Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Drug Channels News Roundup, December 2015: AmerisourceBergen, Pharmacy Pricing, AMP Final Rule, and Walgreens

December at last! It’s time for our final news roundup of 2015. Before you hit the mall, check out this hand-picked selection of notable news stories from around the Drug Channels universe.
  • AmerisourceBergen CEO Steve Collis reflects on his first four years
  • Beware! Consumers should watch out for overpriced pharmacies
  • Will Santa bring us the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) Final Rule?
Plus, the Walgreens Community Theater Players perform an unintentionally hilarious skit touting preferred pharmacies in Medicare Part D. As my kids say: LOL.

P.S. For news and other stuff that I find cool and interesting, follow @DrugChannels on Twitter.

CEO Snapshot: Steve Collis, Four Years Forward, Pharmaceutical Executive
Check out this extended interview with AmerisourceBergen CEO Steve Collis. Although filled with the standard amount of PR puffery, I liked reading his comments on ABC’s global strategy and the generic market. Collis drops a few hints about ABC’s Walgreens complex relationship. (For more, see section 7.3.2. (page 107) of our 2015-16 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors.) In 2016, expect to hear a lot more about these two companies and their interactions.

Save Money on Meds: 6 Tips for Finding the Best Prescription Drug Prices, Consumer Reports
This new Consumer Reports highlights the pharmacy industry’s unfortunate “soak the poor” pricing strategy for cash-pay prescriptions. Costco and independent pharmacies come out looking like heroes, compared with the big drugstore chains. Worthwhile for understanding the economics of retail pharmacy.

Covered Outpatient Drugs (CMS-2345-F), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Back in August, I reported that the oft-delayed Federal Upper Limits (FUL) and the Final Rule on Covered Outpatient Drugs, a.k.a., the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) Final Rule, was under final review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Well, the OMB has completed its review, paving the way for the Final Rule’s release. AMP is relevant to many drug channels topics, including: manufacturers’ Medicaid rebates; 340B ceiling prices; pharmacy reimbursement (via FULs); and manufacturers’ channel contracting; FULs). Hat tip to the FDA Law Blog!

How to Save Money with a Preferred Pharmacy Network, Walgreens
Walgreens is a big player in Medicare Part D preferred networks. (See How the Eight Biggest Retail Chains (and Independents) Are Participating in 2016's Part D Preferred Networks.) And here’s the hilariously awkward video to prove it! Click here if you can’t see the video.

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