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...

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

My Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Don’t Blame Drug Prices on ‘Big Pharma’ (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2019 Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Click here to see the original post and comments from February 2019.


Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published my op-ed: Don’t Blame Drug Prices on ‘Big Pharma’. The article text is pasted below for those who don't subscribe.

I wrote this piece for a general business audience, though my arguments about rebates and patient out-of-pocket costs will be familiar to regular readers of Drug Channels. Alas, I had to omit such insider terms as gross-to-net bubble, direct and indirect remuneration, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

A personal note: I have been reading the WSJ daily since I was 18 years old. It’s a genuine thrill to see my byline on an op-ed in this newspaper. Another item off my bucket list!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Financial Strategies and Accounting for Bioscience Companies

Financial Strategies and Accounting for Bioscience Companies
June 11-12, 2019 | San Francisco, CA
www.cbinet.com/financialstrategies

Expectations have never been higher as more small and mid-sized life science companies prepare to launch new and innovative products in a competitive marketplace. Gross-to-Net remains a top risk, especially after a launch, and it is pivotal to achieve accuracy in GTN forecasts to avoid large adjustments.

Ensure success by gaining proven pre-revenue commercialization strategies, frameworks for managing gross-to-net estimates and mitigating risk, models to scale the business and grow a best-in-class finance function, hearing, timely updates on tax and legal matters, and industry expertise for communications and investor relations at CBI’s Financial Strategies and Accounting Summit for Bioscience Companies.

Visit www.cbinet.com/financialstrategies for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use discount code NHA949 and register prior to May 17th.*

Sign up for the agenda and speaker announcements here. Here’s a sneak peek into who you’ll be hearing from:
  • Alan Fuhrman, Chief Financial Officer, Amplyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Laurie Stelzer, Chief Financial Officer, Halozyme
  • Marc Belsky, Chief Financial Officer, Kezar Life Sciences
  • Robin Washington, Chief Financial Officer, Gilead Sciences
  • Mark Kaufmann, Chief Financial Officer, Ardelyx
  • Murray Kay, former Commercial Controller, Abbvie
  • Jennifer Sharpe, Executive Advisor, Life Sciences Revenue Analytics, IntegriChain
Visit www.cbinet.com/financialstrategies for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $400 off the standard rate when they use discount code NHA949 and register prior to May 17th.*

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.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Help for the Patient Journey–Electronic Modernization of Medication Access

Today’s guest post comes from Ben Stormer, VP of Product Development and Strategy for Specialty at CoverMyMeds.

Ben discusses how automatic, streamlined electronic enrollment in patient hub services will improve patients' adherence to specialty medication.

To learn more, connect with CoverMyMeds at the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit next week in Las Vegas.

Read on for Ben’s insights.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Drug Channels News Roundup, April 2019: Cigna’s Insulin Program, Amazon's PillPack Moves, Magellan’s Biosimilar Success, Prime’s Formulary Exclusions, and a World Without Rebates

April is over, and now, come what May, it’s time for our monthly roundup of news stories highlighting key trends for U.S. drug channels. In this issue:
  • My $0.02 on the Cigna/Express Scripts’ $25 insulin program
  • Amazon starts marketing PillPack to Prime customers
  • Surprise! Magellan drives major biosimilar adoption.
  • Prime Therapeutics shows the power of formulary exclusion
Plus, read media coverage of our recent webinar: Preparing for a World Without Rebates.

P.S. Join the more than 7,400 people who follow my daily updates and links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Specialty Pharmacy Boom: Our Exclusive Update on the U.S. Market

It’s time for Drug Channels Institute’s annual update of the number of U.S. specialty pharmacies.

As always, I had outstanding research assistance. (See photo at right.) But even we can’t count the total number of pharmacies dispensing specialty drugs, since any pharmacy can designate itself a specialty pharmacy.

We therefore counted every pharmacy location that had achieved accreditation by an independent organization.

Our exclusive findings:
  • As of the end of 2018, more than 900 unique pharmacy locations had achieved specialty pharmacy accreditation from one or more of three major independent accreditation organizations. The 2018 figure marks a 25% increase over the 729 locations in 2017 and is more than double the 2015 figure.
  • Pharmacy locations owned by healthcare providers—hospitals, health systems, physician practices, and providers’ group purchasing organizations—now account for more than one-quarter of all accredited specialty pharmacy locations.
Enjoy more of our arithmomania below. It will help explain why you’ll count more people than ever at next week’s Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2019. Drug Channels Institute will be there, so please say hello, e.g. “Greetings, it is I, a Drug Channels reader.”

Monday, April 22, 2019

CBI’s 15th Annual Commercial Contract & Chargeback Excellence

CBI’s 15th Annual Commercial Contract & Chargeback Excellence
June 25-26, 2019 | Philadelphia, PA
www.cbinet.com/chargebacks

Heading into Year 15, CBI’s Commercial Contract & Chargeback Excellence conference has become a must-attend for pricing and contracting professionals, offering interactive dialogue and best practices to guide you through a rapidly changing market.

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 ZKE535 and register prior to May 10th.*

Our esteemed speaking faculty, made up of companies such as Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Premier, Celgene, McKesson, Chiesi USA, Zydus Pharmaceuticals and more, will collaborate and offer perspectives on chargeback efficiency, class-of-trade, GPO membership management, contract administration, and everything in between.

Download the agenda here and see in-depth coverage on critical topics, such as:
  • Key trends and drivers of change impacting the commercial contracting landscape and market access
  • New strategies for risk-share agreements and value-based contracting
  • Optimize data exchange between trading partners from the wholesaler perspective
  • GPO Best practices for streamlined membership management and accountability
  • Valuable strategies for payer cost control approaches in the contracting space
  • Impact of HHS Proposed Rule to eliminate prescription drug rebates on contracting stakeholders
Plus! New for 2019!
  • In-Conference Workshops on the following topics: Class-of-Trade Membership Management, Value-Based Contracting Agreements, Pricing, Contracting and GTN Considerations at Launch, EDI Data Exchange, and 340B Pricing and Chargeback Reconciliation
  • Tracked programming diving into the strategies and best practices for both complex contracts management and GPO and chargeback administration
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 ZKE535 and register prior to May 10th.*

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, April 18, 2019

TrialCard: The Role of Hub Services in an Era of Drug Price Transparency, Value-Based Care, and Consumerism

Today’s guest post comes from Scott Dulitz, Chief Strategy Officer at TrialCard.

Scott discusses the evolution of pharmaceutical manufacturer hub programs. As he explains, crucial industry trends are changing how patients and healthcare providers interact with and evaluate support services.

To learn more about TrialCard’s patient management solution, view TrialCard's recent video: Emerging Market Trends Shape Hub/Market Access Services, or email Scott at scott.dulitz@trialcard.com.

Read on for Scott’s insights.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Road to 2020: Understanding the Regulatory Timeline for Part D Rebate Reform

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) keeps signaling that it wants to move us toward a world without rebates. Right now, it is evaluating comments on its proposal to remove rebates from federal programs. HHS wants to implement this rule in time for the January 1 start of the 2020 Medicare Part D plan year.

I would like, if I may, to take you on a journey through the 2019 regulatory timeline for both Part D and the proposed rule. As you will see, there is still a viable—but narrow—window for regulatory reform of rebates.

Despite our assessment, you should know that in the Medicare program, there are many implementation and logistical challenges in shifting rapidly toward a world without rebates. I outlined some of these issues in last Friday’s webinar: Preparing for a World Without Rebates. Don’t worry if you missed the live event. You can watch a replay and download the complete slide deck. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE REPLAY.

In the meantime, read on for our look at the rest of 2019. I can see you shiver with antici...pation.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Rare Disease Innovation and Partnering Summit

Rare Disease Innovation and Partnering Summit
June 13-14, 2019 | Boston, MA
www.raredisease-summit.com

As genomics and advanced diagnostics expand our understanding of rare diseases, so too does the scope of impact expand. More than 30 million Americans live with a rare disease. While the industry has seen growth and heightened focus around the pursuit of orphan products and rare therapies, we’ve only scratched the surface.

CBI and EBD Group, along with support from the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Global Genes and MassBio, are pleased to announce the Rare Disease Innovation and Partnering Summit, a platform designed to increase chances of therapeutic success for drug developers, patient groups and investors within the rare disease marketplace. Business brings breakthroughs. Breakthroughs can transform lives.

Visit www.raredisease-summit.com for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code SFK676 and register prior to May 10th.*

Take a deep dive into the critical and evolving topics impacting you today and hear from industry thought leaders and patient advocates who have designed and led innovative approaches to complex challenges in driving curative progress.

You can download the complete agenda here. Take a look inside:

Real Life Case Examples:
  • Develop New Models for Patient-Centric Registries – Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
  • Leverage Novel Collaborations in Orphan Drug Commercialization – Notable Labs and Cures Within Reach
  • Mapping the Patient and Caregiver Journey – An Insights-Driven Approach to Building the Foundation of Patient Identification and Services – Rhythm Pharmaceuticals
PLUS! FDA Perspectives:
  • Regulatory and Policy Update – Legislative Updates and New Initiatives within the FDA’s Orphan Drug Program
    Featuring: Janet Maynard, MD, MHS, Director, Office of Orphan Products Development, FDA, Samir Shaikh, Deputy Director of Patient Affairs Staff, Office of Medical Products and Tobacco, FDA, Martine Zimmerman, Global Head, Regulatory Affairs, Alexion and John Hallinan, Chief Business Officer, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council
And! Benefit from Four Impactful Tracks:
  • Patient-Driven Progress
  • Reimbursement & Access
  • New Launch & Commercialization
  • Partnering & Investment
Additional perspectives and insight from 50+ leaders at companies such as Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Asklepios BioPharmaceuticals, Athersys, Bexion Pharmaceuticals, BioMarin, bluebird bio, Blueprint Medicines, Boston Children’s Hospital, Cotinga Pharmaceuticals, Cure CMT4J, Cydan II Inc., EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases, Geisinger, Global Genes, Horizon Pharma, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Jackson Lab, Massachusetts General Hospital, MDA, Pfizer, Rare Access Action Project, Recordati Rare Diseases, Recursion Pharmaceutical, Sobi, Syros Pharmaceuticals, Tufts University School of Medicine, Xontogeny and more. Mark this as a must-attend event in 2019. Don’t miss it!

Visit www.raredisease-summit.com for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use discount code SFK676 and register prior to May 10th.*

CBI and EBD Group will see you there!

Produced by: CBI and EBD Group
Supported by: Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Global Genes and MassBio

*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.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Drug Price Transparency and Rebate Reform Take Center Stage

Today’s guest post comes from Kay Morgan, Vice President of Drug Information Excellence at Elsevier.

Kay discusses her thoughts on the latest developments on rebate reform and drug price transparency reform. Learn more by downloading Elsevier’s white paper: Prescription Drug Transparency Reform: While You Wait.

Read on for Kay’s insights.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

The Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2018: PBMs Keep Winning

In Drug Channel Institute's list of the top 15 pharmacies of 2018, we show that many of the largest U.S. pharmacies are now central-fill mail and specialty pharmacies operated by PBMs and insurers. To complement that broader list, below you’ll find the Drug Channels Institute list of the top 15 pharmacies based on specialty drug dispensing revenues.

As you will see, PBMs and insurers dominate specialty drug dispensing channels. The top four companies—all of which are fully or partly owned by a PBM—accounted for more than 70% of prescription revenues from pharmacy-dispensed specialty drugs. Payer- and PBM-owned specialty pharmacies’ market shares grew in 2018, due largely to merger and acquisition transactions.

PBMs are earning an increasing share of their profits from specialty dispensing activities. Don’t be surprised if drug channel reform starts examining the connection between specialty pharmacies’ profits and brand-name list prices.


Drug Channels Institute will host an exclusive new webinar, Preparing for a World Without Rebates, on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 12 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET. Get informed about the hottest topic facing our industry. Registration closes at midnight on Thursday. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP.

Monday, April 08, 2019

World Congress’ Integrate 2019

World Congress’ Integrate 2019
July 22-23, 2019 | Philadelphia, PA
www.worldcongress.com/integrate

Integrate is a three-track event featuring:
  • 6th Annual Specialty Network Design and Channel Optimization Summit
  • 6th Annual Patient Support Services and Hub Design Summit
  • 3rd Annual Patient Services Compliance Summit
Register with promo code DC200 and save an additional $200 on current early bird rate.

Join your peers across specialty distribution, patient support services and hub design, and patient services compliance to break down silos and strategize best practices for improving support and access from manufacturer to patient, provider and networks.

Our mission is to break down silos between internal colleagues and key stakeholders to help streamline business practices and provide better support and access to patients.

How will you benefit from attending?
  • Three Master Classes: Choose from three master classes focused on specialty data strategies, Nurse Educator Programs, and Compliance and Auditing strategies for Patient Support Services
  • Legal Roundtable: Hear from the DOJ and industry C-Suite Compliance executives on current and future trends in litigation and regulations around patient support services and foundational partnerships
  • Multi-Stakeholder Insights: Hear directly from specialty pharmacies, payers, PBMs, Hubs, government agencies, health systems, and industry leaders to ensure specialty product success
  • Access to Three Tracks: Customize your learning experience through free movement between sessions- All for 1 ticket price!
Shouldn’t you be there?

Register with promo code DC200 and save an additional $200 on current early bird rate.


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

Friday, April 05, 2019

Addressing the Rising Impact of Co-Pay Accumulators on Patients

Today’s guest post comes from Bill Nolan, VP/GM of Access and Adherence at RxCrossroads by McKesson.

Bill discusses the proliferation of co-pay accumulators and the negative effects they can have on patients, particularly those with high-deductible health plans. He offers solutions that biopharma companies can embrace to mitigate the impact, including the adoption of patient-centric support.

To learn more, download McKesson’s white paper: The Impact of Accumulators on Co-pay Programs.

Read on for Bill’s insights.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

The Gross-to-Net Bubble Reached a Record $166 Billion in 2018

The gross-to-net bubble—the ever-growing pile of money that sits between a manufacturer’s list price for a drug and the net price after rebates and other reductions—reached another high last year.

Drug Channels Institute developed the term gross-to-net bubble to describe the speed and size of growth in the total value of manufacturers’ gross-to-net reductions.

We estimate that in 2018, the total value of gross-to-net reductions for brand-name drugs was $166 billion. As you will see below, that figure doubled over the preceding six years. Below, I also highlight the various elements that fill the bubble. About two-thirds of total gross-to-net reductions come from rebates paid to third-party payers.

The gross-to-net bubble reflects—and drives—many of the problems with U.S. drug pricing. However, recent movement toward a world without rebates suggests that we may soon hear this bubble pop…


Drug Channels Institute will host an exclusive new webinar, Preparing for a World Without Rebates, on April 12, 2019, from 12 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Preparing for a World Without Rebates: A Drug Channels Institute Webinar

On April 12 at 12:00 p.m. ET, Drug Channels Institute (DCI) will host an exclusive new webinar: Preparing for a World Without Rebates.

Join Dr. Adam J. Fein, CEO of DCI and author of Drug Channels, for this hour long, live event as he helps you understand and get ready for what would be a momentous change to our industry.

If you need access for 10 or more lines, contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannelsinstitute.com) for special pricing

NOTE: A replay of this event is available. Click here for more information.

The webinar’s benefits include:
  • An unlimited number of people may listen on a single phone line. Invite your whole team for an hour of intensive learning and strategic insight. The presentation is sure to spark important internal discussion about the implications for your business.
  • Dr. Fein’s slides with marketplace data and analysis. You’ll also receive a downloadable PDF with all of the slides from the webinar.
  • An opportunity to ask Dr. Fein questions during the event
  • Access via any device with a web browser (computer, iPad, phone)

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

A serious effort exists to remove or decrease the role of rebates in the drug channel. We will help you and your team master one of the hottest topics in our industry.

Dr. Fein will share his latest thinking on:
  • What’s driving the effort to reform the rebate system
  • The pros and cons of such alternatives as point-of-sale rebates and negotiated discount models
  • The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) proposed rule to alter the rebate system in federal programs—its timing, implementation, and risks
  • Key uncertainties that could affect your scenario planning—including the likelihood of change in commercial markets
  • The roles that PBMs, pharmacies, and wholesalers could play in operationalizing a shift to discounts
  • What a world without rebates could mean for patients, benefit designs, competition, drug prices, and more
  • PLUS: Dr. Fein will take your questions.

HOW TO SIGN UP

The webinar will take place on April 12, 2019, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET.

  • At least 48 hours before the event, you will receive an email with a toll-free dial-in number and a unique PIN for your location. You will also receive an email on the morning of the event.
  • If you purchase access for multiple sites, we will contact you for the names and email addresses of a contact person at each location.
P.S. No, this is not an April Fool's joke. The webinar will really happen on April 12. No foolin'!