Thursday, April 30, 2020

Drug Channels News Roundup, April 2020: Drug Pricing Outlook, COVID-19 Data Tracker, Community Oncology Clinics, and My Favorite Chart of 2020

Rumor has it that Spring has finally reached our worldwide headquarters here in beautiful downtown Philadelphia. (See photo at right.) While we wait to go outside, please enjoy this month’s selection of noteworthy news:
  • The outlook for drug prices
  • A outstanding (and free!) resource for tracking COVID-19 daily data
  • What’s up with community oncology practices?
Plus, I share my favorite chart of 2020 (so far).

P.S. Join the more than 9,200 followers of my curated links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. My recent tweets have highlighted: Prime Therapeutics new gene therapy offering, AmerisourceBergen’s laudable deal with the Justice Department, the Costco/Instacart deal, Rite Aid’s new CEO, clinical trial trends, vaccine pricing, and much more! I have also been tweeting under-the-radar stories about how the coronavirus is affecting drug channels.

Tomorrow (May 1), Drug Channels Institute will host the first of two live video webinars: Industry Update and COVID-19 Impact: Retail & Specialty Pharmacies. We'll host the second video webinar—Industry Update and COVID-19 Impact: PBMs & Payers—on May 8. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP. Contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannelsinstitute.com) for our special promo codes for multiple viewing sites. DCI will donate 20% of all profits from these events to The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund.


Global Medicine Spending and Usage Trends: Outlook to 2024, The IQVIA Institute

ICYMI, IQVIA published its pre-pandemic outlook for brand-name drug price changes from 2019 to 2024. Its summary chart (reproduced below) shows:
  • Annual changes in invoice drug prices, which are closely correlated to list prices, are projected to be +4% to +7%
  • Annual changes in net drug prices, which include rebates and discounts, are projected to be -1% to +2%.
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IQVIA’s projection are consistent with the recent pricing trends measured by SSR Health that I highlighted in Surprise! Brand-Name Drug Prices Fell in 2019.

Both IQVIA and SSR Health demonstrate that inflationary rebates tied to invoice/list prices are economic nonsense. But that’s a story for another day …

COVID-19 Daily Tracker: April 28, 2020, Nephron Research

I find it challenging to keep up with the flood of data about COVID-19. That’s why I rely on Nephron Research’s COVID-19 Daily Tracker. You can read a sample issue from April 28 using the link above.

In partnership with Drug Channels, Nephron Research is making its COVID-19 Daily Tracker available at no cost to healthcare industry participants outside Nephron's research paywall.


These reports won’t improve our country’s situation, but they will make you much better informed. Highly recommended!

2020 Practice Impact Report, Community Oncology Alliance

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA), which advocates for community oncology practices, has been tracking changes in market structure for 10 years. Its latest report summarizes the most recent data on transactions that have led to a change in overall practice ownership.

As you can see, vertical integration between hospitals and physician practices has been a key factor in the ongoing shift in drug administration from community physician practices to hospital outpatient facilities. But note that horizontal M&A among practices has grown substantially since COA’s previous report. (For consistency of presentation, I include only data for two-year time periods.)

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For a comprehensive look at the evolution of buy-and-bill channels, see section 6.3. of our 2019-20 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors.

Relative Importance in 2020, so far

My favorite chart of 2020, so far. #science

I don’t know who created this brilliant analysis. For better or worse, it’s become my most liked and viewed post on LinkedIn.

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