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, February 28, 2017

Drug Channels News Roundup, February 2017: Specialty Pharmacy (x2), PBMs in Medicare, and Health Insurance Hilarity

Our mild winter is almost over! Celebrate the imminent return of spring with our selection of noteworthy news stories. In this issue:
  • Business trends for specialty pharmacy owners
  • The new Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Award
  • Pharmacy benefit managers find a powerful friend
Plus, some droll health insurance humor! (Is there any other kind?)

P.S. Remember to follow me on Twitter @DrugChannels for daily tweets on cool and intriguing stuff.

Monday, February 27, 2017

eyeforpharma Oncology Market Access & Pricing 2017

eyeforpharma Oncology Market Access & Pricing 2017
June 15-16, 2017
Le Meridien | Philadelphia, PA

In an increasingly complex and fragmented healthcare space, isn’t it time for true innovators to take control?

Against the back drop of increased pricing pressure, the next few years in Oncology will be volatile. But with volatility comes great opportunity- especially for Pharmaceutical companies ready to step from the periphery to the centre of the healthcare stage. Pharma can- and should lead stakeholders towards mutually beneficial outcomes and drive the decision making processes that will both outline oncology’s future and redefine the healthcare system.

The shift from volume to value has brought the adoption of alternative payment models, increased payer involvement, increased spending on oncology therapeutics, a shift in drug distribution, integrated delivery systems… the list is endless. Meeting the needs of cancer patients is now down to successful navigation of a complex, fast-evolving market place.

The answer to this existential crisis is multi-stakeholder buy-in, but with pharma firmly at the helm. We need to embrace more collaboration, transparency and payer/patient engagement. eyeforpharma’s Oncology Market Access & Pricing Summit will show you how. Download the full agenda here.

In June, after the dust from ASCO has settled, with expert insights from Julie Locklear, VP, EMD Serono; Kevin Fitzpatrick, CEO, CancerLinQ; Bryon Wornson, VP, Pfizer; Ariella Evenzahav, Head, Takeda; Lou Sanquini, VP, Healthagen Aetna and many more…eyeforpharma will be addressing the key strategic points in more detail, including:
  • Expert insights on how to move value from theory to reality
  • Ways to change market place dynamics and develop stronger patient, payer and HCP partnerships
  • Guidance on how to connect reimbursement with value and win over your stakeholders
Join eyeforpharma at a provocative and complete gathering for commercialization, market access and pricing leaders in Oncology to find out how Pharma can deliver leadership-based value, satisfy payers and drive better outcomes across the board.

Access the full agenda here.

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2016

In 2016, specialty drugs became an even bigger part of the pharmacy industry. We estimate that in 2016, retail, mail, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies dispensed about $115 billion in specialty pharmaceuticals. Specialty drugs accounted for 28% of the pharmacy industry’s prescription dispensing revenues.

Below is our exclusive list of the 15 largest pharmacies, ranked by estimated revenues from dispensing specialty pharmaceuticals. This year’s expanded list includes specialty pharmacies owned by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), health plans, retail chains, and wholesalers. A further five pharmacies are independent companies—for now.

Lace up and get ready to slug it out with our latest update on the booming specialty market.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Join me at Asembia's Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2017

Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2017
April 30 – May 3, 2017
Wynn & Encore | Las Vegas

Please join me at Asembia's  Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2017, which will take place from April 30 to May 3, 2017, at the wonderful Wynn & Encore Las Vegas.

This year, I will help kick things off with an opening Featured Session titled Specialty Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacy: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond. I'll be joined by Doug Long from QuintilesIMS and Eric Percher from Barclays Capital.

The Summit attracts an impressive diversity of pharmacies, manufacturers, health plans, wholesalers, hospital systems, pharmacy benefit managers, patient advocacy groups, and more. View the agenda and check out the list of speakers.

Here's my review of last year's Summit: The State of Specialty Pharmacy in 2016: Reflections from #Asembia16.

Read on for more details about this great specialty pharmacy event and register now. See you in Vegas!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Retail Clinic Check Up: CVS Retrenches, Walgreens Outsources, Kroger Expands

Retail clinics focus on convenient care for simple acute conditions. They exemplify how drugstores and other retail outlets are broadening their services to emphasize non-dispensing revenues.

As I predicted last year, clinic growth stalled in 2016. From 2010 to 2015, the number of retail clinics grew by nearly 70%, to more than 2,000 locations. As of January 2017, the number of retail clinics was unchanged compared from the 2016 figure.

Below, I update our analysis of the chains with the biggest clinic market share: CVS Health, HEB, Kroger, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart. As you will see, strategies and growth rates differ.

FYI, this post is adapted from Section 1.4.1. of our 2017 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. Friendly reminder: Discounted pricing for the report ends tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Express Scripts Reveals What Really Drives Drug Spending—And Why the Government May Do No Better

Last week, Express Scripts released its 2016 Drug Trend Report for the commercial market. (Free download. Download the two separate documents titled “Executive Summary” and “Commercially Insured” for the full story.)

Kudos to Express Scripts for continuing to publish these insightful data. Too bad that its PBM peers have stopped releasing comparable data or devolved into publishing only the briefest of marketing pamphlets.

For 2016, drug trend—the year-over-year change in spending—was a mere 3.8% for Express Scripts’ commercial plan sponsor customers. The Express Scripts data also highlight how drug prices were only part of the reason behind moderating drug spend. Contrary to the public rhetoric, increased utilization was a bigger influence than higher prices for both specialty and traditional drugs.

Tough benefit management enabled one-third of plan sponsors to lower spending from 2015 to 2016. Will Medicare and Medicaid really be willing to limit access to medicines and pharmacies? I wonder how many Americans would say “Be Mine” to aggressive utilization management tactics.

Monday, February 13, 2017

CBI’s Formulary, Co-Pay and Access Summit

CBI’s Formulary, Co-Pay and Access Summit
April 11-12, 2017 | San Francisco, CA

CBI’s Formulary, Co-Pay and Access Summit is coming up April 11-12 at the Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. For 2017, this annual meeting focuses on overcoming patient affordability barriers and navigating increased efforts from health plans to limit reimbursement of high cost therapeutics. There’s also a focus on the hot button issues impacting the pharma/bio industry today, including formulary exclusions, high deductible plans, changes in benefit design, NDC blocks and step therapy programs.

Interactive Discussions on Critical Topics Affecting Patient Access and Discount Programs:
  • Formulary Breakthroughs – Moving Beyond Co-Pay Programs to Encourage Collaboration and Improve Patient Outcomes
  • Survey Data Review - Explore Physician Perspectives on Prior Authorization and Formulary Issues
  • Buy and Bill, Physician Administered Specialty Drugs – Managing Complexities while Ensuring Compliance
  • May the Field Force Be With You – Managing Field Representatives to Execute Co-Pay Programs
New for 2017!
  • Tech Talk – SEO Optimization to Promote Co-Pay Cards
  • Stefani Klaskow, Head of Industry, Healthcare, Google
For more information, please download the complete agenda or visit www.cbinet.com/formulary. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off of the standard registration rate when they use discount code MPD934.*

*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.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

NEW: The 2017 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers

I am pleased to announce our new The 2017 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers, available for purchase and immediate download.
We’re offering special discounted pricing if you order before February 17, 2017!

With more than 140 proprietary charts, exhibits, and data tables, it offers the only complete examination of the pharmacy and PBM industries’ prescription economics, reimbursement models, market structure, growth rates, forces of change, and interactions within the U.S. healthcare system.

See below for more info and some behind-the-scenes tidbits. Happy reading!

Monday, February 06, 2017

sPCMA Business Forum 2017

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

The sPCMA Business Forum offers invaluable networking and education for individuals and companies involved in specialty drug benefit management including specialty pharmacies, PBMs, drug manufacturers and others.

Conference sessions will cover critical industry issues including:
  • The high price drug debate
  • Net price
  • Legislative landscape under a new Administration
  • The shifting landscape of specialty pharmacy business models
  • Medical formulary and driving preferred utilization in the medical benefit
  • The latest developments in oncology value-based care
  • America’s opioid abuse epidemic
  • Digital technologies and medication adherence
  • Specialty drug trend and management implications
  • Limited specialty networks for rare and orphan diseases
  • Exclusion lists
  • And more!
Industry thought leaders confirmed to speak include:
  • Tom Barker, Partner, Co-Chair, Healthcare Practice, Foley Hoag, Formerly General Counsel, HHS, and Formerly General Counsel, CMS
  • Jeffrey Berkowitz, Executive Vice President, Optum
  • Chris Bradbury, Senior Vice President, Integrated Clinical Solutions and Specialty Pharmacy, Cigna
  • William Fleming, President, Humana Pharmacy Solutions, Humana Inc.
  • Mark Merritt, President & Chief Executive Officer, PCMA
  • Steve Miller, Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Express Scripts
  • Dave Moules, Vice President, U.S. Payer and Channel Access, Pfizer
  • Len Schleifer, Founder, President & CEO, Regeneron
  • And many more!

Contact PCMA
Please contact Jenny Dawson with questions or to request information about the Affiliate Program or conference sponsorships.

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

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Top 15 U.S. Pharmacies of 2016

Next week, Drug Channels Institute will release our updated 2017 Economic Report on Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (known in our previous editions as The Economic Report on Retail, Mail, and Specialty Pharmacies)

The exhibit below—one of 143 in our new report—provides a first look at the largest pharmacies, ranked by total U.S. prescription dispensing revenues for calendar year 2016. As you will see, the growth of specialty drugs is reshaping the pharmacy and PBM industries.

For a sneak peek at the complete report, download the free overview. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

DIR Fees, Rebates, Pharmacy Economics, and the Future of Medicare Part D

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just released a controversial and important new report: Medicare Part D – Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR).

The report shows mixed consequences of DIRs in the Medicare Part D program. For example, manufacturer rebates (the biggest part of DIRs) reduce plan costs and Part D premiums. However, beneficiaries pay higher out-of-pockets costs because coinsurance amounts are based on the undiscounted, pre-rebate retail price. Meanwhile, the government is paying a growing share of drug costs due to catastrophic coverage.

The CMS report has important implications for how we think about rebates, gross-to-net discounts, plan premiums, and patients’ out-of-pocket expenses. That’s why industry reactions have ranged from outrage to defensiveness. I encourage you to read the report and think about how it lays the groundwork for changing the Medicare Part D program.