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...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Drug Channels News Roundup, June 2018: Fake News from AHIP, Azar Blasts Rebates, Sanofi’s Pricing, Asembia in Vegas, and Justice for Gingers

Summer is here! Before you launch your incredible vacation, please enjoy these super Drug Channels stories:
  • AHIP misrepresents drug spending data
  • HHS Secretary Azar tells Congress about “a system without rebates”
  • Sanofi discloses a major gross-to-net gap and declining drug prices
  • Asembia shares video highlights from Las Vegas
Plus: a major social justice win for your humble correspondent.

P.S. Follow my daily links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. Recent tweets have covered new drug spending data, M&A news, pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) activities, retail clinics, copay accumulators, track-and-trace, and more.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

How Walgreens Got Taken: Read This Fantastic New Book About Theranos

Here’s your must-read summer book: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. It’s the thought provoking and gripping cautionary tale of Theranos, a business that raised $900 million to “disrupt” the lab testing business.

Alas, Elizabeth Holmes, the company’s founder and CEO, and her former chief commercial officer appear to have misrepresented and falsified almost everything about the company and its technology. Last week, they were both indicted by the Justice department.

Bad Blood is one of the best non-fiction business books I have ever read. Drug Channels readers may enjoy some schadenfreude about the hapless behavior of Walgreens’ previous management team. I’ve selected a few choice highlights below. But trust me: The whole book is a great read.

Monday, June 18, 2018

CBI’s 340B Manufacturer Summit

CBI’s 340B Manufacturer Summit
August 21-22, 2018 | Arlington, VA

2018 brings an unprecedented focus by Congress and the Trump Administration on the size, purpose and integrity of the 340B program. At CBI’s 340B Manufacturer Summit, hear from national experts as the policy discussions and opportunities for input continue to evolve. From the President’s Blue Print on Drug Prices to the recently released HHS RFI, 340B remains a hot topic.

Break down and clarify impending regulations, gain strategies to develop comprehensive self-disclosure response and auditing processes, while establishing best practices to collaborate with contract pharmacies and covered entities.

You can read all about it here. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code YDR528 and register prior to July 20th.

Critical Updates, Interactive Discussions and Valuable Takeaways:
  • Hear from industry experts as they navigate 2018 legislative, regulatory and legal attempts to course correct 340B
  • Uncover best practices to respond to covered entities and initiate “good faith” financial remediation
  • Explore the impact of patient definition outlined in the repealed Mega-Guidance
  • Recognize scenarios which lend themselves to miscommunication due to inconsistency in the terminology used by manufacturers versus other stakeholders
  • Determine what manufacturers are protected against related to diversions and duplicate discounts
  • Ask questions and engage in discussion to explore solutions to top manufacturer challenges
  • Plus, observe a Point/Counter-Point Patient Definition Debate between a manufacturer attorney and a covered-entity attorney
Speakers include representatives from the The Alinea Group, Apexus, Arnold & Porter, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CiiTA, LLC, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, Gilead Sciences, High Point Solutions, King & Spalding, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Pfizer, Sidley Austin, University of Rochester Medical Center and more.

Visit www.cbinet.com/340B for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code YDR528 and register prior to July 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, June 15, 2018

Specialty Pharmacy Management of Migraine Patients

Today’s guest post comes from Lily Duong, Chief Clinical Officer at Therigy.

Lily discusses new migraine treatments that treat or prevent chronic and episodic migraine headaches. She highlights how these therapies will challenge specialty pharmacies.

Therigy has developed a migraine therapy management solution to assist specialty pharmacies with patient management. To learn more, schedule a live demo of the TherigySTM™ migraine care plan.

Read on for Lily’s insights.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Profits in the 2018 Fortune 500: Manufacturers vs. Wholesalers, PBMs, and Pharmacies

Time for my annual review of the Fortune 500 list. Every year, this is one of my most popular posts, because it helps us follow the dollar and understand how drug channel intermediaries make money. Our analysis also provides crucial background for understanding the Trump administration's drug pricing blueprint.

Fortune’s 2018 list contains the same seven drug channel companies that the 2017 list did: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, Express Scripts, McKesson, Rite Aid, and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

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

Alas, this may be our final review of the list, because by this time next year two companies—Express Scripts and Rite Aid—may no longer exist as independent public companies. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the crazy complexity of the U.S. drug distribution and reimbursement system.

Monday, June 11, 2018

ExL Events' 2nd Real-World Evidence Forum

2nd Real-World Evidence Forum
July 16–17, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA

ExL Events invites you to the 2nd Real-World Evidence Forum, taking place on July 16–17 in Philadelphia. This intimate forum will bring together leading marketing experts and senior-level executives to discuss patient and HCP engagement strategies to build effective disease awareness campaigns to disseminate educational information.

Register here and use Discount Code C1040DC to save $200 off your registration!

Attendees will gain a better understanding of how electronic data sources are changing the way real-world data are collected. This conference will offer attendees insight on how real-world evidence will help decrease costs and development timelines, define innovative outcomes, and minimize the number of patients exposed to less useful medications.

The forum’s elite-speaking faculty will discuss how to utilize real-world evidence to demonstrate both clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of your product.

[Click to Enlarge]

Speakers Include:
  • Christopher Boone, Ph.D., FACHE,Vice President, Real-World Data and Analytics Center of Excellence, Patient and Health Impact, PFIZER
  • Bart Barefoot, Director, VEO and RWE Policy, Advocacy, and External Collaboration, GLAXOSMITHKLINE
  • Nneka Onwudiwe, Pharm.D., Ph.D., MBA, PRO/PE Regulatory Review Officer, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
  • Elizabeth (Betsy) MacLean, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Director Global Health and Value/U.S. Outcomes and Evidence — Oncology, PFIZER
Register here and use Discount Code C1040DC to save $200 off your registration!

ExL Events looks forward to meeting you in Philadelphia in July!

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

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Hidden Policies: The Search for Copay Accumulator Policies in Florida Qualified Health Plans

Today’s guest post comes from Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director of the AIDS Institute.

The AIDS Institute studied health plans in Florida and uncovered a troubling reality: Patients are often unable to find out if their plan has a copay accumulator adjustment program.

Even when the information was somehow available, it was vague and ambiguous.

The AIDS Institute’s research shows how unsuspecting patients can get stuck with exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for specialty drugs that have no generic or therapeutic alternatives. That’s why I told CNBC this week that accumulators are “as much of a cash grab from patients as I can possibly imagine.”

It’s an important article about the misleading marketing and incomplete disclosure of a crucial benefit detail. Read on and see what you think.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

McKesson’s Choppy Cs: Consolidating Customers and Challenging Contracts

Pharmaceutical wholesalers are no longer growth companies. They are struggling with ever larger customers, ongoing generic deflation, and the downsides of specialty pharmacy.

McKesson has illustrated these challenges in the financial results for its 2018 fiscal year. (See the links below.) The company projects that its 2019 fiscal year distribution profits will be flat to negative, due to customer losses and/or lower margins from contract renewals.

Below, I consider McKesson’s challenges with many of its largest customers, including:
  • CVS Health
  • Rite Aid
  • Albertsons
  • Ahold Delhaize
  • Cigna
Like its peers, McKesson faces an uncomfortable conflux of uncommon customer crosswinds. Investors are surely hoping that rough seas make good sailors.

Monday, June 04, 2018

CBI’s 4th Annual PBM Contracting

CBI’s 4th Annual PBM Contracting
August 22-23, 2018 | Chicago, IL

Now in its 4th year, CBI’s PBM Contracting event is dedicated to the complexity and challenges of negotiating and implementing contracts between PBM’s and payers, employee groups, government entities, specialty pharmacies and manufacturers. Delegates will gain insights into the latest market and legal complexities affecting PBM contract negotiations, learn how to enhance the value of contracts by gaining a deeper understanding into issues like contractual terms and negotiated obligations, specialty drugs, value based contracts and much more.

Register by 6/29/2018 and receive $400* off the standard rate 
with discount code DCS400.

Hear the latest insights and innovations from industry thought leaders:
  • Cheryl Larson, President and CEO, Midwest Business Group on Health
  • Matthew Gibbs, Chief Commercial Officer, EnvisionRx
  • Natalya Ormanzhy, Director Performance Improvement, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
  • Dan DiStefano Pharm, Vice President, Curexa Pharmacy
  • Nick Page, PharmD, Vice President Specialty & Clinical Operations, US Specialty Care
  • Tariq Butt, M.D., Vice President of Health Affairs, Access Community Health Network (ACCESS)
  • Sean Walsh, Vice President of Pricing Strategy, BeneCard PBF
  • Garrett Brown, J.D., Assistant General Counsel, Employers Health Coalition
Featured Topics Include:
  • Value Based vs Reference Based Contracts
  • RFPs — Establishing Categories for Comparison of Vendors including Strategy, Objectives and Requirements
  • Innovative Models for Managing Pharmacy Benefits
  • Value Based Drug Pricing — Using the ICER Value Price Threshold of $150,000 per Quality Adjusted Life-Year (QALY)
  • Impact of Acquisitions and Horizontal Integration in the PBM Industry
  • Maintain Mutual Organizational Goals through Implementation of Regular PBM Assessments
  • Strategies for Controlling Costs of Specialty Therapeutics
  • Specialty Clinical Management — Evaluating PBM versus Third-Party Managers for Savings on Drug Spends
Don't be left out of the critical conversation. Register by 6/29/2018 and receive $400* off the standard rate with discount code DCS400.

*Offer expires June 29, 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.

Friday, June 01, 2018

The Pursuit of Excellence: Implementing an Integrated High Performing Specialty Pharmacy Model

Today’s guest post comes from Joseph Morse, CEO of Therigy. Joe describes challenges faced by specialty pharmacy leaders and Therigy’s solution for achieving a high performing, integrated specialty pharmacy service model.

You can also download Therigy’s case study: Memorial Hermann Realizes Significant Care Enhancements and Cost Savings by Bringing Specialty Pharmacy Services In-House. This case study explores how the largest health system in southeast Texas developed internal specialty pharmacy services.

Read on for Joe’s insights.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Drug Channels News Roundup, May 2018: CVS Caremark, Albertsons/Rite Aid, Copay Accumulators, and A World Without PBM Rebates

It’s almost June—wedding season! Our invitation to the recent royal nuptials apparently got lost in the mail, but I invite you to our own monthly shower of noteworthy news:
  • More questions about CVS Caremark’s profits in Ohio’s managed Medicaid programs
  • Albertsons and Rite Aid reveal new details about their pharmacy plans
  • HIV service organizations warn of patient dangers from copay accumulators
Plus, we revisit the classic Drug Channels black swan article for hints to a future without PBM rebates.

P.S. @DrugChannels on Twitter is now approaching 6,000 followers. Throw some rice and enjoy my daily tweets of interesting news, stories, and the reports you need to read.

Friday, May 25, 2018

CBI’s 4th Annual Specialty Pharmacy Network Design Summit

CBI’s 4th Annual Specialty Pharmacy Network Design Summit
June 14-15, 2018 | Washington, DC

Prescription dispensing revenues from specialty drugs at retail, mail, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies reached $138 billion in 2017. That amount accounts for one-third of the 2017 pharmacy industry’s $413 billion in total dispensing revenues. By 2022, prescription dispensing revenues from specialty drugs will account for $271 billion, almost half of the pharmacy industry’s projected $576 billion in total dispensing revenues. (See The 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers, exhibit 70.)

At CBI’s 4th Annual Specialty Pharmacy Network Design Summit, gain the latest insights from leading multi-stakeholder perspectives, designed to help you learn how your network design decisions can impact patient access and the quality of patient care.

Visit CBI’s site for further details. Register by June 1 and receive $400 off the standard rate with discount code SPN400.

Download the complete agenda for the Specialty Pharmacy Network Design Summit.

Benchmark your specialty pharmacy network design strategies with your peers and with our distinguished speaking faculty:

  • Mike Agostino, RPh, President, Amber Pharmacy & Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions
  • Vice President, Specialty Pharmacy, Hy-Vee President, 2018 National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
  • Cheryl Allen, RPh, BS Pharm, MBA, Vice President, Industry Relations, Diplomat
  • Sheila M. Arquette, RPh, Executive Director, National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
  • Jasmine Daniel, Director, U.S. Commercial Specialty Trade, Shire
  • John Klimek, RPh, Senior Vice President, Standard and Information Technology, NCPDP
  • Lynnae M. Mahaney, BSPharm, MBA, FASHP, Director, Pharmacy Accreditation, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Brandon Newman, PharmD, CSP, Program Director, Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Timothy Paine, Director, Industry Relations, Fairview Specialty Pharmacy
  • Brandi Rabon, MSW, Patient Advocate, Manager, Patient Support Services
  • One Patient Services, LLC
  • John C. Robicsek, Assistant Vice President, Strategy, Business and Program Development, Pharmacy Administration, Atrium Health
  • Tim Safley, Director, DMEPOS, Pharmacy & Sleep, Accreditation Commission for Healthcare
  • Luis Torres, MBA, Vice President, Managed Care, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy
  • Julie Zatizabal, SVP, Trade Relations, Amber Pharmacy

Featured Topics Include:
  • Copay and affordability criteria – reimbursement considerations to ensure specialty pharmacy network design success
  • Examining the role of IDNs/ACOs in specialty pharmacy and the unique characteristics of successful integrated model partnerships
  • Measuring outcomes and the impact on specialty pharmacy network design
  • Opportunities and pitfalls of specialty pharmacy network design decisions
  • Understanding the specialty patient population’s perspective
  • Patient data aggregation – effective data collection and interpretation strategies
  • Trends in oral oncology specialty pharmacy distribution
Visit CBI’s site for further details. Register by June 1 and receive $400 off the standard rate with discount code SPN400.

*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.