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
www.cbinet.com/340B

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
www.cbinet.com/pbmcontracting

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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Who Best Managed the Drug Spending Slowdown in 2017: CVS Health, Express Scripts, MedImpact, or Prime Therapeutics?

It’s time for Drug Channels’ annual analysis of drug spending. For 2017, we again turn to the annual trend reports from four large pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)—CVS Health, Express Scripts, MedImpact, and Prime Therapeutics. (See their report links below.)

Below, I compare who’s better and who’s best among the PBMs and share additional observations about the 2017 trends. We offer four key conclusions:
  • Drug spending grew by only 1.5% in 2017, continuing a multiyear decline in the growth rate.
  • Total drug spending declined at more than 40% of plan sponsors.
  • Spending on traditional drugs dropped by mid-single digits.
  • For specialty drugs, higher utilization was a much bigger contributor to spending growth than was growth in unit costs.
The 2017 data figures show that PBMs’ negotiating abilities continue to put spending growth in a squeeze box. Unfortunately, the warped incentives of the gross-to-net bubble and plan sponsor cost-shifting mean that patients do not always get on the magic bus and benefit from the low trend figures.

Monday, May 21, 2018

CBI's Reimbursement and Access 2018

Reimbursement and Access 2018
August 15-16, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/reimbursement

For all companies within the life sciences arena, staying on the pulse of emerging trends, ensuring favorable reimbursement and justifying product prices are core pillars of overall product success. Whether your organization is pre-commercial or managing multiple products, CBI’s highly-acclaimed Reimbursement and Access arms attendees with invaluable learning, practical strategies and tangible takeaways on the most impactful ways to reduce barriers to access.

Join CBI in Philadelphia this August 15-16 at Reimbursement and Access 2018 for unparalleled insights and practical expertise.

Register today! Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard registration rate when they use discount code JUR627*

High-Impact Topics Transforming Access Strategy Including:
  • Copay Accumulators and PBM Restrictions
  • Evolving Health Policy Landscape
  • Value-Based Contracting
  • Formulary Management
  • Biosimilar Strategy and Access
  • Payer Engagement
  • Cell and Gene Therapies
  • Temporary Supply and Quick Start Programs
Dynamic Dialogue Driven by a Multistakeholder Speaking Faculty Representing:
AbbVie • Adama’s Pharmaceuticals • America’s Health Insurance Plan (AHIP) • Avalere, an Inovalon Company • BIO • Boehringer Ingelheim • Braeburn • Covington & Burling • CSL Behring • Eisai, Inc. • Frier Levitt • Health Results Group • Heron Therapeutics • Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals • Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems • Jupiter Life Sciences Consulting • Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy • King and Spaulding • Kite, a Gilead Company • Pfizer • Regional Cancer Care Associates • Sobi • Spark Therapeutics • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma • Walgreens • Xcenda • And More!


Visit www.cbinet.com/reimbursement for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard registration rate when they use discount code JUR627*

*Discount expires 06/22/2018 and may not be combined with other offers, category rates, promotions, or applied towards an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop only or academic/nonprofit registrations. 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, May 15, 2018

The Trump Drug Pricing Plan: Short Term Reprieve, Long Term Disruption

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released American Patients First, a report billed as “The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.” This administration’s blueprint offers a thoughtful diagnosis of U.S. drug pricing along with the unintended consequences and warped incentives of our drug channel system.

The report also proposes a very long list of more than 50 regulatory and legislative fixes. It therefore doesn’t translate to quick action or simple sound bites. Many people are discounting the plan as no big deal and therefore underestimating how radically the system could change.

Below, I review some of its more radical notions—and highlight why the document's ideas pose substantial long-term risks for drug channel companies and their profit models. I also examine proposed changes for modernizing the Medicare Part D program and discuss two popular but ineffective ideas that were omitted from the document. While I don’t cover it in this article, I suspect changes to the Medicare Part B program may arrive soon.

The blueprint avoids facile diagnoses and simplistic solutions. It therefore looked on Friday like a weak political move. However, I expect last Friday’s announcement will mark the start of many coming changes.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit

Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit
August 15-16, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/IDNStrategy

In this complex healthcare market, integrated delivery networks have different decision-making processes, the size to leverage price discussions and access to real-world data in order to assess a therapy’s value. It is up to manufacturers to understand what IDNs require to meet their goals and adapt their sales teams to support and communicate effectively with these customers.

CBI’s 3rd annual Partnering with IDNs BioPharma Strategy Summit convenes manufacturers and integrated delivery networks to discuss how to create a mutually beneficial partnership for data-driven product advancement, greater patient engagement and adherence, and optimal care coordination.

Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard registration rate when they use discount code FGD662.* REGISTER TODAY!

Diverse Perspectives from Industry Pioneers:
  • Scott Canfield, Specialty Pharmacy Clinical Programs Manager, John Hopkins Home Care Group
  • Mark Fisher, Director – Key Account Lead, Sanofi Joint Health
  • Scott Garrett, Respiratory Institutional Regional Business Manager, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
  • Brandon Newman, PharmD, MMHC, CSP, Program Director, Specialty Pharmacy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Elliot Jones, Regional Account Executive, IDNs-Northeast, Bayer
  • John Robicsek, Assistant Vice President, Strategy, Business and Program Development, Pharmacy Administration, Atrium Health
  • Michelle Templin, Vice President, Government Affairs and Business Development, MHA ACO Network
  • Ameet Wattamwar, Pharm.D., Pharmacy Manager, Transition of Care, NYU Langone Medical Center
Take Your Health System Strategy to the Next Level with Dynamic Sessions:
  • Engage with industry pioneers at this highly collaborative event and benefit from 5+ hours of dedicated networking opportunities
  • Learn new sales models for engaging large hospital systems and IDNs
  • Hear case studies around system care coordination and population health management
  • Analyze the impact of an outcomes-driven marketplace for payers and providers
  • Take away contracting strategies that provide the most value to organized customers
  • Initiate and nurture network-based relationships
  • Overcome the challenges of specialty data management
  • And more!

Visit www.cbinet.com/IDNStrategy for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard registration rate when they use discount code FGD662*

*Applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, category rates, promotions or applied to an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop only or academic/non-profit registrations.


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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Reflections from #Asembia18: The State of Specialty Pharmacy 2018

Last week, Paula and I had the pleasure of attending Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

The Specialty Pharmacy Summit remains the most important forum in the specialty marketplace. This year, a record 6,500 people learned, networked, and connected in Las Vegas. It was another year of record attendance. (Here’s the official press release.) Drug Channels again salutes Larry and Robert Irene for sustaining and growing an annual event that unites the entire industry.

Today marks the eighth year that I will violate Vegas code and tell you what happened there.

Below, I offer reflections on the meeting and highlight key specialty industry trends. You’ll also find a link to the conference’s Featured Session slides and a few cool photos. Feel free to add your own observations and photos in the comments section below.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Integrate 2018: Three Co-Located Summits

Integrate 2018: Three Co-Located Summits
July 23-25, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.worldcongress.com/events/Integrate/

This July 23-25, Philadelphia will become home to Integrate 2018 featuring three one-day Pre-Summits and three Full Summits.
Choose one of three Pre-Summits:
  • The 2018 Copay Summit
  • Specialty Data & Access Strategies Master Class
  • AI & Blockchain Strategies Summit
Main Day Summits include:
  • 2nd Annual Patient Services Compliance Summit
  • 5th Annual Patient Support Services & Hub Design Summit
  • 5th Annual Specialty Network Design & Channel Optimization Summit
Truly customize your experience by selecting one-, two-, or three-day options and the specific tracks of your choice. One ticket price allows you access to any session from any of the three main day Summits.

Register with discount code DC200 and save $200 off of current registration rates!

Attendees will have the opportunity to break down silos and engage in forward-thinking discussions with cross-functional colleagues in order to develop best practices for improving support and access from manufacturer to patient, provider and networks.

Shared Keynotes include:
  • Examine Specialty Trends, Advancements, Emerging Partnerships, and Opportunities to Impact the Patient Journey and Improve Channel Strategies
  • MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES: Advance Stakeholder Collaborations to Navigate the Evolving Specialty Pharma Marketplace, Improve Channel Strategies and Align Stakeholders Across the Patient Journey
  • POLITICAL KEYNOTE: Insight into the Present Healthcare Landscape and its Implications on Patient Services, Specialty Pharmacy and Hub Design
  • PATIENT INSIGHTS: Understand the Patient Journey to Enhance Channel Strategies, Ensure Affordable Patient Services, Improve Specialty Distribution Operations, and Impact the Patient Experience
Confirmed speakers include executives representing:
Otsuka Pharmaceuticals | Walgreens | UPMC Health Plan | Pfizer | LuckFupus | Patient Advocate Foundation | CVS Specialty Pharmacy | Asembia | Accredo Express Scripts | Teva | Chiesi USA | Eisai | Sandoz Novartis | and many more!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience unprecedented value, networking and education. Register with discount code DC200 and save $200 off of current registration rates!


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

Monday, May 07, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: The 340B Program Reached $19.3 Billion in 2017—As Hospitals’ Charity Care Has Dropped

The 340B Drug Pricing Program continues to expand at double-digit rates. Our research reveals that these discounted sales hit a record $19.3 billion in 2017.

What’s more, we found that since 2014, purchases under the program have grown at an average rate of 29% per year. By comparison, manufacturers’ net drug sales grew at an average rate of less than 5% over the same period.

Consequently, the 340B program has grown to account for at least 6% of the total U.S. drug market.

Here’s another uncomfortable fact: Nearly all of the billions in 340B discounts have accrued to hospitals. Yet hospitals' charity care has dropped by almost $8 billion amid the 340B program’s astounding growth.

Read on for the latest details and ponder who really benefits from the 340B program's growth.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Employers Are Getting More Rebates Than Ever—But Sharing Little With Their Employees (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit. Click here to see the original post and comments from January 2018.

Yesterday, I examined new data showing that employers are receiving an increasing share of the rebate money collected by pharmacy benefit managers. See Employers Are Extracting More of Their Rebate Dollars from PBMs.

The data, from a Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (PBMI) survey, also documented a troubling reality. Employers acknowledged that they are hoarding rebates rather than sharing the savings with the employees whose prescriptions generated the rebate funds. It’s the first time that I’ve seen such an admission from plan sponsors.

Consider the data below as confirmation of the warped incentives caused by the gross-to-net bubble—the growing spread between a manufacturer’s list price for a drug and the net price. Consider the diabetes example below. Fixing this situation will be more challenging than walking to Mordor. Point-of-sale (POS) rebates may be a good place to start, but employers seem unwilling to part with their precious.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

A Lesson from McKesson: How Specialty Pharmacy Growth Is Hurting Wholesalers (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit. Click here to see the original post and comments from February 2018.

Last week, McKesson released its quarterly earnings for the fourth calendar quarter of 2017. See the links below.

The profit outlook for its distribution business was lower than Wall Street’s expectations, due partly to what management termed “customer and product mix.” Below, I offer my take on the three interrelated mix changes that challenge wholesalers' profits from the growth of specialty pharmacy drugs.

Wholesalers have been trying to alter their conventional pricing and contracting approaches to address these pressures, though it’s not clear how successful these efforts have been. The specialty boom may prove to be a mixed blessing for wholesalers.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Cigna-Express Scripts: Vertical Integration and PBMs’ Medical-Pharmacy Future (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit. Click here to see the original post and comments from March 2018.

Wow. Yesterday, Cigna announced that it would acquire Express Scripts. See the links below.

Though Cigna was an unexpected acquirer, the deal confirms the importance of pharmacy and medical benefit integration. It also reinforces the role that pharmacy benefit management (PBM) plays in the drug channel. PBMs are now linked closely to the expensive specialty drugs that treat smaller patient populations, not to the primary care blockbusters of yesteryear.

The strategic logic, however, is much more compelling for Express Scripts than it is for Cigna. Perhaps that’s why the stocks reacted so differently yesterday. Express Scripts’ stock closed up 9%, while Cigna’s stock closed down 12%. Better to sell a PBM than buy one?

Below, I provide data about the PBM market, highlight vertical integration between PBMs and insurers, and discuss other industry implications.

Please feel free to leave your own $0.02 below. If you’re shy, you can comment anonymously.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Copay Accumulators: Costly Consequences of a New Cost-Shifting Pharmacy Benefit (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit. Click here to see the original post and comments from January 2018.

Let’s kick off 2018 with a Last Jedi-themed look at copay accumulator programs—a benefit design option that I expect to become highly controversial this year.

Accumulator programs target specialty drugs for which a manufacturer provides copayment assistance. Unlike conventional benefit designs, the manufacturer’s payments no longer count toward a patient’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

As you will see below, plan sponsors—employers and health plans—will save big money because accumulators shift a majority of drug costs to patients and manufacturers. Accumulator programs will further lower a plan’s drug spending by discouraging the appropriate utilization of specialty therapies and reducing adherence. What’s worse, many patients won’t understand their new “benefit.”

Given the direct human healthcare impact of copay accumulator programs, I don’t see how they can be considered value-based designs. Is it any wonder that people think their employers and insurance companies are from the dark side?

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2017: PBMs and Payers Still Dominate (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit. Click here to see the original post and comments from March 2018.

Below is our exclusive Drug Channels Institute list of the 15 largest pharmacies, ranked by estimated 2017 revenues from dispensing specialty pharmaceuticals.

The battle for control of the specialty market accelerated in 2017, though pharmacies owned by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) continued to capture most of the market share. The top four specialty pharmacies are all owned or co-owned by a PBM. They accounted for about two-thirds of prescription revenues from pharmacy-dispensed specialty drugs.

Vertical integration M&A has been in the news. But as our data shows, the integration of PBMs and specialty pharmacies has already happened.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Drug Channels News Roundup, April 2018: Copay Accumulators, Express Scripts, Pharmacy Pricing, Amazon, and Almost-Pharmacist Jack Nicklaus

Baseball season is finally here! Oil up your glove, lace up your cleats, and let's run the bases around this month's news stories. Remember: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.

In this issue:
  • Green Monster: The drug manufacturers that are most vulnerable to copay accumulators
  • Pop Fly: Express Scripts wants to pop the gross-to-net bubble?
  • Foul! Fresh evidence that uninsured consumers pay rip-off cash prices at retail pharmacies
  • Strikeout: My $0.02 on Amazon’s decision not to sell drugs to hospitals
Plus, from the diamond to the green: the secret pharmacy history of golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

P.S. For my daily pitches on the industry’s hits and misses, follow @DrugChannels on Twitter. My recent tweets have covered copay accumulators, the oncology market, drug costs, biosimilars, PBMs, and more.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Gross-to-Net Bubble Topped $150 Billion in 2017

In 2017, the gross-to-net bubble—the ever-growing pile of money between a manufacturer’s list price for a drug and the net price after rebates and other reductions—hit a new high.

Based on new data from IQVIA, manufacturers of brand-name drugs in 2017 reduced list price revenues by an astonishing $153 billion. Those reductions came primarily from rebates, discounts, and other payments to the drug channel. That figure has grown by 10% from the 2016 figure, even though net prices for brand-name drugs grew by only 1.9%.

We can no longer ignore the warped incentives created by our bubble buddy. As regular readers know, I think plan sponsors and insurers should be more transparent about what they do with the billions collected via pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from manufacturers—or even be forced to pass through these rebates to point of sale. Read on and let me know what you think.

Monday, April 23, 2018

CBI’s 14th Annual Commercial Contract & Chargeback Excellence

CBI’s 14th Annual Commercial Contract & Chargeback Excellence
June 20-21, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA

CBI’s Commercial Contract & Chargeback Excellence Summit, take a deep dive into ways to improve chargeback efficiency, navigate class of trade assignments, streamline membership management and optimize contract administration and operations. Through illustrating software solutions, case studies and perspectives from leading distribution partners, this conference is a comprehensive forum for pharmaceutical professionals to learn best practices and gain strategies to improve contract operations and retain revenue.

Download the agenda here.

2018 Program Highlights:
  • Partnership Pavilion – Collaborate with Distribution Partners, Manufacturers and Legal counterparts
  • Manufacturer Panel – Overcome Key Challenges of Contract Operations and Administration
  • Advanced Discussions on the hottest Topics Impacting Commercial Contracting:
    • Manage Tier Commitments and Compliance in Complex Contracting
    • Explore Key Benefits and Challenges of Outsourcing Chargebacks and Membership Functions
    • Apply Data Analytics to Sales and Chargebacks to Enhance Business Decision-Making
Visit www.cbinet.com/chargebacks for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use discount code XYC552 and register prior to May 18th.

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, April 20, 2018

Improving Patient Prescription Access and Adherence Journeys

Today’s guest post comes from Bill Nolan, VP/GM of McKesson Specialty Health.

Bill discusses ExpressCoverage™, a solution from McKesson and CoverMyMeds®. It offers new ways for McKesson’s Patient Support Services to electronically access and efficiently communicate with a vast network of physicians, payers, and pharmacies. Bill highlights how this tool improves the specialty patient’s access and adherence to therapy.

To learn more, download the free document ExpressCoverage™: Revolutionizing Patient Drug Access For Pharmaceutical Companies.

Read on for Bill’s insights.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why Retail Pharmacies Still Overcharge Uninsured Patients—And What That Means for Amazon

Consumer Reports recently published a fascinating survey of pharmacies’ cash prices for five common generic drug prescriptions.

The results were startling. Prescription prices ranged from $66 to $1,351—a nearly 2,000% difference. The big three retail drugstore chains—CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid—consistently had higher average prices compared with those of other pharmacies. Independent pharmacies had some of the lowest prices, but also some of the highest prices.

Our analysis of prescription profits highlights the pharmacy industry’s unfortunate pricing strategy for cash-pay prescriptions. Average profit margins ranged from $8 to $264 per prescription for the five drugs. We can only hope that consumers didn’t pay the pharmacies’ sky-high cash prices.

The results expose the insane soak-the-poor mentality baked into the U.S. pharmacy industry’s historical pricing models. The data also highlight the potential pharmacy opportunity for Amazon.

P.S. Before other states follow Maryland and pass laws against price gouging by generic manufacturers, perhaps they should take a closer look at the behavior of their own states’ pharmacies.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

McKesson Leads Another Round of PSAO Consolidation

Last week, McKesson announced the formation of Health Mart Atlas (HMA), a joint venture between McKesson’s Access Health business and American Pharmacy Network Solutions (APNS). Click here to read the press release.

The combination extends McKesson’s position as the largest pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO). PSAOs are the awkwardly named intermediaries that operate between smaller pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), per our U.S. Distribution and Reimbursement System flowchart.

When the Arete Pharmacy Network was formed, in 2016, I predicted that the fragmented PSAO sector would begin a long-overdue consolidation. Given the PBM titans now sitting atop Mt. Olympus, the remaining PSAOs can’t shrug off Health Mart Atlas.

Monday, April 16, 2018

CBI’s 4th GPO Membership Eligibility & Class of Trade Maintenance

4th GPO Membership Eligibility & Class of Trade Maintenance
June 19-20, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/gpo

Assembling over 100 industry professionals representing manufacturers, GPOs, wholesalers, distributors, and solution providers, CBI’s 4th GPO Membership Eligibility & Class of Trade Maintenance conference provides a rare, interactive forum on membership data management, class of trade, and workflow efficiency. Join your colleagues this June to learn strategies and insights from peers and industry stakeholders, and acquire the ability to overcome significant operational challenges related to proper management of GPO membership data. For additional information on session topics and speaking faculty, download the agenda here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/gpo for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use discount code NHY548 and register prior to April 20th.*

Compelling Sessions and Actionable Takeaways on Topics, Including:
  • Spotlight Panel Session: Ensure Seamless Membership Management and Accountability Across the GPO Supply Chain
  • Understand Best Practices for Efficient Membership Maintenance in a World on HCP Service Evolution
  • Kickback Risks of Arrangements with GPOs – Case Studies on Fraud and Abuse
  • Audit COT Designations to Find Inaccuracies
  • Develop Strategies to Streamline Communication With Your Distribution Network
  • Distinguished Speaking Faculty Includes: Kendrion Biopharma, Anada Inc., Sanofi, UCB, Zydus Pharmaceuticals, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Prometric Biotheraputics, Lilly USA, Chiesi USA Inc., and more.
Visit www.cbinet.com/gpo for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use discount code NHY548 and register prior to April 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, April 13, 2018

Copay Accumulator Programs: TrialCard Measures the Impact on Patients and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Today’s guest post comes from Mark Bouck, President and CEO of TrialCard.

Mark reviews copay accumulator adjustment programs and shares some of TrialCard’s unique data about these programs. He also discusses TrialCard’s proprietary methodology for identifying patients affected by this benefit design. This topic is crucial for 2018 (per my own article from January), so I encourage you to review his commentary.

To learn more about TrialCard’s approach to copay accumulator programs, download the free e-book The Rise of Co-Pay Accumulator Programs: Are Your Brand’s Patients at Risk?

To learn more about TrialCard’s solutions for accumulators, email Mark Droke, TrialCard's Senior Vice President, Patient Affordability & Virtual Engagement Business Units, at mark.droke@trialcard.com. You can visit Trialcard in booth 610 at Asembia’s upcoming 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: A Record Number of Specialty Pharmacies Now Have Accreditation

It’s time for Drug Channels Institute’s annual update on the accreditation of specialty pharmacies.

Our spooky research team (pictured at right) is back! We have counted every pharmacy location that has achieved accreditation by an independent organization. Our exclusive findings:
  • The number of specialty pharmacies with accreditation expanded again in 2017. We identified 729 unique pharmacy locations that by the end of 2017 had achieved accreditation from the three major independent accreditation organizations. The 2017 figure is almost double the 2015 figure.
  • For the second consecutive year, pharmacy locations owned by healthcare providers—such as hospitals, health systems, physician practices, and providers’ group purchasing organizations—were the fastest-growing category of accredited specialty pharmacies.
See below for the complete details of our exclusive analysis. Notes for fellow arithmomaniacs are in the final section.

Pharmacies that compete to dispense specialty therapies are owned by a diverse set of organizations: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail chains, health plans, pharmaceutical wholesalers, physician practices, and hospital systems. There are also many independent specialty pharmacies. The battle for control of the specialty market is accelerating, though PBMs continue to dominate the market as channels narrow.

Monday, April 09, 2018

CBI’s 20th Annual Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress

CBI’s 20th Annual Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress
May 21-23, 2018 | Orlando, FL
www.cbinet.com/medicaid

Join the Government Pricing industry for YEAR 20 of CBI's Medicaid Congress at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club in Orlando! Take a deep dive into sessions on 340B expansion, state pricing and transparency, FSS contracting, value-based frameworks, reasonable assumptions, Medicare coverage and more. You can read all about it here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/medicaid for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code BMK348 and register prior to April 27th.

Features for 2018 Include:
  • Three Tailored Content Strategy Streams:
    • 1. Strategic Pricing and Transparency
    • 2. Statutory Reporting Requirements
    • 3. Finance and Compliance Operations
  • Six Interactive Workshops:
    • 1. GTN Strategies and Solutions
    • 2. Product Acquisition Due Diligence and GP Considerations
    • 3. Generic Inflation Penalty Operational Guidance
    • 4. Value-Based Frameworks and Government Pricing Strategies
    • 5. Medicaid and GP Reporting – Build or Buy?
    • 6. Supplemental Rebates – Current Events and Operational Effectiveness
  • Plus, a State Medicaid Director Panel, 101 Boot Camp, Senior Executive Think Tank, Healthcare Innovation Keynote and much more!
Speakers include representatives from CMS, Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, OIG, Sidley Austin, BIO, Arnold & Porter, Deloitte, UCB, Eli Lilly, BMS, Novartis, Pfizer, Cumberland Consulting, Sunovion, J&J, Insmed, Kite Pharma, King & Spalding, KPMG and more.

Visit www.cbinet.com/medicaid for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code BMK348 and register prior to April 27th.

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, April 06, 2018

Connect With Drug Channels at #Asembia18

In three weeks, Drug Channels Institute will hit Las Vegas for Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Here are three ways that you can interact with us in Las Vegas:

1) Learn how Drug Channels can help your business.

Drug Channels reaches a large, diverse audience throughout the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. We have an engaged and growing audience of more than 21,000 readers who regularly open, click, forward, and share our content.

Drug Channels has an engagement rate that is more than twice that of the average media platform.

To discover how you can reach our audience, you can speak personally with my wife and business partner, Paula Fein, M.S.Ed. Paula is Drug Channels Institute’s VP of Business Development. FYI: In the picture, she's on the left. Email her at paula@drugchannelsinstitute.com and she’ll be happy to meet with you.

In the meantime, download the 2018 Drug Channels Media Kit for an overview of the site, our traffic, and opportunities for sponsored posts.

[Click to Download]

2) Join me at the Featured Session.

On Tuesday, May 1, I’ll lead the event’s Featured Session, titled Specialty Pharmacy Industry Outlook: What’s Happened & What’s Ahead. I'll be joined by Doug Long from IQVIA and Lisa Gill from J.P. Morgan Securities. See you in the Encore Ballroom at 9:00 AM!

[Click to Enlarge]

3) Just say hello!
We love meeting and talking with Drug Channels readers, so please introduce yourself. Don’t worry: It will all be off the record. What we discuss in Vegas will stay in Vegas. ;)

See you soon!

P.S. To prep for the Summit, check out Chapter 3 (“Specialty Drugs and Specialty Pharmacies”) of our new 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Payer Power: Why Eli Lilly, Janssen, and Merck Deeply Discount Their Drug Prices

Over the past few weeks, three of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers—Eli Lilly, Janssen, and Merck—have publicly reported the 2017 gross and net price changes for their U.S. product portfolios, along with average discounts. As far as I know, these are the only manufacturers that have publicly reported these data. See the links below.

As you will see, the three companies have provided average discounts from list prices of 42% to 51%. Two of the three companies experienced a year-over-year decrease in average net prices.

Payers and PBMs frequently recommend that manufacturers just lower the cost of their drugs. These data demonstrate that’s exactly what these three companies have done. Of course, the price cuts were provided in the form of rebates and discounts to the drug channel. We still don’t know how, if at all, patients benefited from the declining prices for their drugs.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The Mysteries of Pass-Through Status: Why Medicare and Seniors Are Now Paying More for Lower-Cost Biosimilars at Hospitals

An unanticipated combination of government policy changes has led to a truly bizarre circumstance: The Medicare program and individual Medicare patients are paying more for lower-cost biosimilars. Further, hospitals are earning windfall profits from these lower-cost biosimilars, though physician offices can’t access the same financial benefits.

Sound bonkers? You bet.

To understand this strange turn of events, I delve into the vagaries of Medicare Part B reimbursement and the recently implemented outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) rule for drugs acquired under the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

As I explain below, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently made all biosimilars eligible for “pass-through payment status.” This obscure regulatory change (also explained below) altered reimbursement for some—but not all—biosimilars.

I illustrate the funky economics behind biosimilars’ newfound profitability and raise four crucial policy questions. Expect to hear more about this as politicians digest the spin from all sides of these tangled policies. However, it’s clear that CMS needs to act before this strange mix of policies disrupts the biosimilar market.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Data Rev18 Summit

Data Rev18 Summit
June 19-20 | Philadelphia, PA
www.worldcongress.com/events/DataCongress

This June 19 – 20 Philadelphia will become home to three case study driven events under 1 roof focused on real world data. Over 150+ data leaders will convene at the Data Rev18 Summit in Philadelphia.

Attend the only Congress aiming to break down the organizational silos in order to facilitate a seamless and free flow movement of data, throughout the life cycle from Clinical all the way through Commercial – aiding your business in truly embracing Data Driven Decision Making.

Register with discount code DC200 and save $200 off of current registration rates!

Attendees will benefit from three case-study driven events under one roof showcasing best practices for enhanced drug development and business insights through the new wave of innovation in data & analytics, real world data & real world evidence.

Three Co-located Summits include:
  • 3rd Real World Data for Competitive Advantage Summit
  • 2nd Real World Data for Clinical Innovation & R&D Summit
  • 2nd Real World Data & Analytics Centers of Excellence Best Practices Forum
Key Agenda Highlights include:
  • FDA Guidance on Real World Data Regulatory Decision Making Post Passage of 21st Century Cures Act
  • KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION: Optimize Business Insights and Enhance R&D Through Real World Data and Advanced Analytics
  • PANEL DISCUSSION: Artificial Intelligence: Pharma’s Path to Adopting AI and Other Emerging Technologies
  • CASE STUDY: CancerLinQ and FDA Collaboration on Real World Impacts of Precision Medicine Therapies
  • CASE STUDY: Building a Centralized Big Data CoE to be the Bedrock for Establishing a Data Driven Company
  • Utilize RWD From Real World Experts Through Acquisition to Inform Clinical Trial Design
  • And many more!
Confirmed speakers include executives representing:
Novartis| Pfizer| Johnson & Johnson| Eli Lilly | AbbVie | GSK | FDA | Janssen | Astrazeneca | Trevena | Biogen | and many more!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience unprecedented value, networking and education. Register with discount code DC200 and save $200 off of current registration rates!


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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Drug Channels News Roundup, March 2018: Copay Accumulators, Cancer Drug Costs, Physician Employment, and Insurer Profits

It’s technically spring here at Drug Channels' worldwide headquarters in lovely downtown Philadelphia. While the last snowdrifts melt into memory, please enjoy this month’s selection of noteworthy news stories. You’ll learn:
  • Why copay accumulators are making national news
  • How hospitals are doubling cancer drug costs
  • Fun facts about the massive shift to hospital-employed physicians
Plus, a joke (I think) about how a major health insurer makes money.

P.S. Join the nearly 5,400 people who follow me at @DrugChannels on Twitter. I share links to crucial news and reports that you should know about.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Five Takeaways About Cigna's Strategy for Express Scripts

Almost three weeks ago, the health insurer Cigna announced that it would acquire the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts. Click here to read my initial analysis of the deal.

Wall Street remains unimpressed. Ever since the transaction was announced, Cigna’s stock price has dropped by 16%. Meanwhile, Express Scripts’ stock is trading more than 20% below Cigna’s offer price, suggesting that many believe the deal won’t be completed.

To soothe rattled investors, Cigna last week filed an intriguing SEC Form 425. It contains 31 questions that you may or may not have been asking yourself about its acquisition of Express Scripts, along with Cigna’s answers.

Below, I highlight my five key insights from Cigna’s responses to its own questions. I support each of these five takeaways by quoting relevant material from the company’s answers to the questions it poses in the document. Riddle me this: When is it easier to interview yourself instead of dealing with skeptical investors?

Monday, March 26, 2018

CBI’s 5th Annual e-Rx and EHR Summit

CBI’s 5th Annual e-Rx and EHR Summit
May 15-16, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/erx

Whether new to the eRx and EHR space or a seasoned expert, CBI’s Bio/Pharma Forum on e-Rx and EHR provides tangible takeaways and tailored sessions to ensure effective partnerships with EHR and EMR providers to maximize these critical technologies. Join CBI in May to gain tactical strategies to streamline HCP workflow drive patient education and engagement and facilitate access. Download the agenda here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/erx for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code BJA629 and register prior to April 13th.*

Hot Topics on the Agenda Include:
  • Spotlight Panel Session: Physician Perspectives on EHR systems
  • Table Talks: Physician Perspectives
    • Perspectives on the Use and Sustainability of HIEs
    • Learn the Effects of EHR Documentation on Physician-Patient Communication
    • Key Approaches to Enhance Patient Adherence
  • Distinguished Speaking Faculty Includes: AstraZeneca, Allergan, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer, NCPDP, Geisinger Health System, Geisinger Medical Center, and more.
Visit www.cbinet.com/erx for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code BJA629 and register prior to April 13th.*

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, March 23, 2018

Leveraging Technology for Specialty Patient Engagement

Leveraging Technology for Specialty Patient Engagement
A free webinar hosted by Therigy
Tuesday, April 24, 1-2pm EDT
Click here to register

Therigy is pleased to announce a free webinar on the influence and leverage of technology for specialty patient engagement, Tuesday, April 24, 1-2pm EDT.

Interested in learning the most effective way to communicate with your patients? Attend this FREE Webinar: Leveraging Technology for Specialty Patient Engagement. Receive insider tips on how to leverage technology to improve overall patient engagement and satisfaction leading to higher rates of adherence and better outcomes.

Speakers will present research and insights on the topic of developing the right treatment and communication plan for patients that matches their lifestyle needs and improves their quality of life.

Featured speakers include:
  • Russel Allinson, RPh, MS, Chief Executive Officer, Therigy
  • David Medvedeff, PharmD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, VUCA Health
  • Jon Hamrick, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, Therigy
Featured topics include:
  • How do patients and caregivers prefer to communicate with their HCP (pharmacist)?
  • Technology platforms leveraged in different ways to increase communication
  • Most effective communication approach to encourage adherence
  • Potential beneficial impact on pharmacy labor and patient adherence
Visit Therigy’s registration page for additional information and to register.


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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Janssen’s New Transparency Report: A Peek Behind the Drug Pricing Curtain Raises Troubling Questions About Rebates

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen business unit just released its 2017 Janssen U.S. Transparency Report. (Free download.) This is the second annual edition of the report, which provides a comprehensive look at Janssen’s commercial activities.

Most notably, Janssen reveals that the list price for its pharmaceutical products grew by 8.1% in 2017. Its average net prices, however, declined in 2017 by 4.6%. Janssen paid $15 billion in rebates and discounts, which subtracted 42% from its list prices. Kudos to Janssen for providing so much disclosure.

Below, I review some key takeaways from this valuable report. We’re left with some key unanswered questions, however: Did patients’ out-of-pocket costs for Janssen’s drugs also decline in 2017? Which entities in the drug channel benefited most from the $15 billion in payments?

I suspect that patients didn’t share fully in the benefit of Janssen’s ever-growing payments. That’s precisely the problem with the gross-to-net bubble.

Monday, March 19, 2018

CBI’s Real-Time Benefit Check & ePrior Authorization Summit

CBI’s Real-Time Benefit Check & ePrior Authorization Summit
May 15-16, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/eprior

Join industry pioneers from bio/pharma, PBMs, payers, health systems, prescribers and system solutions providers at the Real-Time Benefit Check & ePrior Authorization Summit, where you’ll discuss the latest in standards, adoption and best practices to ensure streamlined prescriber workflow and faster access to medication for patients. Download the agenda here.

Visit www.cbinet.com/eprior for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code EJT243 and register prior to April 13th.

Navigate Evolving Trends and Cutting-Edge Strategies for Adoption and Implementation:
  • Advancement Panel: Next-Generation Strategies for Improving Workflow Efficiency while Satisfying ePA Requirements
  • NCPDP Update: Working Group Advancements in Real-Time Prescription Benefit and ePrior Authorization
  • Discover and Utilize: Leading Portals from Manufacturers to Increase Patient Access
  • Cutting-Edge Case Study: Internal Model of Centralized ePA Team and Next Steps for Timelier Collaboration
  • AMA Address: Prescriber Perspective on Reducing PA Burden in the Physician Practice – Update on Advocacy, Automation and Workflow Improvements
  • Uncover: The Real-Time Benefit Check – Key to Closing the Gaps in Eligibility Driven Formulary
  • Leverage: Healthcare Technology Applications to Improve Medical Adherence
Visit www.cbinet.com/eprior for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard rate when they use discount code EJT243 and register prior to April 13th.

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.