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 nearly 100,000 subscribers and followers. Learn more...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Drug Channels News Roundup, January 2017: Gross-to-Net Details, Part B, Diplomat, CVS Health, and…This Site!

The weather may be chilly, but our monthly news update will keep you purring. Here are important new developments that will ignite your curiosity:
  • A great new report that quantifies manufacturers’ gross-to-net discounts
  • MedPAC targets Part B reimbursement
  • Diplomat and CVS Health offer competing looks at the specialty drug pipeline
Plus, we here at Drug Channels have just released our 2017 media kit. Check it out and let us know how we can help you appear on the site!

P.S. I've been pretty active on the @DrugChannels Twitter  account. Follow along for my daily tweets on cool and intriguing stuff.

Monday, January 30, 2017

CBI’s 4th Annual e-Rx and EHR Forum — ePrescribing and Electronic Health Records

CBI’s 4th Annual e-Rx and EHR Forum — ePrescribing and Electronic Health Records
March 15-16, 2017 | Philadelphia, PA

Exclusive Offer – Register by 2/24/2017 and save $400* (mention promo code ERXDC4)

CBI's flagship e-Rx and EHR conference returns to Philadelphia in March for unparalleled learning and benchmarking opportunities. Benefit from the life sciences industry’s foremost event dedicated to the forward thinking strategies and tactics to streamline HCP workflow, drive customer education and facilitate access via e-Prescribing and EHR technologies.

Why e-Rx and EHR 2017? Here are just a few of the many exciting features of this year's transformative program:
  • A four-physician panel delivering first-hand accounts of HCP experiences with EHR systems
  • An eye-opening Keynote from IBM Watson Health, providing a unique glimpse into the future of healthcare IT
  • Industry insights and expertise from, among others: AstraZeneca, Celgene, Boehringer Ingelheim, NCPDP, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, Intercept Pharmaceuticals
  • Coverage of the hottest topics and key challenges keeping you up at night, including population health, innovations at the point of prescribe, ePrior authorizations, preventing opioid abuse and so much more

*Discount offer valid through 2/24/2017; applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, categories, 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.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

McKesson’s Profit Shortfall: How Wholesalers Benefit From Rising Drug List Prices

Yesterday, McKesson reported another quarter of disappointing financial results. Click here to read the press release.

CEO John Hammergren complained that the company was “unfavorably impacted in the third quarter by weaker branded pharmaceutical pricing than anticipated.”

On last night’s earnings call, the company echoed its threat to renegotiate agreements with manufacturers that don’t increase drug list prices at a rate that's acceptable to McKesson.

In What McKesson’s Profit Warning Means for Manufacturers and Pharmacies, I explained that McKesson and other drug wholesalers want drug list prices to rise. To help you interpret what’s going on, below is a brief excerpt from our 2016-17 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors that outlines precisely how wholesalers benefit from drug price inflation—even when they have fee-based agreements with manufacturers. File this post under “warped channel incentives.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Weird and Wild Gross-to-Net Adventures of EpiPen and Its Alternatives

Last week delivered significant announcements that will shake up the market for epinephrine auto-injector pens. CVS began promoting a lower-cost EpiPen alternative. Small pharma company Kaléo relaunched the AUVI-Q. Meanwhile, Mylan’s new generic EpiPen continued to gain traction.

It’s a good time to revisit the EpiPen situation and see what it tells us about U.S. pharmaceutical industry pricing. After last week’s announcements, there are now four key products, each with its own list price and rebate arrangements:
  • An EpiPen with a $608 list price and rebates to pharmacy benefit manages (PBMs)
  • An EpiPen with a $300 list price, but no rebates
  • Adrenaclick, an alternative product with a $110 cash price at CVS pharmacies
  • Auvi-Q, another alternative, with a $4,500 (!) list price
As I explain below, these variations wonderfully illustrate the warped incentives embedded in our crazy drug channel. Will we make progress in popping the gross-to-net bubble?

Monday, January 23, 2017

PAP 2017 – CBI’s 18th Annual Patient Assistance & Access Programs

PAP 2017 – CBI’s 18th Annual Patient Assistance & Access Programs
March 16-17, 2017 | Baltimore, MD

CBI’s PAP Summit continues the tradition of uniting manufacturers, co-pay foundations, non-profits, free clinics, advocacy organizations, hospitals and more to analyze the legalities, intricacies and best practices for these vital programs at a time of unprecedented need. As pricing pressures, politics, regulatory scrutiny and "under insurance" converge, now is the time to gather, discuss and plan the path forward.

2017 Program Highlights Include:
  • Marketplace trends impacting patient access, affordability and adherence
  • The prospect of Obamacare reversal and what it means for patient access
  • Emerging market-based and political initiatives to control drug utilization
  • New waves of patients and evolving models of assistance
  • Trends and insights in co-pay program assistance and utilization
  • Program best practices to optimize the patient journey
  • Advocate and manufacturer relations to enhance patient access
Plus – Choose from Three Content Streams:
  • Technology and Innovation – Paving a Path to Improve Outcomes
  • Affordability and Access – Streamlining Financial Support and Access to Care
  • Legal and Compliance – Oversight and Frameworks for Compliance
For more information, please download the complete agenda or visit www.cbinet.com/pap. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code FDH399.*

*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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New 2017 Part D Enrollment Data: Walgreens and Walmart Trounce CVS in Preferred Networks

Just-released data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms that preferred cost sharing networks will continue to dominate Medicare Part D. Our exclusive analysis finds that for 2017, 73% of seniors are enrolled in Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) with preferred pharmacy networks. The three biggest companies—Humana, UnitedHealthcare, and CVS Health's SilverScript—now account for 69% of enrollment in stand-alone Part D plans.

Below, we use the enrollment data to analyze the major pharmacy chains’ position within the 17 major multi-regional Part D plans with preferred networks. As you will see, Walgreens and Walmart are the big winners, while CVS and Rite Aid lag far behind.

As long as pharmacies are willing to accept lower reimbursements in exchange for increased store traffic, preferred networks will continue to grow. For 2017, Walgreens’ aggressive partnering strategy looks likely to result in significant prescription market share gains.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

PBMI 22nd Annual Drug Benefit Conference

PBMI 22nd Annual Drug Benefit Conference
March 6 – March 8, 2017 | Orlando, Florida
Location: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

The conference will kick off with an opening speech by Scott Gottlieb, M.D. Dr. Gottlieb is a practicing physician and Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. A leading expert in health policy, Dr. Gottlieb’s work focuses on providing insights into the economic and technological forces driving the transformation of healthcare.

Attendees will benefit from hearing from thought leaders and innovators who will provide insight into practical and proven strategies for effectively managing the drug benefit. The conference includes three educational tracks and continuing education credit (CE) for pharmacists, is available. Check out the conference program to see who will be there.

Conference attendees can get a head start on their conference learning experience by selecting one of two FREE pre-conference workshops to attend. Workshops will be held Monday, March 6th from 10:30 am to 12:45 pm.
  • Workshop A: Trust But Verify: A Case Study on the Value of Auditing Your PBM Sponsored by Pharmaceutical Strategies Group
  • Workshop B: Improving Patient’s Safety and Outcomes with Innovative Solutions Sponsored by Surescripts, LLC
Note: Conference registration is required to attend a workshop.

Drug Channels readers will save $255 off conference rates when they register online and use discount code PEM17.

If you have questions or need information about exhibiting or sponsorship at the conference, please contact Linda DeChant at ldechant@pbmi.com.

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Yes, Commercial Payers Are Adopting Narrow Retail Pharmacy Networks

ICYMI: CVS drugstores were booted from the pharmacy networks of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. It's more evidence for preferred and limited pharmacy networks in commercial plans. But how many payers are adopting these new narrow network models?

As far as I know, the only public answer comes from the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute’s (PBMI) new 2016 Trends in Drug Benefit Design report. (Free download with registration.) Drug Channels again thanks Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. for having sponsored the research.

According to the PBMI’s survey data, almost half of all employers have a narrow pharmacy network. The chart below tracks the growth in different network designs. Many interrelated factors support the continued adoption of narrow networks. The savings to payers from narrow networks come primarily from pharmacies, which offer or must accept lower per-prescription margins. That’s what makes narrow networks so controversial—but also highly pro-competitive. Caveat venditor!

Monday, January 09, 2017

14th Annual World Health Care Congress

14th Annual World Health Care Congress
April 30 – May 3, 2017 | Washington, DC

Don't forget to reserve your seat at the table with Health Plan and Payer decision makers at the 14th Annual World Health Care Congress taking place April 30-May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Early rates end January 12, 2017. Use promo code PC200 for an additional $200 savings off the early rates.*

The updated agenda is now available to download.

  • KEYNOTE: A Productive Conversation: Cross-Sector Initiatives to Find Affordability in Drug Pricing
  • Discuss Innovative Business Strategies Essential to Excel in a Volatile Marketplace
  • Pragmatic Approaches to Succeed at Value-Based Payment and Care
  • Develop Internal Competencies, Best Practices, and Infrastructure to Improve Population Health and Manage High-Cost Areas
  • Measure the Impact of Ambulatory Nursing in a Value-Oriented Health Care System
  • Streamline Data Sharing and Use Predictive Modeling to Prevent Complex Issues and Improve Behavioral Care Delivery
  • Assume Higher Risks for Greater Rewards in a Next Generation ACO
  • Assess Opportunities and Challenges in MACRA to Determine the Most Suitable Models for Involvement
  • Case Study: Develop a Bundle and Define an Episode of Care for Oncology
Who will be there? Click here to view a sample list of your colleagues who have already reserved their seat.

Complete your registration before January 12, 2017 using promo code PC200 for an additional $200 savings.* For an immediate reservation, call +1 781-939-2400 or reserve online.

World Congress looks forward to seeing you in DC.

*Discount not available on Government, workshop only or webcast rates. May not be combined with any other offer.

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Specialty Pharmacy M&A: Our Look at 2016’s Deals

For 2016, we estimate that total prescription dispensing revenues from specialty drugs at retail, mail, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies hit a record $115 billion. Specialty dispensing revenues continue to grow at double-digit rates, which is one reason specialty drugs make up a growing share of pharmacy industry revenues.

So it’s no surprise that there is a vigorous market for the buying and selling of specialty pharmacy companies. Let’s kick off 2017 with a quick review of last year’s 14 significant specialty pharmacy mergers a & acquisition (M&A) transactions. Our list below includes only deals that were publicly announced in 2016.

I expect many more transactions in 2017. If you’re looking to pick up a fast-growing specialty pharmacy, click here for your shopping list.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

sPCMA Business Forum 2017

sPCMA Business Forum
March 8 & 9, 2017
Hilton Bonnet Creek | Orlando, FL

The sPCMA Business Forum attracts many executives and decision makers from PBMs and the nation's largest specialty pharmacies. The two-day event offers unparalleled networking and education for individuals and companies involved in specialty drug benefit management including specialty pharmacies, PBMs, pharma/biotech manufacturers, and others.

Conference features include:
  • Receive CPE while participating in sessions led by senior industry thought leaders and decision makers
  • Timely and insightful CPE sessions
  • Dedicated time and extensive facilities for private meetings
  • Scheduled networking events with other attendees
The new PCMA conference app allows users to access the attendee list, send messages to other attendees, create a personalized schedule, and access hotel maps--all in advance of the conference!

Contact PCMA

Please contact Jenny Dawson (jdawson@pcmanet.org) with questions or to request information about the Affiliate Program and conference sponsorships.

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