Drug Channels delivers timely analysis and provocative opinions from Adam J. Fein, Ph.D., the country's foremost expert on pharmaceutical economics and the drug distribution system. Drug Channels reaches an engaged, loyal and growing audience of more than 55,000 subscribers and followers. Learn more...

Friday, November 18, 2022

Engage Specialists in Their Workflow With GoodRx Provider Mode

Today’s guest post comes from Bansi Nagji, President of Healthcare at GoodRx.

Bansi explains how GoodRx Provider Mode delivers a prescription savings flow that offers health care professionals (HCPs) efficient access to the information they need at critical moments of care.

Click here to learn how GoodRx Provider Mode can help manufacturers reach and engage HCPs.

Read on for Bansi’s insights.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Behind the GoodRx-Express Scripts Partnership: How PBMs Profit from Discount Cards in Pharmacy Benefits

Last week, GoodRx announced that it would become the exclusive prescription discount card provider for the commercial beneficiaries of Cigna’s Express Scripts. Links below.

The rise of discount card pricing within pharmacy benefit plans is a positive development. Patients get access to market prices that can  be lower than their PBM’s contracted rate. All out-of-pocket spending with a discount card counts toward a patient's deductibles, and all prescription activity gets captured.

However, I suspect few people understand that placing discount cards within the pharmacy benefit enables a PBM to monetize a new fee stream from the card vendor. Below, I walk through this booming business and highlight some of the conflicts and contradictions underneath the coconuts.

I’ll cover what’s next for PBMs and discount cards during my upcoming live video webinar, Drug Channels Outlook 2023, on December 16, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Cell and Gene Therapy Roundup: What the Road to Success Looks Like

Today’s guest post comes from Lung-I Cheng, Vice President of Cell & Gene Therapy at AmerisourceBergen.

Lung-I discusses advancements in cell and gene therapy and explains how to tackle the challenges facing manufacturers, providers, and patients.

Click here to learn about AmerisourceBergen’s Cell and Gene Therapy solutions for biopharma companies, providers, and patients.

Read on for Lung-I’s insights.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Drug Channels Outlook 2023 (NEW Live Video Webinar)

Dr. Adam J. Fein, CEO of Drug Channels Institute (DCI) and the author of Drug Channels, invites you to join him for a new live video webinar:

Drug Channels Outlook 2023
Friday, December 16, 2022
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET.

This page describes the event and explains how to purchase a registration to the live event. The webinar will be broadcast from the Drug Channels studio in beautiful downtown Philadelphia.


Join Dr. Fein as he helps you and your team get ready for 2023 by outlining key issues and uncertainties that will surely affect your planning. This event can be both a capstone of your annual learning and a touchpoint for the future. Dr. Fein will draw from exclusive information found in DCI’s industry economic reports.

During the event, Dr. Fein will share his latest thinking on a wide range of topics, including:
  • Retail and specialty pharmacy trends
  • Vertical integration and consolidation
  • The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
  • The Medicare Part D Redesign
  • Biosimilars
  • Discount cards and cash-pay pharmacies
  • The growing impact of hospitals and health systems
  • The 340B Drug Pricing Program
  • Federal and state drug pricing policy
  • Benefit design and plan sponsor strategies
  • Copay accumulators and maximizers update
  • And more!
As always, Dr. Fein will clearly distinguish his opinions and interpretations from the objective facts and data. PLUS: During the webinar, Dr. Fein will give participants an opportunity to unmute themselves and ask live questions. The webinar will last 90 minutes to accommodate audience questions.

After the event, every registrant will receive a link to download the complete slide deck and have an opportunity to watch a replay of the live event.

Read on for full details on pricing and registration.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

The Consolidated Drug Channel and Cash-Pay Drugs: My Podcast with a16z's Julie Yoo

I recently joined Julie Yoo on Bio Eats World, a podcast from legendary venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (also known as "a16z"). Julie is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

We chatted about the current state of the U.S. drug channel, the roles and controversies around pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), GoodRx, Mark Cuban’s cost-plus pharmacy, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and much more. I also shared some thoughts on opportunities for entrepreneurs in such a consolidated space. The episode is about 36 minutes long.

The podcast audio is embedded below, along with links to the episode on major podcast platforms.


P.S. Let me know if you’d like to see more audio/podcast content on Drug Channels.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Innovate4Outcomes: Collaborating to Solve Antimicrobial Resistance

Today’s guest post comes from Matthew Balogh, Head of Digital Marketing at Melinta Therapeutics.

Matt discusses the ongoing global problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). He suggests that lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic can inform both innovation in AMR therapies and our understanding of AMR.

To learn more about the global challenge of AMR and brainstorm solutions, request an invitation to Innovate4Outcomes®. This virtual event is presented by OptimizeRx in collaboration with Melina Therapeutics.

Read on for Matt’s insights.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Preferred Pharmacy Networks in 2023’s Medicare Part D Plans: Cigna, CVS Health, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, WellCare, and More

Open enrollment is under way for the 2023 Medicare Part D plans. Our exclusive analysis of Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) data reveals that preferred cost sharing pharmacy networks will maintain their dominance as an established component of Part D benefit design.

For 2023:
  • 98% of stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDP) will have a preferred network.
  • 52% of Medicare Advantage prescription drug (MA-PD) plans will have a preferred network.
Below, I provide historical data on preferred networks’ growth and update the top companies’ 2023 offerings.

The largest companies made only minor changes to their 2023 stand-alone plans, after streamlining their 2022 plans. I also update our analysis of the prevalence of preferred networks in three different types of MA-PD plans.

In upcoming articles, I’ll investigate what we can deduce from chain and independent pharmacies’ participation in the major 2023 preferred networks.

Friday, October 28, 2022

How the Therapy Warranty Model Shifts the Paradigm of Therapy Success

Today’s guest post comes from Brooks Wildasin, Vice President of Product Management at CareMetx.

Brooks introduces us to CareMetx’s specialty therapy warranty, a specialty patient outcome-based contract model. Download CareMetx’s 2022 Report: The Evolving Landscape of Digital Healthcare Hubs to learn more about digital hub services and CareMetx’s solutions that improve the patient journey.

Read on for Brooks’ insights.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Drug Channels News Roundup, October 2022: Mark Cuban on PBMs, Walgreens & 340B, Biosimilar Boom Update, Physicians vs. UM, and Wellness at Walgreens

Eeek! Time for my Halloween roundup of wicked Drug Channels’ tales. This month’s tricks and treats:
  • Eerie! Mark Cuban tells ghost stories about PBMs.
  • Shocking! Walgreens terrifies Wall Street with its 340B losses.
  • Vampiric! Sink your fangs into Amgen’s fantastic new report on the biosimilar boom
  • Wicked! Physicians think payers cast evil utilization management spells.
Plus, Walgreens launches a refreshing new wellness service.

P.S. Join my more than 33,000 LinkedIn followers for daily links to neat stuff. You can also find my daily posts at @DrugChannels on Twitter, where I have more than 15,400 followers.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Innovation Brings Unwavering Patient Support in a New Era of Specialty Medicine

Today’s guest post comes from Megan Marchal, Director of Specialty Pharmacy Strategy at CoverMyMeds.

Megan discusses upcoming specialty medication launches. As she explains, patients will need extra help to overcome the challenges of access, affordability, and adherence.

Click here to learn about CoverMyMeds' patient-centric technology solutions for specialty medications..

Read on for Megan’s insights.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

How the Biosimilar Boom Boosts Drug Wholesalers’ Profits

The biosimilar boom for provider-administered drugs continues to accelerate. Net prices in therapeutic classes with biosimilar competition have declined by 60% or more over the past few years. Some major biological reference products have now lost a majority of their unit sales to their biosimilars.

As we explain below, this accelerating adoption also boosts profits for pharmaceutical wholesalers and specialty distributors—particularly when these channel participants can influence which biosimilar version a provider utilizes.

Below, we share our estimates for wholesalers’ gross margins for brand-name, generic, and biosimilar drugs. We then explain the channel dynamics behind biosimilar and generic drugs’ profits. We estimate that for 2022, generics and biosimilars accounted for only about 15% of wholesalers’ U.S. drug distribution revenues, but 77% of total gross profits from U.S. drug distribution.

Read on for the fun financial facts.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Informa Connect’s Trade & Channel Strategies Summit

Informa Connect’s Trade & Channel Strategies Summit
December 12-14, 2022 in Philadelphia, PA

Don’t miss Informa Connect's Trade & Channel Strategies Summit, coming up December 12-14, 2022 in Philadelphia! Join your colleagues from across the industry and be part of critical, solution-focused discussions designed to help optimize distribution models and channel strategies driven by market dynamics, product types, site of care and reimbursement, all delivered by an expert speaking faculty.

View the agenda to see the complete picture – the program, speakers, and more, and visit www.informaconnect.com/trade for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save 10% off when they use code 22DRCH10 and register prior to November 11, 2022.*

You'll attend a Featured Session with Bill Roth, General Manager and Managing Partner, Blue Fin Group, An IntegriChain Company, as he covers Current and Future Trends Impacting Trade and Distribution, a Policy Address, a Wall Street Address, a Partnership Pavilion Panel (3PL, Distribution and Pharmacy), a Distribution Stakeholder Showcase, and an Update from NCPDP.

Additional sessions include coverage on:
  • Navigating regulatory reform in the trade & channel space
  • Building forward-thinking commercialization and channel strategies for patient affordability
  • Maximizing GTN impact
  • Future of value-based agreements, measurement, contracting and pull through
  • Innovative limited pharmacy networks
  • The Drug Supply Chain Security Act
  • Emerging distribution trends for a streamlined and efficient model
  • Migrating a primary care manufacturer to specialty channel strategies
  • Determining the best network for your product - distribution and dispensing partners
  • Navigating the payer space for specialty, rare and orphan diseases
  • Future of cell therapies and distribution considerations
  • The role of distributors in gene therapies
  • Current trends and changes impacting biosimilars and specialty generics
  • How to tailor a new launch strategy for biosimilars
  • And so much more!
Don’t miss the chance to unite with colleagues and master the complexities of pharmacy and distribution models to accelerate patient access!

View the agenda to see the complete picture – the program, speakers, and more, and visit www.informaconnect.com/trade for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save 10% off when they use code 22DRCH10 and register prior to November 11, 2022.*

*Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rates or other offers. 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. To find out how you can promote an event on Drug Channels, please contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannels.net).