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 20,000 subscribers. Learn more...

Friday, April 20, 2018

Improving Patient Prescription Access and Adherence Journeys

Today’s guest post comes from Bill Nolan, VP/GM of McKesson Specialty Health.

Bill discusses ExpressCoverage™, a solution from McKesson and CoverMyMeds®. It offers new ways for McKesson’s Patient Support Services to electronically access and efficiently communicate with a vast network of physicians, payers, and pharmacies. Bill highlights how this tool improves the specialty patient’s access and adherence to therapy.

To learn more, download the free document ExpressCoverage™: Revolutionizing Patient Drug Access For Pharmaceutical Companies.

Read on for Bill’s insights.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why Retail Pharmacies Still Overcharge Uninsured Patients—And What That Means for Amazon

Consumer Reports recently published a fascinating survey of pharmacies’ cash prices for five common generic drug prescriptions.

The results were startling. Prescription prices ranged from $66 to $1,351—a nearly 2,000% difference. The big three retail drugstore chains—CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid—consistently had higher average prices compared with those of other pharmacies. Independent pharmacies had some of the lowest prices, but also some of the highest prices.

Our analysis of prescription profits highlights the pharmacy industry’s unfortunate pricing strategy for cash-pay prescriptions. Average profit margins ranged from $8 to $264 per prescription for the five drugs. We can only hope that consumers didn’t pay the pharmacies’ sky-high cash prices.

The results expose the insane soak-the-poor mentality baked into the U.S. pharmacy industry’s historical pricing models. The data also highlight the potential pharmacy opportunity for Amazon.

P.S. Before other states follow Maryland and pass laws against price gouging by generic manufacturers, perhaps they should take a closer look at the behavior of their own states’ pharmacies.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

McKesson Leads Another Round of PSAO Consolidation

Last week, McKesson announced the formation of Health Mart Atlas (HMA), a joint venture between McKesson’s Access Health business and American Pharmacy Network Solutions (APNS). Click here to read the press release.

The combination extends McKesson’s position as the largest pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO). PSAOs are the awkwardly named intermediaries that operate between smaller pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), per our U.S. Distribution and Reimbursement System flowchart.

When the Arete Pharmacy Network was formed, in 2016, I predicted that the fragmented PSAO sector would begin a long-overdue consolidation. Given the PBM titans now sitting atop Mt. Olympus, the remaining PSAOs can’t shrug off Health Mart Atlas.

Monday, April 16, 2018

CBI’s 4th GPO Membership Eligibility & Class of Trade Maintenance

4th GPO Membership Eligibility & Class of Trade Maintenance
June 19-20, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/gpo

Assembling over 100 industry professionals representing manufacturers, GPOs, wholesalers, distributors, and solution providers, CBI’s 4th GPO Membership Eligibility & Class of Trade Maintenance conference provides a rare, interactive forum on membership data management, class of trade, and workflow efficiency. Join your colleagues this June to learn strategies and insights from peers and industry stakeholders, and acquire the ability to overcome significant operational challenges related to proper management of GPO membership data. For additional information on session topics and speaking faculty, download the agenda here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/gpo for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use discount code NHY548 and register prior to April 20th.*

Compelling Sessions and Actionable Takeaways on Topics, Including:
  • Spotlight Panel Session: Ensure Seamless Membership Management and Accountability Across the GPO Supply Chain
  • Understand Best Practices for Efficient Membership Maintenance in a World on HCP Service Evolution
  • Kickback Risks of Arrangements with GPOs – Case Studies on Fraud and Abuse
  • Audit COT Designations to Find Inaccuracies
  • Develop Strategies to Streamline Communication With Your Distribution Network
  • Distinguished Speaking Faculty Includes: Kendrion Biopharma, Anada Inc., Sanofi, UCB, Zydus Pharmaceuticals, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Prometric Biotheraputics, Lilly USA, Chiesi USA Inc., and more.
Visit www.cbinet.com/gpo for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use discount code NHY548 and register prior to April 20th.*

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.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Copay Accumulator Programs: TrialCard Measures the Impact on Patients and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Today’s guest post comes from Mark Bouck, President and CEO of TrialCard.

Mark reviews copay accumulator adjustment programs and shares some of TrialCard’s unique data about these programs. He also discusses TrialCard’s proprietary methodology for identifying patients affected by this benefit design. This topic is crucial for 2018 (per my own article from January), so I encourage you to review his commentary.

To learn more about TrialCard’s approach to copay accumulator programs, download the free e-book The Rise of Co-Pay Accumulator Programs: Are Your Brand’s Patients at Risk?

To learn more about TrialCard’s solutions for accumulators, email Mark Droke, TrialCard's Senior Vice President, Patient Affordability & Virtual Engagement Business Units, at mark.droke@trialcard.com. You can visit Trialcard in booth 610 at Asembia’s upcoming 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: A Record Number of Specialty Pharmacies Now Have Accreditation

It’s time for Drug Channels Institute’s annual update on the accreditation of specialty pharmacies.

Our spooky research team (pictured at right) is back! We have counted every pharmacy location that has achieved accreditation by an independent organization. Our exclusive findings:
  • The number of specialty pharmacies with accreditation expanded again in 2017. We identified 729 unique pharmacy locations that by the end of 2017 had achieved accreditation from the three major independent accreditation organizations. The 2017 figure is almost double the 2015 figure.
  • For the second consecutive year, pharmacy locations owned by healthcare providers—such as hospitals, health systems, physician practices, and providers’ group purchasing organizations—were the fastest-growing category of accredited specialty pharmacies.
See below for the complete details of our exclusive analysis. Notes for fellow arithmomaniacs are in the final section.

Pharmacies that compete to dispense specialty therapies are owned by a diverse set of organizations: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail chains, health plans, pharmaceutical wholesalers, physician practices, and hospital systems. There are also many independent specialty pharmacies. The battle for control of the specialty market is accelerating, though PBMs continue to dominate the market as channels narrow.

Monday, April 09, 2018

CBI’s 20th Annual Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress

CBI’s 20th Annual Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress
May 21-23, 2018 | Orlando, FL
www.cbinet.com/medicaid

Join the Government Pricing industry for YEAR 20 of CBI's Medicaid Congress at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club in Orlando! Take a deep dive into sessions on 340B expansion, state pricing and transparency, FSS contracting, value-based frameworks, reasonable assumptions, Medicare coverage and more. You can read all about it here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/medicaid for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code BMK348 and register prior to April 27th.

Features for 2018 Include:
  • Three Tailored Content Strategy Streams:
    • 1. Strategic Pricing and Transparency
    • 2. Statutory Reporting Requirements
    • 3. Finance and Compliance Operations
  • Six Interactive Workshops:
    • 1. GTN Strategies and Solutions
    • 2. Product Acquisition Due Diligence and GP Considerations
    • 3. Generic Inflation Penalty Operational Guidance
    • 4. Value-Based Frameworks and Government Pricing Strategies
    • 5. Medicaid and GP Reporting – Build or Buy?
    • 6. Supplemental Rebates – Current Events and Operational Effectiveness
  • Plus, a State Medicaid Director Panel, 101 Boot Camp, Senior Executive Think Tank, Healthcare Innovation Keynote and much more!
Speakers include representatives from CMS, Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, OIG, Sidley Austin, BIO, Arnold & Porter, Deloitte, UCB, Eli Lilly, BMS, Novartis, Pfizer, Cumberland Consulting, Sunovion, J&J, Insmed, Kite Pharma, King & Spalding, KPMG and more.

Visit www.cbinet.com/medicaid for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code BMK348 and register prior to April 27th.

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.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Connect With Drug Channels at #Asembia18

In three weeks, Drug Channels Institute will hit Las Vegas for Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Here are three ways that you can interact with us in Las Vegas:

1) Learn how Drug Channels can help your business.

Drug Channels reaches a large, diverse audience throughout the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. We have an engaged and growing audience of more than 21,000 readers who regularly open, click, forward, and share our content.

Drug Channels has an engagement rate that is more than twice that of the average media platform.

To discover how you can reach our audience, you can speak personally with my wife and business partner, Paula Fein, M.S.Ed. Paula is Drug Channels Institute’s VP of Business Development. FYI: In the picture, she's on the left. Email her at paula@drugchannelsinstitute.com and she’ll be happy to meet with you.

In the meantime, download the 2018 Drug Channels Media Kit for an overview of the site, our traffic, and opportunities for sponsored posts.

[Click to Download]

2) Join me at the Featured Session.

On Tuesday, May 1, I’ll lead the event’s Featured Session, titled Specialty Pharmacy Industry Outlook: What’s Happened & What’s Ahead. I'll be joined by Doug Long from IQVIA and Lisa Gill from J.P. Morgan Securities. See you in the Encore Ballroom at 9:00 AM!

[Click to Enlarge]

3) Just say hello!
We love meeting and talking with Drug Channels readers, so please introduce yourself. Don’t worry: It will all be off the record. What we discuss in Vegas will stay in Vegas. ;)

See you soon!

P.S. To prep for the Summit, check out Chapter 3 (“Specialty Drugs and Specialty Pharmacies”) of our new 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Payer Power: Why Eli Lilly, Janssen, and Merck Deeply Discount Their Drug Prices

Over the past few weeks, three of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers—Eli Lilly, Janssen, and Merck—have publicly reported the 2017 gross and net price changes for their U.S. product portfolios, along with average discounts. As far as I know, these are the only manufacturers that have publicly reported these data. See the links below.

As you will see, the three companies have provided average discounts from list prices of 42% to 51%. Two of the three companies experienced a year-over-year decrease in average net prices.

Payers and PBMs frequently recommend that manufacturers just lower the cost of their drugs. These data demonstrate that’s exactly what these three companies have done. Of course, the price cuts were provided in the form of rebates and discounts to the drug channel. We still don’t know how, if at all, patients benefited from the declining prices for their drugs.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The Mysteries of Pass-Through Status: Why Medicare and Seniors Are Now Paying More for Lower-Cost Biosimilars at Hospitals

An unanticipated combination of government policy changes has led to a truly bizarre circumstance: The Medicare program and individual Medicare patients are paying more for lower-cost biosimilars. Further, hospitals are earning windfall profits from these lower-cost biosimilars, though physician offices can’t access the same financial benefits.

Sound bonkers? You bet.

To understand this strange turn of events, I delve into the vagaries of Medicare Part B reimbursement and the recently implemented outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) rule for drugs acquired under the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

As I explain below, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently made all biosimilars eligible for “pass-through payment status.” This obscure regulatory change (also explained below) altered reimbursement for some—but not all—biosimilars.

I illustrate the funky economics behind biosimilars’ newfound profitability and raise four crucial policy questions. Expect to hear more about this as politicians digest the spin from all sides of these tangled policies. However, it’s clear that CMS needs to act before this strange mix of policies disrupts the biosimilar market.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Data Rev18 Summit

Data Rev18 Summit
June 19-20 | Philadelphia, PA
www.worldcongress.com/events/DataCongress

This June 19 – 20 Philadelphia will become home to three case study driven events under 1 roof focused on real world data. Over 150+ data leaders will convene at the Data Rev18 Summit in Philadelphia.

Attend the only Congress aiming to break down the organizational silos in order to facilitate a seamless and free flow movement of data, throughout the life cycle from Clinical all the way through Commercial – aiding your business in truly embracing Data Driven Decision Making.

Register with discount code DC200 and save $200 off of current registration rates!

Attendees will benefit from three case-study driven events under one roof showcasing best practices for enhanced drug development and business insights through the new wave of innovation in data & analytics, real world data & real world evidence.

Three Co-located Summits include:
  • 3rd Real World Data for Competitive Advantage Summit
  • 2nd Real World Data for Clinical Innovation & R&D Summit
  • 2nd Real World Data & Analytics Centers of Excellence Best Practices Forum
Key Agenda Highlights include:
  • FDA Guidance on Real World Data Regulatory Decision Making Post Passage of 21st Century Cures Act
  • KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION: Optimize Business Insights and Enhance R&D Through Real World Data and Advanced Analytics
  • PANEL DISCUSSION: Artificial Intelligence: Pharma’s Path to Adopting AI and Other Emerging Technologies
  • CASE STUDY: CancerLinQ and FDA Collaboration on Real World Impacts of Precision Medicine Therapies
  • CASE STUDY: Building a Centralized Big Data CoE to be the Bedrock for Establishing a Data Driven Company
  • Utilize RWD From Real World Experts Through Acquisition to Inform Clinical Trial Design
  • And many more!
Confirmed speakers include executives representing:
Novartis| Pfizer| Johnson & Johnson| Eli Lilly | AbbVie | GSK | FDA | Janssen | Astrazeneca | Trevena | Biogen | and many more!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience unprecedented value, networking and education. Register with discount code DC200 and save $200 off of current registration rates!


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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Drug Channels News Roundup, March 2018: Copay Accumulators, Cancer Drug Costs, Physician Employment, and Insurer Profits

It’s technically spring here at Drug Channels' worldwide headquarters in lovely downtown Philadelphia. While the last snowdrifts melt into memory, please enjoy this month’s selection of noteworthy news stories. You’ll learn:
  • Why copay accumulators are making national news
  • How hospitals are doubling cancer drug costs
  • Fun facts about the massive shift to hospital-employed physicians
Plus, a joke (I think) about how a major health insurer makes money.

P.S. Join the nearly 5,400 people who follow me at @DrugChannels on Twitter. I share links to crucial news and reports that you should know about.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Five Takeaways About Cigna's Strategy for Express Scripts

Almost three weeks ago, the health insurer Cigna announced that it would acquire the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts. Click here to read my initial analysis of the deal.

Wall Street remains unimpressed. Ever since the transaction was announced, Cigna’s stock price has dropped by 16%. Meanwhile, Express Scripts’ stock is trading more than 20% below Cigna’s offer price, suggesting that many believe the deal won’t be completed.

To soothe rattled investors, Cigna last week filed an intriguing SEC Form 425. It contains 31 questions that you may or may not have been asking yourself about its acquisition of Express Scripts, along with Cigna’s answers.

Below, I highlight my five key insights from Cigna’s responses to its own questions. I support each of these five takeaways by quoting relevant material from the company’s answers to the questions it poses in the document. Riddle me this: When is it easier to interview yourself instead of dealing with skeptical investors?

Monday, March 26, 2018

CBI’s 5th Annual e-Rx and EHR Summit

CBI’s 5th Annual e-Rx and EHR Summit
May 15-16, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/erx

Whether new to the eRx and EHR space or a seasoned expert, CBI’s Bio/Pharma Forum on e-Rx and EHR provides tangible takeaways and tailored sessions to ensure effective partnerships with EHR and EMR providers to maximize these critical technologies. Join CBI in May to gain tactical strategies to streamline HCP workflow drive patient education and engagement and facilitate access. Download the agenda here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/erx for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code BJA629 and register prior to April 13th.*

Hot Topics on the Agenda Include:
  • Spotlight Panel Session: Physician Perspectives on EHR systems
  • Table Talks: Physician Perspectives
    • Perspectives on the Use and Sustainability of HIEs
    • Learn the Effects of EHR Documentation on Physician-Patient Communication
    • Key Approaches to Enhance Patient Adherence
  • Distinguished Speaking Faculty Includes: AstraZeneca, Allergan, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer, NCPDP, Geisinger Health System, Geisinger Medical Center, and more.
Visit www.cbinet.com/erx for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code BJA629 and register prior to April 13th.*

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.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Leveraging Technology for Specialty Patient Engagement

Leveraging Technology for Specialty Patient Engagement
A free webinar hosted by Therigy
Tuesday, April 24, 1-2pm EDT
Click here to register

Therigy is pleased to announce a free webinar on the influence and leverage of technology for specialty patient engagement, Tuesday, April 24, 1-2pm EDT.

Interested in learning the most effective way to communicate with your patients? Attend this FREE Webinar: Leveraging Technology for Specialty Patient Engagement. Receive insider tips on how to leverage technology to improve overall patient engagement and satisfaction leading to higher rates of adherence and better outcomes.

Speakers will present research and insights on the topic of developing the right treatment and communication plan for patients that matches their lifestyle needs and improves their quality of life.

Featured speakers include:
  • Russel Allinson, RPh, MS, Chief Executive Officer, Therigy
  • David Medvedeff, PharmD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, VUCA Health
  • Jon Hamrick, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, Therigy
Featured topics include:
  • How do patients and caregivers prefer to communicate with their HCP (pharmacist)?
  • Technology platforms leveraged in different ways to increase communication
  • Most effective communication approach to encourage adherence
  • Potential beneficial impact on pharmacy labor and patient adherence
Visit Therigy’s registration page for additional information and to register.


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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Janssen’s New Transparency Report: A Peek Behind the Drug Pricing Curtain Raises Troubling Questions About Rebates

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen business unit just released its 2017 Janssen U.S. Transparency Report. (Free download.) This is the second annual edition of the report, which provides a comprehensive look at Janssen’s commercial activities.

Most notably, Janssen reveals that the list price for its pharmaceutical products grew by 8.1% in 2017. Its average net prices, however, declined in 2017 by 4.6%. Janssen paid $15 billion in rebates and discounts, which subtracted 42% from its list prices. Kudos to Janssen for providing so much disclosure.

Below, I review some key takeaways from this valuable report. We’re left with some key unanswered questions, however: Did patients’ out-of-pocket costs for Janssen’s drugs also decline in 2017? Which entities in the drug channel benefited most from the $15 billion in payments?

I suspect that patients didn’t share fully in the benefit of Janssen’s ever-growing payments. That’s precisely the problem with the gross-to-net bubble.

Monday, March 19, 2018

CBI’s Real-Time Benefit Check & ePrior Authorization Summit

CBI’s Real-Time Benefit Check & ePrior Authorization Summit
May 15-16, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/eprior

Join industry pioneers from bio/pharma, PBMs, payers, health systems, prescribers and system solutions providers at the Real-Time Benefit Check & ePrior Authorization Summit, where you’ll discuss the latest in standards, adoption and best practices to ensure streamlined prescriber workflow and faster access to medication for patients. Download the agenda here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/eprior for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code EJT243 and register prior to April 13th.

Navigate Evolving Trends and Cutting-Edge Strategies for Adoption and Implementation:
  • Advancement Panel: Next-Generation Strategies for Improving Workflow Efficiency while Satisfying ePA Requirements
  • NCPDP Update: Working Group Advancements in Real-Time Prescription Benefit and ePrior Authorization
  • Discover and Utilize: Leading Portals from Manufacturers to Increase Patient Access
  • Cutting-Edge Case Study: Internal Model of Centralized ePA Team and Next Steps for Timelier Collaboration
  • AMA Address: Prescriber Perspective on Reducing PA Burden in the Physician Practice – Update on Advocacy, Automation and Workflow Improvements
  • Uncover: The Real-Time Benefit Check – Key to Closing the Gaps in Eligibility Driven Formulary
  • Leverage: Healthcare Technology Applications to Improve Medical Adherence
Visit www.cbinet.com/eprior for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code EJT243 and register prior to April 13th.

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, March 15, 2018

Plan Sponsors Prefer Specialty Pharmacies Over Retail Drugstores

Top 'o the morning to you! Let’s take a wee look at the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute’s (PBMI) new 2018 Trends in Specialty Drug Benefits. (Free download with registration.) It’s a great resource for understanding how plan sponsors manage specialty drugs.

The new report contains fascinating data showing how sponsors of employer-based health plans view dispensing channels for specialty drugs. As you will see below, employers believe that the capabilities of specialty pharmacies are superior to those of retail pharmacies. They also think that over the past few years, specialty pharmacies’ performance gap has widened for crucial clinical and patient services.

Being a specialty pharmacy has become as fashionable as a #unicornmarshmallow. The PBMI’s data partly explain specialty pharmacies’ market position is more than just the luck of the Irish.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2017: PBMs and Payers Still Dominate

Below is our exclusive Drug Channels Institute list of the 15 largest pharmacies, ranked by estimated 2017 revenues from dispensing specialty pharmaceuticals.

The battle for control of the specialty market accelerated in 2017, though pharmacies owned by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) continued to capture most of the market share. The top four specialty pharmacies are all owned or co-owned by a PBM. They accounted for about two-thirds of prescription revenues from pharmacy-dispensed specialty drugs.

Vertical integration M&A has been in the news. But as our data shows, the integration of PBMs and specialty pharmacies has already happened.

Monday, March 12, 2018

2nd Annual MSL Management & Development Summit

2nd Annual MSL Management & Development Summit
May 21-22, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.worldcongress.com/msl

Join senior medical affairs, medical science liaisons (MSLs), regulatory and communication professionals from life sciences organizations at World Congress’ 2nd Annual MSL Management & Development Summit, May 21-22, in Philadelphia for two days of communication, training and compliance best practices to ensure you and your team excel at an operational level as well as a strategic one.

Register with discount code DC200 and save an additional $200 on current early bird rates.

Summit Chairperson, Robert J. Schott, MD, MPH, FACC, Chief Medical Officer, Eli Lilly, believes this event is a MUST ATTEND because it will be “…an opportunity for Medical Affairs professionals to examine and discuss the Medical Affairs value proposition: enhancing patient access to optimal value-based medical treatment in a healthcare system where treatment options are proliferating but resources are more constrained. “

2018 Key Takeaways include:
  • Gain insight into re-defined KPIs and metrics and measurements to put in place in order to showcase the value MSLs provide to your organization and the critical role they play in achieving overall business objectives
  • Hear regulatory guidance direct from the DOJ about how the False Claims Act affects the work of MSLs
  • Develop a playbook on using RWD & RWE to gain a competitive advantage
  • Review Merck’s framework and re-defined benchmarks put in place to embrace the changing Medical Affairs role and achieve success
  • Learn key factors and challenges to consider when working with an IIT
  • Discover strategies to map and segment the right KOLs, foster an in-depth strategic engagement with the MSL force, and leverage digital technologies to reshape the KOL engagement framework
Our expert speaker faculty includes representatives from: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novartis, Teva, Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Astellas, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and Company, EMD Serono, Bayer, Sanofi Genzyme and many more!

Register with discount code DC200 and save an additional $200 on current early bird rates.


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

Friday, March 09, 2018

Cigna-Express Scripts: Vertical Integration and PBMs’ Medical-Pharmacy Future

Wow. Yesterday, Cigna announced that it would acquire Express Scripts. See the links below.

Though Cigna was an unexpected acquirer, the deal confirms the importance of pharmacy and medical benefit integration. It also reinforces the role that pharmacy benefit management (PBM) plays in the drug channel. PBMs are now linked closely to the expensive specialty drugs that treat smaller patient populations, not to the primary care blockbusters of yesteryear.

The strategic logic, however, is much more compelling for Express Scripts than it is for Cigna. Perhaps that’s why the stocks reacted so differently yesterday. Express Scripts’ stock closed up 9%, while Cigna’s stock closed down 12%. Better to sell a PBM than buy one?

Below, I provide data about the PBM market, highlight vertical integration between PBMs and insurers, and discuss other industry implications.

Please feel free to leave your own $0.02 below. If you’re shy, you can comment anonymously.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

UnitedHealthcare’s Point-of-Sale Rebate Announcement: What’s Next?

Did I just hear the gross-to-net bubble deflate a little bit?

This week, UnitedHealthcare announced that it would provide point-of-sale (POS) rebates to 7 million people enrolled in its fully insured commercial group benefit plans. Click here to read the press release.

UnitedHealthcare’s action is a big win for patients, though not (yet) a black swan event for pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). As I explain below, it’s a small but significant move that will trigger new questions about drug prices, patients’ out-of-pocket costs, and channel economics.

I’m sure that SpongeBob SquarePants, honorary mascot of the gross-to-net bubble, is ready for change.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

As CVS-Aetna Looms, Retail Pharmacy Clinic Growth Stalls

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an uneventful hearing on the CVS-Aetna merger. The lack of fireworks suggests that the deal is on track for approval later this year. Click here to read the testimony.

Below, I review 2017 clinic developments for the largest retail chains: CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Target, Walmart, and Rite Aid.

Despite the hype, there was little advancement in retail health at pharmacy locations. For the third consecutive year, the total number of retail clinics has remained essentially flat, at about 2,000 nationwide. CVS Health’s comments at last week’s hearing (highlighted below) would represent a major new direction.

P.S. Today’s post is adapted from Section 1.4.1. of our new 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. Friendly reminder: Discounted pricing for the report ends on Friday!

Monday, March 05, 2018

2nd Annual Manufacturers’ 340B Summit

2nd Annual Manufacturers’ 340B Summit
May 15-16, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.worldcongress.com/manufacturers340B

Join pharmaceutical manufacturers, legal experts, thought leaders, and leading regulatory strategists at World Congress’ 2nd Annual Manufacturers’ 340B Summit, May 16-17, in Philadelphia. This premier event is your first opportunity of 2018 to hear critical updates on finalized regulations and ensure you have the internal strategies in place to effectively execute 340B processes.

How will you benefit from attending?
  • Hear directly from your peers on how they are navigating the regulatory and operational challenges including: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, and many more
  • The best and brightest legal minds will be here to aid you with navigating nuances associated with Government Programs, including: Alice Vander-Curran, John Shakow, Bill Sarraille, Kristin Hicks, and Donna Lee Yesner just to name a few
  • This is your opportunity to meet with key states including Delaware and North Carolina, to discuss state plan amendments and healthcare reform around 340B
  • Network with Covered Entities to foster collaboration and brainstorm on best practices
Executives from J&J, EMD Serono, Merck, Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Grifols, Luitpold, Pfizer, Lilly, Incyte are already signed up for this event. Shouldn’t you be there?

Register with discount code DC200 and save an additional $200 on current early bird rates - starting at $1125 for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Can’t leave the office? Live stream this event from the convenience of your office.

This event, co-located with the 3rd Annual Covered Entities’ 340B Summit, provides comprehensive coverage of the 340B program.

CPE Credits and CLE Credits* are available.

*CLE Pending approval


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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

NEW: The 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers

I am pleased to announce our new our 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers, available for purchase and immediate download.
We’re offering special discounted pricing if you order before March 10, 2018!

The 2018 edition has been thoroughly updated, revised, and expanded. This latest edition contains the most current financial and industry data along with information about the strategies and market positions of the largest companies. Many sections and chapters have been expanded or reorganized to better cover the latest industry developments.

See below for more info. Happy reading!

P.S. If you would like to pay by corporate purchase order or check, please email Tamra Feldman.

Monday, February 26, 2018

CBI’s 2nd Annual Drug Pricing Transparency Congress

CBI’s 2nd Annual Drug Pricing Transparency Congress
March 22, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/drugpricing

On the heels of an incredibly successful event last year, CBI is pleased to announce that its Drug Pricing Transparency Congress will be held again March 22, 2018, in Philadelphia.

As the industry grapples with the increasingly difficult task of navigating over 33 state-specific laws (with more to come), this event has become a must-attend for pricing, transparency and compliance professionals.

Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels Readers:
Register by 3/16/2018 and save $300* (mention discount code DCP322)
.

Are you prepared for the impact these regulations will have on drug pricing and compliance practices? Whether you joined our dynamic dialogue last year or need a comprehensive update on state drug pricing reporting laws, this timely event will feature fresh perspectives and real-time updates on legislation.

This monumental shift will undoubtedly impact so many functions across the healthcare system. If your responsibilities touch any facet of your organization's pricing, transparency or compliance efforts, you'll need to be on the pulse of the rapid developments. This conference will serve as an unparalleled uniting place for the industry to assess the future landscape and gain clarity on the many unanswered questions from industry experts such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Sidley Austin LLP, PhRMA, Pfizer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb and more.

Don't be left out of the critical conversation.

Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels Readers:
Register by 3/16/2018 and save $300* (mention discount code DCP322)
.

*Offer expires March 16, 2018; applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, category rates, and 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, February 22, 2018

Drug Channels News Roundup, February 2018: Walgreens Boots Alliance + AmerisourceBergen, Copay Coupons, and Amazon

Winter—or at least February—is almost over! Bid farewell to the shortest month of the year with this curated selection of noteworthy news. In this issue:
  • A few thoughts on a Walgreens Boots Alliance-AmerisourceBergen deal
  • Watch a fun panel discussion on copay coupons
  • The latest on Amazon’s ambitions for medical products
Plus, The Onion provides an additional update on Amazon’s healthcare plans.

P.S. For my daily updates on news and neat reports, follow @DrugChannels on Twitter. My recent tweets have covered copay accumulators, Medicare Part D, the 340B program, M&A rumors, healthcare economics, and more.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Top 15 U.S. Pharmacies of 2017: Market Shares and Key Developments For The Biggest Companies

Next week, Drug Channels Institute will release our 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. It’s the ninth edition of our popular examination of the U.S. pharmacy distribution and reimbursement system.

The exhibit below—one of 160 in our new report—provides a first look at the 15 largest pharmacies, ranked by total U.S. prescription dispensing revenues for calendar year 2017. I also highlight crucial market changes that affected our ranking. As you will see, the big got bigger in 2017.

For a sneak peek at the complete report, download the free overview. If you would like to preorder by corporate purchase order or check, please email Tamra Feldman. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Join Me at Asembia’s Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2018

Asembia’s Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2018
April 29 to May 2, 2018 | Las Vegas
www.asembiasummit.com

Please join me at Asembia's Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2018, which will take place from April 29 to May 2, 2018 in Las Vegas.

This is a must-attend event for anyone connected to specialty pharmacy. You'll meet an impressive diversity of people from pharmacies, manufacturers, health plans, wholesalers, hospital systems, pharmacy benefit managers, patient advocacy groups, and more. Click here to view the agenda.

This year, I will participate in the Featured Session, titled Specialty Pharmacy Industry Outlook: What’s Happened and What’s Ahead. I'll be joined by Doug Long from IQVIA and Lisa Gill from J.P. Morgan Securities. I'm hoping to get another epic selfie!

Here's my review of last year's Summit: The State of Specialty Pharmacy 2017: Reflections from #Asembia17.

Read on for more details about this great specialty pharmacy event and register now. See you in Vegas!

A MESSAGE FROM ASEMBIA

Asembia’s Specialty Pharmacy Summit returns to Las Vegas on April 29 through May 2, 2018. As the nation’s largest annual healthcare conference for specialty pharmacy, the 2018 Summit will welcome a record-breaking 6,500 attendees, including more than 1,000 pharmacy providers, health systems, pharma/biotech manufacturers, payers, drug wholesalers and many other specialty pharmacy stakeholder organizations.

Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of all aspects of specialty pharmacy from renowned industry speakers who share current information and insightful commentary on the many facets of the nearly $200 billion specialty pharmacy channel. The 2018 Summit will feature four full days of interactive business and educational sessions, including more than 80 hours of expert seminars, continuing education sessions, and business workshops, plus unforgettable networking and social events and an engaging exhibit hall.

Agenda highlights will include special guest speakers, featured business and industry seminars, and CE Sunday, a pre-conference day offering Continuing Education sessions (April 29). Select 2018 topics include: ensuring patient access to medications, managing rising drug costs, the future of patient assistance, consumerism in specialty pharmacy, evolution and management of specialty “lite” drugs, intersections of specialty and community practice, forging successful managed care partnerships, the evolving digital health ecosystem, and many others.

Attendees will enjoy special events throughout the meeting, including networking with industry peers and professionals at engaging exhibit receptions, a Sunrise 5K Run/Walk on the Las Vegas strip, relaxing yoga sessions, the unparalleled Asembia Beach Club Party, and many other opportunities to connect with industry professionals.

The broad variety of timely business and educational sessions, wide range of expert panelists and speakers, and unmatched networking opportunities make the Asembia annual meeting an essential event for all specialty pharmacy stakeholders.

Register and learn more at www.asembiasummit.com.


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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Exclusive Express Scripts Data: Most People Have Very Low Out-Of-Pocket Prescription Costs

In New Express Scripts Data: The Drug Spending Slowdown Is Real, I analyzed the latest drug trend report from pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts. To complement our earlier analysis, Express Scripts was kind enough to provide Drug Channels with an exclusive analysis showing the distribution of out-of-pocket costs for nearly 26 million people.

Despite consumer surveys complaining about “high drug prices,” the reality is that most people don’t pay much for their prescriptions. In 2017, about 95% of people with commercial insurance had less than $40 per month in out-of-pocket prescription costs. About half of them paid nothing, because they filled no prescriptions.

The remaining few percent had thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket obligations—though it’s not clear how much they actually paid.

Given these findings, plan sponsors—health plans and employers—should be cautious before blocking copayment support for the small number of patients taking specialty drugs. As Dr. Lucy Van Pelt says: Happiness is being able to afford necessary medication.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New Express Scripts Data: The Drug Spending Slowdown Is Real

Last week, Express Scripts released its 2017 Drug Trend Report. (Free download.)  Consider it an early Valentine's Day present for pharma wonks like your friendly neighborhood blogger.

The latest data confirm the slowdown in drug spending. For 2017, drug spending increased by only 1.5% for Express Scripts’ commercial plan sponsors. What’s more, drug spending declined for nearly half of commercial payers. Medicare, Medicaid, and exchange plans also saw very modest increases. Below, I dive deep into the data on cost and utilization growth.

By now, there can be no debate that pharmacy benefit costs are growing more slowly than every other major part of the healthcare system. Yet the false narrative that drug spending is “out of control” persists.

Based on exclusive data that Express Scripts shared with me, most people paid relatively little in out-of-pocket costs for their prescriptions. But some people spent a lot. I’m sure many patients would gladly say “be mine” to benefit designs that share the discounts being absorbed by employers and insurers.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Formulary, CoPay and Access Summit

Formulary, CoPay and Access Summit
April 11-12, 2018 | San Francisco, CA
www.cbinet.com/formulary

Head to San Francisco in April for CBI’s Formulary, CoPay and Access Summit, which focuses on overcoming patient affordability barriers in an evolving managed care landscape. Industry experts will address hot button issues impacting the pharma/bio industry today, including accumulator adjustment programs, state co-pay legislation, formulary exclusions, high deductible plans, changes in benefit design, NDC blocks and step therapy programs.

Register prior to February 28th and use discount code SSJ477 to save $300 off the standard rate.*

You can read all about it here.

Timely, cutting-edge content will include:
  • Explore perspectives on Accumulator Adjustment Programs and identify trends for the future
  • Demystify California CoPay Card Legislation and assess implications for future state-level regulations
  • May the Field Force Be With You - Managing Field Representatives to execute copay programs
  • Analyze MACRA regulation to develop robust formulary access strategies and prepare for 2018 policy implementation
  • Overcome challenges of High-Deductible Plans, copay caps and the evolving healthcare landscape
  • Gain insight on strategies for Fast Tracking Prior Authorization and copay assistance for specialty prescriptions
Visit www.cbinet.com/formulary for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code SSJ477 and register prior to February 28th.

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, February 08, 2018

Specialty Distributors’ Customer Mix Changes As Physician Buy-and-Bill Fades

In A Lesson from McKesson: How Specialty Pharmacy Growth Is Hurting Wholesalers, I explained the challenges to wholesalers' profits from the growth of patient-administered specialty pharmacy drugs.

Today, I provide a complementary look at the changing customer mix of wholesalers’ specialty distribution businesses for provider-administered drugs.

As you will see below, the latest data show that specialty distributors’ revenues from independent physician offices and clinics have eroded significantly. These customers now account for less than half of specialty distributors' business.

This change mirrors the ongoing disruption of the buy-and-bill market, where higher-cost hospital outpatient settings have been crowding out lower-cost physician offices.

The evolution of buy-and-bill has been generally negative for wholesaler profits, though the public companies have been relatively silent on the implications. It’s another aspect of the specialty boom that may prove not to be relaxing times for the wholesale distribution channel.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

A Lesson from McKesson: How Specialty Pharmacy Growth Is Hurting Wholesalers

Last week, McKesson released its quarterly earnings for the fourth calendar quarter of 2017. See the links below.

The profit outlook for its distribution business was lower than Wall Street’s expectations, due partly to what management termed “customer and product mix.” Below, I offer my take on the three interrelated mix changes that challenge wholesalers' profits from the growth of specialty pharmacy drugs.

Wholesalers have been trying to alter their conventional pricing and contracting approaches to address these pressures, though it’s not clear how successful these efforts have been. The specialty boom may prove to be a mixed blessing for wholesalers.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit
March 27-28, 2018 | Scottsdale, AZ
www.cbinet.com/IDN

As health systems continue to grow and merge to form larger 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 BioPharma Strategy Summit brings together manufacturers and IDNs to discuss how to create a mutually beneficial partnership for data-driven product advancement, greater patient engagement and adherence and optimal care coordination.

Use discount code XCR332 and save $400 off the standard registration rate.*

Diverse Perspectives from Industry Pioneers:
  • Aria Cohen, Executive Director, Payer Strategy & Operations, Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Melissa Skelton Duke, Senior Director, Ambulatory Pharmacy Services, Banner Health
  • Jay Graves, Vice President, Sales, Roche Diabetes Care Inc.
  • Patti Hawkins, Director, Outpatient Infusion, Home & Specialty Pharmacy Services, 340B Program Manager, North Mississippi Medical Center
  • Ira Klein, Senior Director, Quality, Strategic Customer Group, Janssen
  • Kyle Skiermont, PharmD, Chief Operating Officer, Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Lonnie Smith, PharmD, Manager, Specialty Pharmacy Services, University of Utah Health
  • Jeremy Tatum, Director of Sales and Strategic Accounts, American Regent
Take Your Health System Strategy to the Next Level with Dynamic Sessions:
  • Engaging panels discussing 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
  • Novel approaches for risk sharing and measuring product performance
  • Advanced case studies and presentations from the top health systems in the country
  • How to impact population health initiatives and patient outcomes through pharma-IDN collaborations
  • Gain insights into IDN-SP trends and decision-making
  • A spotlight on Medicare payment reform for key stakeholders
  • Sales force strategies for building successful partnerships
  • And More!
Use discount code XCR332 and save $400 off the standard registration rate.*

Visit www.cbinet.com/IDN for more information.

*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, February 01, 2018

Meet The Power Buyers Driving Generic Drug Deflation

Wholesalers and retailers have deepened their relationships via generic purchasing consortia—and generic drug makers are feeling the pain. Example: Novartis’ Sandoz business unit reported that its fourth-quarter 2017 sales dropped by 17% "due to increased industry-wide pricing pressure and continued customer consolidation.” (source)

Below, we examine the four generic drug mega-buyers behind this pressure: Red Oak, Walgreens Boots Alliance, McKesson and ClarusOne, and Express Script’s EconDisc.

We estimate that in 2017, these four organizations accounted for an astounding 90% of total U.S. generic drug purchases from manufacturers. Read on for our market share estimates, business profiles, and the outlook for 2018. Spoiler alert: The forecast calls for generic pain.

Today’s post is a sneak peek at our forthcoming 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. The new edition will be bigger than better than ever. Look for it on February 27!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Drug Channels News Roundup, January 2018: PBM Exclusions, Hospital Finances, 340B Updates, and Amazon

Here at our worldwide headquarters in Philadelphia, Eagles super bowl fever has landed. Before trying to climb a Crisco-covered light pole, please enjoy this month’s playbook of articles, intercepted for you from the Drug Channels gridiron.
  • An insightful analysis of the formulary exclusions at CVS Health and Express Scripts
  • A surprising look at hospital systems’ finances
  • A must-read overview of the 340B program
Plus: some good news for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos! (No, it's  not about today's breaking news.)

P.S. Join the more than 5,000 people who run after me at @DrugChannels on Twitter. Every day, I tackle links to neat stuff for you.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Expanded Access Programs 2018

Expanded Access Programs 2018
March 28-29, 2017 | Washington, DC

CBI’s Expanded Access Programs 2018 focuses on the design, development and practical implementation of early access programs. The summit convenes top industry stakeholders and regulators to examine current approaches in providing investigational, pre-launch or end-of-lifecycle drugs to patients for treatment purposes. A multi-stakeholder faculty will address key issues affecting EAPs and review the potential impact of the evolving legislative landscape.

Visit www.cbinet.com/EAP for more information. Drug Channels subscribers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code CGR664.*

Key Topics to Be Addressed:
  • Share best practices and review comparable processes and regulations between U.S. and global expanded access programs
  • Streamline policies and procedures to enable the successful launch and sustainability of global EAPs
  • Review industry trends in the collection of real-world data in expanded access programs
  • Navigate pricing, payment and reimbursement policy for expanded access programs
  • Discuss strategies to integrate EAPs into your drug development process at the busiest point of the drug development life cycle
  • Understand the clinician’s perspective on single-patient access and group EAPs — Consider barriers to access
This multi-stakeholder event is focused on U.S. and global models for a variety of access management programs, including, but not limited to:
  • Expanded Access Programs
  • Early Access Programs
  • Compassionate Use Programs
  • Named Patient Programs and
  • Managed Access Programs
Visit www.cbinet.com/EAP for more information. Drug Channels subscribers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code CGR664.*


*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.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Role of Specialty Pharmacy in Population Health and Value-Based Care

Today’s guest post comes from Russel Allinson, Chief Executive Officer at Therigy.

Russel describes the current shift from volume-based to value-based contracting for enhanced population health and patient care. He explains Geisinger’s innovative and successful Medication Therapy Disease Management Program.

Russel highlights how TherigySTM enables the transition from volume-based to value-based contracting. The system’s new features help specialty pharmacies better manage care delivery, tracking, and reporting to stakeholders, while maintaining focus on the bottom line.

Read on for Russ’s insights.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Part D Data: CVS Wins Big in 2018's Preferred Pharmacy Networks

Just-released data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms that preferred cost sharing networks will continue to dominate Medicare Part D. Our exclusive analysis finds that for 2018, 99.9% of seniors are enrolled in Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) with preferred pharmacy networks.

Below, we use the new enrollment data to analyze the major pharmacy chains’ position within the 22 major Part D plans that have preferred networks. As you will see, CVS looks poised in 2018 to recapture major market share from Walgreens and Walmart. Poor ol’ Rite Aid will once again lag far behind.

As long as pharmacies accept lower reimbursements in exchange for increasing or maintaining store traffic, preferred networks will continue to dominate the marketplace. For 2018, CVS will gain significant prescription market share—but at the cost of lower prescription profit margins. Unlike poker, the Part D preferred network winners play the lowest card.

Monday, January 22, 2018

PAP 2018 – CBI’s 19th Annual Patient Assistance & Access Programs

PAP 2018 – CBI’s 19th Annual Patient Assistance & Access Programs
March 6-7, 2018 | Baltimore, MD
www.cbinet.com/pap

Copay programs and premium support are increasingly under a scrutinizing microscope at a time when underinsurance continues to plague many patients.

Leaders from the patient assistance and product access field - manufacturers, copay foundations, non-profits, free clinics, advocacy organizations, hospitals and more – convene in Baltimore on March 6-7 to address the legal environment, industry best practices and policy watch-outs related to prescription access and financial assistance. You can read all about it here.

PAP 2018 features four strategy streams, seven learning labs, more than twenty sessions and fifty plus speakers. Here is a snapshot of what some of the sessions will focus on:
  • Legal and policy dynamics influencing access and affordability
  • Advancements in patient support technology
  • Patient experience, access and adherence optimization
  • PBM restrictions on manufacturer-sponsored copay assistance programs
Visit www.cbinet.com/pap for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code TGU584 and register prior to February 2nd.*

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, January 18, 2018

Employers Are Getting More Rebates Than Ever—But Sharing Little With Their Employees

Yesterday, I examined new data showing that employers are receiving an increasing share of the rebate money collected by pharmacy benefit managers. See Employers Are Extracting More of Their Rebate Dollars from PBMs.

The data, from a Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (PBMI) survey, also documented a troubling reality. Employers acknowledged that they are hoarding rebates rather than sharing the savings with the employees whose prescriptions generated the rebate funds. It’s the first time that I’ve seen such an admission from plan sponsors.

Consider the data below as confirmation of the warped incentives caused by the gross-to-net bubble—the growing spread between a manufacturer’s list price for a drug and the net price. Consider the diabetes example below. Fixing this situation will be more challenging than walking to Mordor. Point-of-sale (POS) rebates may be a good place to start, but employers seem unwilling to part with their precious.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Employers Are Extracting More of Their Rebate Dollars from PBMs

The debate about drug prices and the drug channel system will continue in 2018. Let’s shed some light on one murky, little-understood corner of this world: how employer-sponsored health plans access the billions of dollars in manufacturer rebates that are negotiated by their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

We turn to data from the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute’s (PBMI) excellent 2017 Trends in Drug Benefit Design. (Free download with registration.) As far as I know, it’s the only public data source for understanding PBM-client rebate practices.

According to PBMI’s survey data, larger and smaller employers increasingly receive 100% of manufacturer rebates for traditional drugs. Many have also negotiated guaranteed rebates that shift risk to PBMs. Other employers get a share of the rebates or a flat guaranteed amount.

Below, I delve into the data and offer my observations. Tomorrow, I’ll examine what employers are doing with these rebate dollars. Spoiler alert: It’s usually not good for patients.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Life Sciences Patient Congress

The Life Sciences Patient Congress
March 19-21, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.worldcongress.com/events/patientcongress

The Patient Congress features 4 co-located Summits aiming to convene a forum to aid pharma with breaking down internal silos to incorporate the patient voice across the entire product lifecycle in order to drive collaborative, innovative solutions from essential stakeholder partnerships, and enhance health outcomes.

Join together with 250+ industry leaders from life science, pharmacy, health plans, provider organizations, patient leaders, and policy makers to share innovative ideas and strategies, drive innovation, and create a community of stakeholders to provide value-based care to patients.

(Use discount code DC200 and save $200.)

Tracks include:
  • 6th Annual Patient Adherence & Engagement Summit
  • 6th Annual Patient Advocacy Summit
  • Patient Journey Mapping for Speed to Therapy Summit
  • Patient-Centered Clinical Trials Summit
How will you benefit?
  • 4 co-located events for the price of 1, allowing each attendee to create their own personalized conference experience that caters to their individual needs and allows enhanced networking
  • An exemplary speaking faculty including 80+ speakers from FDA, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Sanofi, Genetech, Merck, Astellas, BMS, GSK, and more!
  • Be a part of the first ever Patient Choice Awards, an awards ceremony recognizing Pharma and Patient collaborations: The only awards gala led by a judging panel of Patient Leaders
  • Real-time insight from patients with a Patient Reaction Panel to provide the patient perspective throughout the conference
  • Break down internal silos, network, and form alliances with game changers and thought leaders across all stakeholder groups within the healthcare ecosystem at the only event looking at how to incorporate the patient voice throughout the entire product lifecycle, from the research and development phase all the way through commercialization and post-commercialization.
(Use discount code DC200 and save $200.)

Visit www.worldcongress.com/events/patientcongress for more information.


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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2026 Pharmacist Job Outlook Looks Good, Especially for Hospital Pharmacists

Hey there, pharmacists! Ready for some good news?

According to our exclusive analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) new Occupational Outlook Handbook, the total pharmacist employment figure is projected to grow by almost 18,000 jobs by 2026.

The pharmacist outlook, however, varies by industry. Pharmacist jobs at hospitals, physician offices, and other non-retail settings will outpace growth at conventional retail and mail outpatient pharmacies.

Read on for an industry-by-industry look at the outlook. And if you are a retail or mail pharmacist: Plan accordingly! Drug Channels humbly suggests some alternative career ideas below.