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 26,000 subscribers. Learn more...

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Drug Channels News Roundup, January 2019: Part D Plan Profits, Hospitals vs. Drugs, and BS in Healthcare

L.A. vs. New England! Youth vs. experience! Kale vs. chowdah! Yes, it’s time for a weekend of blow-out commercials, occasionally interrupted by a football game.

Before you start training to gorge at your Super Bowl-party, tackle this month’s selection of notable news stories, intercepted for you from the Drug Channels gridiron.
  • Touchdown: The little-known ways that plans profit from Medicare Part D
  • Trick play: Hospital care vs. prescription drugs: My best tweet ever!
  • Offensive lines: A must-read guide to BS in healthcare
Plus, we here at Drug Channels have just released our 2019 media kit. Check it out and let us know how we can help you appear on the site.

P.S. Follow my curated links to cool stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Drug Prices Are NOT Skyrocketing—They’re Barely Growing at All

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science today released a new report that reveals important realities about U.S. drug pricing trends.

Too many politicians and journalists remain committed to the false narrative of “skyrocketing” and “soaring” drug prices.

By contrast, IQVIA data reveal that list prices for brand-name drugs grew by less than 6% in 2018. What’s more, net prices (after rebates and discounts) increased by only 1.5%. The 2018 figures mark the fourth consecutive year that net drug prices have grown by low-single-digit amounts.

I recognize that relying on “facts” and “data” has become unfashionable. But I simply don’t understand how we can build sound public policies based upon inaccurate perceptions. As the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." I doubt this principle will guide today's congressional hearings.

Monday, January 28, 2019

sPCMA Business Forum

sPCMA Business Forum
March 11 & 12, 2019
Hilton Bonnet Creek | Orlando, FL

The sPCMA Business Forum brings together senior executives and decision makers from PBMs, health plans and their affiliate specialty pharmacies to collaborate with drug makers and their other important business partners. The event offers invaluable networking and education for individuals and companies involved in the specialty drug supply chain. Conference sessions will cover critical issues confronting the work of PBMs, insurers and drug makers.


Contact PCMA

Please contact Jenny Bradham (jbradham@pcmanet.org) with questions or to request further information.


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


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

New Part D Enrollment Data: CVS Extends Its Lead in 2019 Preferred Pharmacy Networks

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just released its first 2019 data on enrollment in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs).

Our exclusive analysis of these numbers finds that for 2019, 88.4% of seniors are enrolled in PDPs with preferred pharmacy networks. That’s a drop from last year's figure of 99.9%.

Below, we use the new enrollment data to analyze the major pharmacy chains’ position within the 22 major Part D plans that have preferred networks. As you will see, in 2019 CVS again looks poised to capture market share from Walgreens and Walmart, both of which lost position in this year’s networks. Kroger remains a major player, while Rite Aid holds a distant fourth place behind its peers.

One more fun fact about 2019 enrollment: CVS Health’s SilverScript Allure, the first Part D plan with point-of-sale (POS) rebates for brand-name drugs, bombed. Was it a noble experiment or an unappealing option designed to enroll few seniors in a plan design that CVS opposes?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

CBI’s 15th Annual Life Sciences Accounting & Reporting Congress

CBI’s 15th Annual Life Sciences Accounting & Reporting Congress
March 20-22, 2019 | Loews Philadelphia Hotel | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/accounting

As product pricing and contracting within the channel continues to tangle in complexity, and the gross-to-net “bubble” swells in size, leaders in Finance and Accounting are often at the front lines, making decisions around strategy and reporting.

CBI’s 15th Annual Life Sciences Accounting & Reporting Congress, the world’s top event for finance, accounting and business leaders within life sciences, provides the in-depth CPE education and networking with nearly 600 professionals.

Visit www.cbinet.com/accounting for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use promo code SNQ255 and register prior to February 8th.*

Hot topics include: SEC reporting, R&D financing, product pricing and contracting, critical audit matters, GTN, robotic process automation, valuation, collaborations and licensing, capital creation and allocation, SOX compliance, M&A, corporate tax, new product commercialization, FP&A, cybersecurity and data privacy, carve-outs and divestitures, revenue recognition, forecasting and financial planning, leases, and third-party oversight. You’ll return to the office ready to advance your organization to stay ahead in 2019.

You can sign up to view the agenda here, and see a snapshot of what you can expect:
  • CEO Fireside ChatCandid Conversation on Key Business and Industry Topics
    Featuring Cathy Engelbert, CEO, Deloitte and Heather Bresch, CEO, Mylan
  • CFO Keynote PanelLeading in Finance and Navigating the Course of Change
    Led by Laura Robinette, US Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Assurance Leader, PwC and Featuring Chief Financial Officers from Endo, Impax/Amneal and Insmed Incorporated
  • Women’s Leadership Summit - Stories on Career Development, Leadership and Mentorship
    Featuring PwC, Shire, Covance, Ipsen and Solid Biosciences
  • Wall Street and Investment PanelImpactful Deals Impacting the Life Science Marketplace
    Featuring Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Bain Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and PwC
Additional sessions to be presented by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, BMS, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, AnaptysBio, Spero Therapeutics, and many others.

Visit www.cbinet.com/accounting for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use code SNQ255 and register prior to February 8th.*
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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Independent Pharmacy Economics Keep Deteriorating

Time for Drug Channels’annual look at independent pharmacy owners’ business economics, drawn from the recently released 2018 National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Digest, Sponsored by Cardinal Health. Here's the press release: NCPA Releases 2017 Digest.

Below, I update our estimates on pharmacy economics and margins. Our analysis reveals that independent pharmacy owners have faced another year of deteriorating finances.

What's more, we estimate that in 2017, the average pharmacy owner’s salary fell to a level comparable to that of an employed pharmacist. Owning a pharmacy, with all of its hassles and additional obligations, now brings the same reward as being an employee. I wonder how many owners will conclude that it’s barely worth the risk and effort.

Read on for our look at pharmacy profits and some comments on the industry’s competitive dynamics, including the financial impact of direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees.

The pharmacy consolidation endgame is getting closer. The next time you see a pharmacy owner, offer your condolences.

Monday, January 14, 2019

CBI’s 6th Annual e-Rx and EHR

CBI’s 6th Annual e-Rx and EHR
March 12-13, 2019 | The Inn at Penn | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/erx

CBI’s 6th Annual e-Rx and EHR conference, taking place March 12-13 in Philadelphia, provides tangible takeaways and tailored sessions to help you understand how to maximize e-prescribing and EHR technology engagement. Don’t miss the major key insights from industry thought-leaders as they discuss the challenges with streamlining HCP workflow, refined strategies for educating patients and best practices in coordinating channel integration with EHR platforms.

Download the agenda for complete details and register by Friday, February 8, 2019 and receive $300* off the standard rate with promo code DCX300.

Featured Discussion Topics:
  • Discuss the e-prescribing provisions within the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act of 2018
  • Examine current initiatives within Apple, Amazon and the City of Philadelphia and how they are becoming three key players in the EHR space
  • Evaluate early clinical factors and treatment of patients to a specific therapeutic area for quality care
  • Hear innovative insights into the efforts of Geisinger and Merck with MedTrue™
  • Review what providers are looking for and assess the gaps in using EHRs
  • Discuss current patient support tools and resources that truly drive physician and patient engagement in population health management
  • Learn to deliver patient-specific drug benefit and cost-information within the e-prescribing workflow at the point of care
  • Understand the value of data analytics in regards to prescribing patterns
Expert Multi-Stakeholder Speaking Faculty:

PHYSICIAN PERSPECTIVE:
  • David Kaelber, M.D., Chief Medical Informatics Officer, The MetroHealth System
PAYER PERSPECTIVE:
  • Kimberly Hansen, Director, Network Operations, UnitedHealthcare
HEALTH SYSTEM PERSPECTIVE:
  • Julie K. Rockey, MBA, RHIA, Strategic Program Director, Geisinger Health System
MANUFACTURER PERSPECTIVES:
  • Eric Wente, Regional Account Executive, Market Access US, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Patricia Cunningham, MSHI, RHIA, CHPS, Associate Director, Health IT, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Mark Monticelli, Associate Director, Health Systems Marketing, Astellas
  • Vanessa Menton, Director, Oncology Marketing, Astellas
Don't be left out of the conversation. Download the agenda for complete details and register by Friday, February 8, 2019 and receive $300* off the standard rate with promo code DCX300.

*Offer expires Friday, February 8, 2019; 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.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The Big Three Generic Drug Mega-Buyers Drove Double-Digit Deflation in 2018. Stability ahead?

Oral generic drugs keep getting cheaper. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has intensified the generic industry’s competitive pressures with record drug approvals. The FDA’s actions, combined with the negotiating leverage of the large generic purchasing organizations, led to 2018’s persistent double-digit deflation in manufacturers’ selling prices for oral generic drugs.

Below, we update our analysis of these generic drug mega-buyers.

We estimate that for 2018, the three largest buyers  accounted for more than 90% of total U.S. generic drug purchases from manufacturers. In 2019, acquisitions and contract switches will shift market share among these groups, but not diminish their impact. It's no surprise that manufacturers lose their minds when seeing these monster firms.

There are now fewer therapeutic areas with excess inflation, so future price reductions will be smaller. What’s more, some generic manufacturers have signaled their intention to exit highly competitive generic drug categories in which prices have dropped. Look for oral generic prices to stabilize—and possibly rise—over the next 12 to 18 months. Perhaps the blindfolds will come off?

P.S. Portions of this post have been adapted from our forthcoming 2019 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. We'll be taking this updated and expanded edition out of our bird box on March 5!

Monday, January 07, 2019

CBI’s 20th Annual Patient Assistance & Access Programs – PAP 2019

CBI’s 20th Annual Patient Assistance & Access Programs – PAP 2019
March 4-6, 2019 | Baltimore, MD
www.cbinet.com/pap

During a time when copay programs and patient support are under intense scrutiny and underinsurance continues to plague many patients, PAP 2019 convenes over 450 leaders from the patient assistance and product access field (manufacturers, copay foundations, non-profits, free clinics, advocacy organization, hospitals) to prepare you for what’s ahead. Join over 50 distinguished speakers who are prepared to address the legal environment, industry best practices and policy watch-outs related to prescription access and financial assistance.

Drug Channels readers save $400 off the standard rate when they
use discount code REK226 and register prior to January 25th.*

You can download the agenda here and see in-depth coverage on critical issues, such as:
  • The Impact of Copay Accumulators on Access and Adherence
  • Legal Underpinnings of Patient Assistance and Gain Insight on OIG Oversight
  • Technology and Automation Tools that are Improving the Patient Journey and Outcomes
  • Advancements in Electronic Benefit Verification
  • Strategies for Effectively Managing Patient Data
  • Patient-Centric Support Programs to Remove Barriers and Support Adherence
    Navigating Changes and Ensuring Coverage for Medicare Patients
  • Trends and Approaches in Nursing Support Programs
Visit www.cbinet.com/pap for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate they use discount code REK226 and register prior to January 25th.*

CBI will see you there!

*Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rates, clinic/hospital rates, non-profit rates other offers. 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.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Specialty Pharmacy M&A: Our Look at 2018’s Deals

Let’s kick off 2019 with a quick review of last year’s specialty pharmacy mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Our list (below) includes only deals that were publicly announced in 2018.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) were especially busy. CVS Health bought five specialty pharmacies. UnitedHealth’s OptumRx bought Avella Specialty Pharmacy, the largest independent specialty pharmacy.

Diplomat Pharmacy was uncharacteristically quiet during 2018, though it had been one of the most active acquirers in previous years.

The specialty pharmacy industry is rapidly maturing, so I expect many more exits in the coming years. Looking to pick up a fast-growing specialty pharmacy? Click here for your post-holiday shopping list.