physicians, manufacturers are changing their sales approach to better reach and engage these new customers.

CBI’s Partnering with IDNs Strategy Summit convenes manufacturers and IDNs to discuss how to create a mutually beneficial partnership that contributes to continual care coordination, strategic product management and enhanced access.

Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard registration rate
when they use discount code QJF259.*

Key Explorations Include:
  • The IDN model of patient care coordination and what it can do to improve the patient experience on behalf of the provider, manufacturer, payer and other stakeholders
  • Changes in the hospital reimbursement model, focused on quality tied to outcomes measures
  • Effective ways manufacturers can partner with health systems
  • Understand the size and scope of the current US hospital marketplace and the GPO’s contracting relationships with those providers
  • Explore implications of value-based RWE on the healthcare manufacturing community in terms of contracting, distribution, and consumer engagement with payers and providers
  • Gain perspective on how IDN SPs are gaining manufacturer network access
Confirmed Speakers Include:
  • Jeff Prewett, Sr. National Account Director – Oncology GPO & IDN, Lilly USA, LLC
  • Anindita Sinha, Director, Business Insights – Market Intelligence, Bayer
  • William T. Lee, D.Ph, MPA, FASCP, Pharmacy System Director, Carilion Clinic Healthcare System
  • Thomas Felix, M.D., R&D Policy, Intercontinental Region, Amgen
  • Jerry Buller, Director, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Michelle Templin, Vice President, Government Affairs and Business Development, MHA ACO Network

Visit www.cbinet.com/IDNStrategy for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard registration rate when they use discount code QJF259.*

*Discount may not be combined with other offers, category rates, promotions, or applied towards an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop only or academic/nonprofit registrations. 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.