Monday, June 04, 2012

Top Articles from Drug Channels: May 2012

Today’s post responds to reader requests for a monthly Drug Channels wrap-up. Every month, I’ll highlight the previous month’s five most frequently viewed and/or most interesting articles.

Here are the winners from May 2012. Below, I provide some additional comments and reflections on each article.
Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey! If you haven’t done so, please take a moment to fill out the 2012 Drug Channels Reader Survey and tell me what you think about the site.

Walgreens is Losing Its Battle with Express Scripts
By a wide margin, my thoughts on the Express Scripts/Walgreens dispute were May’s most viewed article. Careful readers noticed that I did not opine on who is right or wrong in this dispute. I simply believe that Walgreens will be forced to concede, probably before the end of the year. There was also a lively back-and-forth in the comments. My POV generated some healthy off-line (and off-the-record) debate, too!

Express Scripts' George Paz Opines on Medco, Pharmacists, and Walgreen
This related article also generated a lot of readers and comments, due to the controversial comments from Mr. Paz and pharmacy owners’ general unhappiness with PBMs.

Oral Oncology Channel Battle: Payers vs. Providers
This article highlights the channel strategy challenges associated with oral oncolytics. Payers would prefer that a lot more volume goes through the specialty pharmacy channel. In contrast, oncology practice managers would prefer that more volume go through on-site provider dispensing. Strategic market analysis articles generate few comments, but are widely read because of the direct implications for biopharmaceutical manufacturers.

Armada 2012: Reflections on the Evolving Specialty Marketplace
Judging by web traffic, many people enjoyed reading my take on the key themes at the Armada meeting. I would like to hear other opinions on the stories and lessons from major industry events. Please drop me a line if you ever feel inspired enough to write up your observations and I’ll publish it as a guest post.

Drug Channel Profits in the 2012 Fortune 500
I always enjoy writing this annual financial comparison of drug channel participants. I aim to cut through the clutter and spin so we can all see the real facts. This effort was not appreciated by all, judging by some odd comments.


I’ll monitor clicks and page-views for these monthly wrap-ups. If interest is strong, then it will become a regular feature.


  1. AnonymousJune 04, 2012


    What do you think about this news?

    Walgreen, Express Scripts drop claims against each other

    Are they going to settle soon?

  2. The lawsuit was about Walgreen's statements/marketing. It's not really relevant now, but could indicate a slight thaw. Walgreens issued a very terse statement, so I suggest keeping near-term settlement expectations low.