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 35,000 subscribers. Learn more...

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Specialty Pharmacy’s Explosive 340B Growth

The 340B Drug Pricing Program continues to expand far more quickly than the overall pharmaceutical market—and some channels are benefiting more than others.

As you will see below, mail and specialty pharmacies’ purchases of products that are eligible for 340B discounts have grown by an incredible 56% per year since 2017. That’s about six times faster than the overall mail and specialty market.

Consequently, specialty pharmacies have gained a greater share of the 340B market. Businesses owned by a few multi-billion-dollar, for-profit, publicly traded companies—Cigna, CVS Health, and UnitedHealthcare—are the primary beneficiaries of this astonishing growth.

To help you make sense of the market changes, I have also included a brief video to explain 340B’s growth and the expansion of contract pharmacies. The video is excerpted from my recent Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook video webinar.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Informa Connect’s Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – Hybrid Events

Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – Hybrid Events
September 20-21, Boston MA | September 22, Virtual Experience | September 23-24, Burlingame, CA

www.informaconnect.com/financeaccountingeast

www.informaconnect.com/financeaccountingwest

Tailored to the unique nuisances of bioscience companies, these CPE-accredited annual events bring together the brightest financial and accounting minds from the nation’s leading trailblazers.
To best meet the needs of both traveling and stay-at-home audiences, Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies East and West will be HYBRID events, combining live and digital experiences that showcase all of the content from the live event, with additional keynotes, panel discussions and meeting scheduling to be fully inclusive to those unable to attend in person.

Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current rate when they use code 21DRCH10 and register prior to August 13th.* More details are available at the event websites:



Agenda Highlights:

Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – East Coast:
  • Hear directly from leaders at Minovia Therapeutics, Zentalis Phamraceuticals, Takeda, Korro Bio, Tmunity Therapeutics, Generation Bio and more.
  • Attend sessions covering digital transformation, the changing landscape of clinical trials, biotech equity funding models, new product launch planning, forecasting, valuation strategies and more.
  • Earn up to 16.3 CPE credits.
Virtual Experience:
  • Hear strategies to thrive through periods of change from today's most innovative CEOs.
  • Watch the presentation of the Inaugural Life Sciences leaders and Stars Awards, celebrating innovation, achievement, and leadership in the finance community.
  • Attend a Bioscience SPAC Workshop and review classification, valuation and reporting best practices.
  • Don't miss sessions on practical applications of AI, RPA, Machine Learning, IPO and public market update and more.
  • Earn up to 6.5 CPE credits.
Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – West Coast:
  • Hear directly from CFOs as they review the path to the CFO role, lessons on leadership and tackling challenges.
  • Attend sessions covering preparing to go public, market access dynamics, accounting standards updates, accounting for R&D deals and more.
  • Earn up to 15.4 CPE credits.
How to Register:
  • LIVE in Boston with an All Access Pass! Start your week LIVE in Boston on September 20 and 21, and wrap up with a virtual programming on September 22, featuring recordings from BOTH East and West Coast events, as well as live streaming content.
  • LIVE in Burlingame with an All Access Pass! Start your week with the virtual programming on September 22, featuring recordings from BOTH West and East Coast events, and wrap up your week LIVE in Burlingame, CA on September 23 and 24.
  • Go All Virtual! Experience recordings from both meetings, plus live streaming virtual content from the comfort of your home or office on September 22!
Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current rate when they use code 21DRCH10 and register prior to August 13th.* More details are available at the event websites:

Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – East Coast
Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – West Coast

*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, July 16, 2021

The Power of Partnerships: Why Pharma Needs to Redefine its Role With IDNs

Today’s guest post comes from MMIT's Dinesh Kabaleeswaran, Director of Advisory Services, and John Griggs, Senior Solution Consultant.

Dinesh and John discuss the expanding role and importance of integrated delivery networks (IDNs) in specialty medication administration and reimbursement.

Dinesh and John also highlight MMIT’s Pulse Analytics solution, which allows pharma manufacturers the ability to monitor drug coverage at the brand and IDN level.

Read on for Dinesh’s and John’s insights.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

PBMs and Drug Spending in 2020: Data from CVS Health (sort of), Express Scripts, Navitus, and WellDyne (Plus: The Demise of PBM Reporting)

Since 2012, Drug Channels has examined commercial drug spending using the annual trend reports published by the largest PBMs.

This year, we review 2020 data on commercial plan sponsor clients of CVS Health and Express Scripts along with two smaller PBMs—Navitus and WellDyne. As you will see below, plan sponsors experienced another year of single-digit growth in overall pharmacy benefit drug spending.

For specialty drugs, utilization—more people taking more prescriptions—remained the driving force behind this higher spending. Specialty drug costs grew slowly—or even declined.

I’m sad to report that this year’s analysis is skimpier than usual. CVS Health has published only a bare bones summary, while Prime Therapeutics, MedImpact, and other large PBMs have stopped publishing trend reports. I document this disappointing state of affairs below.

Read on as I spread all the the k-poppin' details.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Informa Connect’s PAP: Patient Assistance & Access Programs

Informa Connect’s PAP: Patient Assistance & Access Programs
August 17-19, 2021 | Virtual Event
www.informaconnect.com/pap

Industry’s favorite event is back! Break through affordability barriers with PAP: Patient Assistance & Access Programs taking place August 17-19 in a fully virtual format, and benefit from critical and timely updates addressing the current and anticipated challenges for patient access and assistance professionals.

In a pivotal year for PAPs, join influential stakeholders as they collaborate and uncover industry best practices and stakeholder management to optimize program performance, navigate policy watch-outs and discuss methods to evolve patient assistance through technology and innovation. This event is not to be missed.

Exclusive Offer: View the agenda and register today. Be sure to use your exclusive promo DC4PAP to save 10% off* of your registration.

PAP serves as a three-day conference experience, featuring expert led discussion on the everchanging healthcare and coverage landscape, staying on the pulse of trends in copay exclusions, accumulators and maximizers, solutions to maintain the digital momentum and overcome challenges as we begin to transition to a post COVID-19 world and more. Hear multi-stakeholder perspectives on the most pressing topics and attend tailored content offerings based on your individual needs, including:
  • Executive Outlook: The Intersection on Access and Affordability for Health Policy
  • Build on the ACA Trends to Reduce Coverage Gaps and Disruptions
  • Enforcement Update: Understand DOJ Enforcement Priorities for 2021 and Beyond
  • Three Hot Topic Roundtables
    • Models for Partnership to Advance Program Impact
    • Racial and Income Disparities in Healthcare
    • Compliance and Operational Trends for Nursing Support Programs
  • Three Customizable Learning Streams
    • Technology & Innovation for Streamlined Access
    • Patient Support Collaboration & Operations
    • Legal, Compliance and Policy
  • Industry Disruptors: Stay on the Pulse of Trends in Copay Exclusions, Accumulators and Maximizers
  • Ask the Experts: Setting PAP Industry Standards
  • And more!
PLUS! Introducing a Brand New Digital Platform, ConnectMe:
  • Interactive coffee tables and enhanced networking capabilities
  • Instant message with attendees to continue conversations and spark up one-on-one discussions
  • Suggested connections based on your preferences
  • Sophisticated scheduling tools: Set your availability, book meetings and more
  • Live and on-demand sessions, all available 30-days post-event to review at your leisure
Exclusive Offer: View the agenda and register today. Be sure to use your exclusive promo DC4PAP to save 10% off* of your registration.

Informa Connect will see you there!

*Cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or applied to an existing registration. 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.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Rite Aid’s PBM Strategy: Will Hope Triumph Over Experience?

ICYMI, Rite Aid recently released the financial results for its most recent fiscal quarter, which ended on May 29. Rite Aid’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) business, Elixir, continues to flail in an increasingly challenging market.

I’ve long been skeptical of Rite Aid’s PBM strategy. As you will see below, last quarter’s results further validated my skepticism. Synergies with the company’s retail pharmacy business are minimal—and shrinking.

Rite Aid’s management team does seem committed to fixing and then growing the business. But as I see it, the company should either unload Elixir before it loses even more value or join with a larger company that can offer a viable platform for success.

I’m sure many investors wish that Amazon would simply buy Rite Aid and solve their pain.

On the other hand, free advice is often worth what you paid for it. Read on and see what you think the company should do.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Drug Channels News Roundup, June 2021: Amazon's Latest, Patients vs. Accumulators, Generics & Biosimilars, 340B Games, and a Hospital Road trip

Happy 245th birthday, America! As you declare your vaccinated independence, celebrate with these Drug Channels fireworks:
  • Amazon’s teeny step toward pharmacy disruption
  • How patients view copay accumulators
  • My $0.02 on generic and biosimilar trends
  • Some hospitals seem to be gaming their 340B eligibility
Plus, tips on effective hospital marketing.

P.S. Please join the nearly 12,000 consumers of my daily commentary and links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, where I am approaching 19,000 followers.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Gross-to-Net Bubble Update: Net Prices Drop (Again) at Six Top Drugmakers (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for today’s live video webinar at 12:00 p.m. ET: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook. More than 2,000 people have already registered for the webinar. Will you be there, too?

Click here to see the original post and comments from April 2021.


Time for Drug Channels' annual update on pricing at six of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers—Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, and Sanofi. You can find links to each company’s data below.

When rebates and discounts were factored in, brand-name drug prices declined—or grew slowly—in 2020. Consistent with our previous analyses, rebates and discounts reduced the selling prices of brand-name drugs to less than half of their list prices. What’s more, net drug prices have declined for the past four years.

Alas, many pharma industry perma-critics refuse to accept that brand-name drug prices are falling—or that they remain the only part of U.S. healthcare where prices have been declining. That’s why they are drug pricing flat earthers (DPFE.) Consider today’s data deluge as my small contribution to making the world a slightly smarter and more fact-based place.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Top 15 U.S. Pharmacies of 2020: Market Shares and Revenues at the Biggest Companies (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook.

Click here to see the original post and comments from March 2021.


Next week, Drug Channels Institute will release our 2021 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. It’s the 12th edition of our popular and comprehensive examination of the entire drug pricing, reimbursement, and dispensing system. (You can preorder at special discounted prices.)

The exhibit below—one of 211 in our new report—provides a first look at the 15 largest organizations, ranked by total U.S. prescription dispensing revenues for calendar year 2020.

U.S. prescription dispensing revenues reached a record $465 billion in 2020. The largest players all had bigger slices of the revenue pie, due to the growth at specialty pharmacies and multiple transactions that shifted market share among the vertically integrated companies.

For a sneak peek at the complete report, click here to download a free pre-publication draft overview (including the table of contents and a list of exhibits).

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

How GoodRx’s Rapid Growth Creates Conflict between PBMs and Payers (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook.

Click here to see the original post and comments from March 2021.


Pharmacy pricing and benefit design are fundamentally broken.

For proof, look at GoodRx’s 2020 financial results for its discount card business. The company accounted for an estimated $3.4 billion in U.S. prescription revenues—and earned nearly $500 million in fees from PBMs.

Incredibly, three out of four consumers who used GoodRx already had commercial, Medicare, or Medicaid insurance. This means that someone—the consumer, their employer, and/or the government—paid insurance premiums for a pharmacy benefit managed by a PBM. Yet it was still worthwhile for people to bypass their plan’s out-of-pocket costs and PBM network rates in favor of a different PBM’s rates. As I explain below, such arbitrage creates potent conflicts between PBMs and their plan sponsor clients.

Don’t blame GoodRx for this mess. I give it credit for helping consumers navigate a crazy system that incentivizes people to bypass their own insurance plans. But it’s hard not to dislike a system that enables these games. Read on and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Top Pharmacy Benefit Managers of 2020: Vertical Integration Drives Consolidation (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook.

Click here to see the original post and comments from April 2021.


The drug channel is consolidating, both vertically and horizontally.

For evidence, look no further than Drug Channels Institute's estimates of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) market share, which are shown in the chart below. For 2020, DCI estimates that the three biggest PBMs accounted for more than three-quarters of total equivalent prescription claims.

To help you make sense of recent market changes, I also include a brief video explaining how various transactions and partnerships have concentrated and shifted PBM share among the vertically integrated companies. The video is excerpted from my recent Patients, Payers, and PBMs webinar.

Depending on your role in the drug channel, you may or may not find these data terrifying.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Informa Connect’s IDN & Bio/Pharma Partnering Summit

Informa Connect’s IDN & Bio/Pharma Partnering Summit
August 17-19, 2021 | Virtual Event
www.informaconnect.com/IDN

As part of an evolving healthcare environment, the life science industry is continually challenged to be effective in how it engages health system partners. It is critical that discussions evolve to meet the needs of today and also where healthcare is headed tomorrow.

Visit www.informaconnect.com/IDN for more information. Drug Channels subscribers will save 10% off the current registration rate when they use promo code 21IDNDC10*

To address the challenges and opportunities ahead, join a distinguished group of industry pioneers at Informa Connect’s IDN & Bio/Pharma Partnering Summit—an important event for learning how to best meet the needs of these evolving networks for better patient outcomes.

Diverse Perspectives from Industry Pioneers:
  • Timothy Paine, Vice President, Pharma Strategy & Relations, Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Kim Coppom, Executive Director, Managed Markets, Relypsa
  • Gerard Taglianetti, Market Access Strategy & Analytics, Pfizer Inc
  • Chip Kurt, Senior Director, Corporate Accounts; Specialty Pharmacy IDNs and GPOs, CSL Behring
  • Richard Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD, Medical Director, Population Health, Jefferson College of Population Health
  • Matthew Malchowski, PharmD, BCPS, System Director, Population Health & Ambulatory Care, Ochsner Health Pharmacy
  • Elizabeth Cherry, Program Director, Trade Relations, Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy
  • Michael Gannon, PharmD, CSP, Assistant Director, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Ambulatory Pharmacy Services, University of Illinois Health
  • Ryan Haumschild, PharmD., MS, MBA, Director of Pharmacy Services, Emory Healthcare and Winship Cancer Institute
  • Sophia Humphreys, PharmD., MHA, Director, System Pharmacy Clinical Services, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Ameet Wattamwar, PharmD., Director of Pharmacy, Specialty Pharmacy Program, NYU Langone Health System
  • And more!
High-Impact Topics Driving the Content:
  • State of the Healthcare Industry—Impactful Policy Changes and COVID-19 Implications
  • Best Practices in Working with Payers and PBMs
  • Insights from Leaders in Population Health
  • IDN CEO Fireside Chat: Lessons from Leadership – Priorities and New Directions to Adapt, Align and Advance the Business Forward
  • [Case Study] Innovative Ways to Pay for High Cost Drugs
  • The Next Frontier for IDNs: True Integration of Accountability
  • The Role and Utility of Data and Predictive Analytics to Identify and Service Patient Populations
  • And More!
Visit www.informaconnect.com/IDN for more information. Drug Channels subscribers will save 10% off the current registration rate when they use promo code 21IDNDC10*

*Applies to current 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.