Drug Channels delivers timely analysis and provocative opinions from Adam J. Fein, Ph.D., the country's foremost expert on pharmaceutical economics and the drug distribution system. Drug Channels reaches an engaged, loyal and growing audience of more than 35,000 subscribers. Learn more...

Friday, December 18, 2020

Specialty Pharmacy Keeps Disrupting Buy-and-Bill—and COVID-19 Will Accelerate It (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for today's video webinar: Drug Channels Outlook 2021.

Click here to see the original post and comments from September 2020.


Will COVID-19 trigger long-term share gains for specialty pharmacies as suppliers to hospitals and physician offices?

Before the pandemic, specialty pharmacies—via white, brown, and clear bagging—had already displaced buy-and-bill distribution channels for a substantial chunk of provider-administered specialty drugs. See below for detailed data on oncology and non-oncology products.

We estimate that in the first half of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic accelerated this shift. Some of the changes will likely be transitory, as patients return to their healthcare providers. But payers will try to retain some of these gains—especially if they also own a specialty pharmacy.

Read on and see if you agree.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Booming Biosimilar Market of 2020 (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s video webinar: Drug Channels Outlook 2021.

Drug pricing perceptions always seem to lag reality. Consider HHS's "Most Favored Nation" model for Medicare Part B. HHS relied in part on a highly misleading ASPE study of 2018 data. Conveniently for HHS, ASPE's analysis stopped before the biosimilar boom began.

Click here to see the original post and comments from October 2020.


The biosimilar market is finally beginning to fulfill its promise.

The latest data show that provider-administered biosimilar drugs are successfully displacing their reference biological products. As I predicted last year, newer biosimilars are being adopted quickly, and their prices are declining rapidly. What’s more, manufacturers of reference products are cutting drug prices to defend their market shares.

Last year, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner, argued that we shouldn’t give up on biosimilars and prematurely regulate prices. As you will see below, Dr. Gottlieb was right.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My Wall Street Journal Op-Ed about the 340B Program (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s video webinar: Drug Channels Outlook 2021.

The 340B program will be a major issue in 2021. I expect manufacturers to escalate their challenges to the contract pharmacy elements of the program. Meanwhile, covered entities will be battling manufacturers, state Medicaid programs, their contract pharmacy partners, and perhaps even HRSA itself. I'll share my thoughts on the latest developments during this Friday's webinar.

In the meantime, please enjoy my op-ed from September, which focuses on how 340B warps *prescription* prices (not drug list prices) and patient out-of-pocket costs. ICYMI, here are some clarifying comments on federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs).

Click here to see the original post and comments from September 2020.


Last Friday, The Wall Street Journal published my opinion piece: The Federal Program That Keeps Insulin Prices High. The article text is pasted below for those who don't subscribe.

I summarize issues with the role of contract pharmacies in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. My arguments will be familiar to regular readers of Drug Channels. I wrote this piece for a general business audience, so it's highly readable and omits industry insider terminology. To help you get the most from the article, I have included additional links to source materials in the text.

Note that my commentary focuses primarily on hospitals, which account for the vast majority of 340B program sales. Federal grantees are more likely to pass discounted 340B prices to needy patients. However, grantees should consider my warning from 2014: The good apples—the 340B entities that require additional financial support to support needy patients—should be worried that the bad ones could rot away the program for everyone.

Please share your comments below and I'll respond where appropriate.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

How GoodRx Profits from Our Broken Pharmacy Pricing System (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s video webinar: Drug Channels Outlook 2021.

GoodRx went public in September. Its current market cap is an astounding $17.6 billion. Amazon is now copying the GoodRx discount card model.

Click here to see the original post and comments from August 2020.


On Friday, GoodRx filed its Form S-1 in preparation for going public. Link below.

The company is insanely profitable. Its adjusted net income—earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA)—is an astonishing 40%.

Below, I provide my overview of how our crazy drug channel system enables GoodRx’s good fortune. You will admire the GoodRx management team’s business savvy in building a company that lowers out-of-pocket costs for consumers. But you will also wonder whether this business perpetuates a broken pharmacy drug pricing model.

P.S. This article updates and expands on the comments I posted to @DrugChannels on Friday evening.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Prime Therapeutics Deepens Its Reliance on Express Scripts: Our Four Takeaways From Their New Pharmacy Relationship (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s video webinar: Drug Channels Outlook 2021.

Click here to see the original post and comments from October 2020.


Last week, news broke that Prime Therapeutics is expanding its relationship with Cigna’s Express Scripts to include mail and specialty pharmacy dispensing. So far, there's been very little written about this transaction.

Below, I share my thoughts on the following topics arising from the deal:
  • The mail and specialty pharmacy market
  • The future of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime
  • The emerging Express Scripts industry platform
  • A reminder about why the Federal Trade Commission won’t challenge the relationship
Prime is becoming increasingly dependent on outsourcing to Cigna’s Express Scripts business. This new pharmacy contract furthers the industry’s move toward vertical consolidation and the disappearance of the independent PBM industry. 

Once again, channel intermediaries continue to gain power and extract profits. More to come.

Friday, December 11, 2020

How Real-World Data is Helping Speed Oncology Drug Development

Today’s guest post comes from Sarah Alwardt, Vice President of Operations at Ontada.

Sarah describes how historical patient information can be used in current and future clinical trials, often eliminating the need for new trial participants. She also introduces us to Ontada, a new McKesson business that uses technology, real-world data, and research capabilities as a way to accelerate innovation and improve cancer therapies.

To learn more, visit the Ontada website.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Drug Channels News Roundup, December 2020: 340B Pharmacy Profits, Pre-Amazon PillPack, Physicians vs. Accumulators, Maine’s Importation Fail, and Vaccine Humor

Well, we are almost finished with 2020. Help us bid it good riddance with our final news roundup of the year:
  • Quantifying the blockbuster 340 pharmacy profits of CVS, Walgreens, and Express Scripts
  • An insider describes PillPack’s pre-Amazon origins
  • Physicians vote to oppose copay accumulator adjustment
  • Maine’s secret analysis shows that importation costs more
Plus, the first batch of humor about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

P.S. Join the nearly 10,800 followers of my curated links published on @DrugChannels on Twitter. You can also join my nearly 14,000 followers on LinkedIn.

It's time to get ready for 2021! Start by joining me next week for my Drug Channels Outlook 2021. This live video webinar will take place on Friday, December 18, at 12:00 p.m to 1:15 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Drug Pricing Policy in 2021: Four Crucial Consequences of Pharmacy Benefits Today

When Americans complain about “drug prices,” most are actually complaining about the share of costs they pay—and how those costs are computed. Addressing patient affordability issues therefore requires a deep understanding of the U.S. drug channel.

Today, I review four crucial issues that the new Congress could tackle to address affordability, patients' out-of-pocket obligations, and prescription prices. I also highlight some of the existing and proposed legislative efforts. 

Our complex channel cannot be fixed with simplistic solutions. It may seem unlikely that we will get bipartisan legislation that sensibly addresses the distortions and challenges in our drug pricing system. But I can dream, can’t I?

Speaking of next year, Drug Channels Institute will host an exclusive live webinar, Drug Channels Outlook 2021, on December 18, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Six Crucial Trends Facing U.S. Drug Wholesalers

During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every aspect of the pharmaceutical channel—and our lives. Pharmacy and healthcare provider markets experienced unprecedented volatility. If all goes well, 2021 will begin our return to normalcy, as vaccines roll out across the country.

This year has demonstrated the underlying resilience of U.S. distribution channels for prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical wholesalers have maintained shipments and operational capacity. They are now poised to play a vital role in distributing COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics as they become available. However, there are substantial uncertainties about the timing and level of financial impact on wholesalers’ economics.

Below, I highlight six trends that will affect the U.S. drug wholesaling industry. I hope you enjoy this summary as we look toward the new year.

Speaking of next year, Drug Channels Institute will host an exclusive live webinar, Drug Channels Outlook 2021, on December 18, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress

Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress
December 14-17, 2020 | Virtual
www.informaconnect/medicaidgov

Register Today and be sure to use promo code MDCDCBG to save $300*

With drug pricing and benefit coverage top of mind for many Americans, coupled with a volatile election and overall healthcare landscape, the stakes are incredibly high for bio/pharma manufacturers. Staying on the pulse of industry trends, policies and changing regulations has never been more crucial. 

The 22nd Annual Medicaid and GP Congress delivers critical updates and industry best practices to effectively contract, report and comply with state and federal healthcare programs. Gain timely, up-to-the-minute insights on:
  • CMS’ Proposed Rule
  • 340B Program
  • State Price Transparency
  • Value-Based Contracts
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Bona Fide Service Fees
  • Class of Trade
  • FSS Contracts
  • State Invoicing
  • Policy Initiatives
  • Election Implications
  • And many other critical topics. Download the complete agenda
The robust, fully virtual agenda features 30+ CPE and CLE-accredited sessions and 50+ speakers representing leading bio/pharma companies, government organizations and law firms from Aimmune, Alvogen, AMAG, Apexus, Arent Fox, Arnold & Porter, Astellas, AstraZeneca, BMS, CMS, Covington & Burling, CSL Behring, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Exelixis, Gilead, Granard, Hogan Lovells, Indivior, J&J, King & Spalding, Louisiana Department of Health, Maryland Department of Health, OIG, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sandoz, Sidley Austin, UCB and many more.

Register Today and be sure to use promo code MDCDCBG to save $300*

*Discount applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, categories, promotions or applied to an existing registration. Offer not valid on non-profit/government registrations.


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

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Drug Channels News Roundup, November 2020: Rebate Rule Redux, MFN (maybe), Amazon’s Pharmacy Customers, Drug Spending, GPO M&A, and RxTrace

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Before you stretch your stomach, stretch your mind with this extra-stuffed helping of food for thought. In this issue:
  • Rebate rule redux
  • Most Favored Nation and healthcare benchmarking
  • Amazon’s pharmacy customer opportunity
  • Drug spending realities updated
  • GPO consolidation
Plus, I congratulate Dirk Rodgers of RxTrace on his retirement.

P.S. Join the more than 10,600 followers of my curated links published on @DrugChannels on Twitter. My recent tweets have highlighted: doctors against step therapy, distribution of COVID-19 therapies, biosimilar savings, copay accumulator data, prospects for smaller PBMs, the new transparency rule, specialty pharmacy profit metrics, the future of oncology practices, and an update on Diplomat founder Phil Hagerman. You can also join my more than 13,500 followers on LinkedIn.

Join me for an exclusive live webinar, Drug Channels Outlook 2021, on December 18, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Informa Connect’s 16th Annual Commercial Contracts & Chargebacks

Informa Connect’s 16th Annual Commercial Contracts & Chargebacks

December 17-18, 2020 | Virtual Event
informaconnect.com/contracts-chargebacks

Excusive Offer for Drug Channels Readers
To SAVE $300* using promo code CHR300

Informa Connect’s 16th Annual Commercial Contracts & Chargebacks, taking place virtually December 17-18, arms the industry with strategic approaches to improve contract operations, navigate class of trade complexities, streamline membership management and reduce revenue leakage to improve chargeback efficiency and the bottom line. Dynamic conference features include:
  • Two Days of Live Content, Audience Polling, Speaker Q&As and Interactive Discussions
  • View Our Library of On-Demand Content at Your Leisure, Available for 30 Days After the End of the Conference
  • High Impact Topics Transforming the Market Include:
    • Membership Eligibility and Classification — Tolmar Pharmaceuticals
    • Strategic Contracting Playbook — Pfizer Inc.
    • Expert Manufacturer/Trading Partner Exchange — McKesson
    • Class of Trade Navigation — Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC)
    • EDI Think Tank — FFF Enterprises
    • Scorecarding and Metrics — Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA
    • Next-Gen Technology — Chronicled
Drug Channels readers are eligible for an exclusive savings of $300 off* the standard rate by using promo code CHR300, so download the complete conference agenda and reserve your seat today!

*Expires 12/16/2020; applies to standard rate only and may not be combined or applied to existing 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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Disruption Delayed: Making Sense of Amazon’s Latest Pharmacy Moves

Amazon is getting more serious about pharmacy. ICYMI: Introducing Amazon Pharmacy: Prescription Medications Delivered.

This announcement is much less disruptive than it appears to be. Amazon is copying the GoodRx discount card model—including GoodRx’s partnership with Express Scripts. At the same time, Amazon is launching a mail pharmacy that will accept insurance and be in PBM pharmacy networks.

Amazon’s actions are another negative headwind for retail pharmacies, but not a fatal blow to the system. Perhaps Amazon will one day become a true disrupter. For now, Amazon is choosing to join the drug channel, not fundamentally change it.

Drug Channels Institute will host an exclusive live webinar, Drug Channels Outlook 2021, on December 18, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Copay Accumulator and Maximizer Update: Adoption Accelerating As Pushback Grows

Almost three years ago, I warned about the emerging trend of copay accumulators and outlined the costly consequences for patients.

I’m sad to report that the latest data show a startling acceleration in the adoption of copay accumulator adjustment and the closely related copay maximizer. 

Within the next year, more than 80% of commercially insured beneficiaries will be in plans with these benefit designs—although not all plan sponsors will have fully implemented them.

Accumulators, maximizers, and copay support programs are inefficient solutions to flaws in the U.S. drug channel system. That’s why patient groups and provider organizations are pushing back against them. 

Alas, our divided Congress seems unlikely to provide any relief. Read on for the full details.

Drug Channels Institute will host an exclusive live webinar, Drug Channels Outlook 2021, on December 18, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP.

Monday, November 16, 2020

NEW: Drug Channels Outlook 2021 (Live Video Webinar)

This December, join Dr. Adam J. Fein, CEO of Drug Channels Institute (DCI) and the author of Drug Channels, for an exclusive live video webinar:

Drug Channels Outlook 2021 
Friday, December 18, 2020 (12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET)

(You can purchase a replay of this event and download the full slide deck.)

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

Join Dr. Fein as he helps you and your team get ready for the year ahead by outlining key issues and uncertainties that will surely affect your planning. He’ll also share DCI’s latest market data to help you stay on top of new developments. This event can be both a capstone of your annual learning and a touchpoint for the future.

Dr. Fein will share his latest thinking on a wide range of topics, including:
  • COVID-19’s impact on the prescription market in 2021 and beyond
  • The likely drug pricing policy moves by the Biden administration and our new Congress
  • Retail pharmacy’s challenging future
  • What’s next for the 340B Drug Pricing Program
  • The outlook for copay accumulators, maximizers, and utilization management tools
  • Prospects for further vertical integration, consolidation, and alliances
  • How the changing U.S. payer mix will affect PBMs and insurers
  • And more!

PLUS: Dr. Fein will take your questions. CLICK HERE to submit questions in advance of the event.

Read on for full details on pricing, including substantial discounts for multiple sites. You can also watch a video invitation below.

Friday, November 13, 2020

SaveonSP's Copay Maximizer Failed Me: A Patient's Perspective

Today’s guest post comes from Anndi McAfee, a successful voice over artist. Check out her impressive IMDB credits. Your kids have definitely heard her voice.

Anndi also suffers from a rare disease and requires treatment with an orphan drug. Below, she shares her troubling experiences with SaveonSP, the mysterious company behind Express Scripts’ copay maximizer program. (ICYMI, I profiled SaveonSP in May.)

Anndi’s story illustrates how a patient taking a specialty drug can lose out, even as others—her health plan, its PBM, and a sketchy intermediary—profit from a manufacturer’s patient support funds. I suspect that very few patients with similarly complex diseases are as savvy and persistent as Anndi has been.

Read on for her disturbing story. You can reach Anndi via her professional page or on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Employer Pharmacy Benefits 2020: Some Good Coinsurance News, But Many Still Face Prescription List Prices

It’s time for our annual deep dive into employer-sponsored coverage for prescription drugs.

Consistent with our previous analyses, coinsurance and deductibles remain common for specialty and fourth-tier drugs, leaving patients exposed to the undiscounted list price of their prescriptions. 

However, there is also some good news: The use of copayments—instead of coinsurance—grew for people with both traditional and high-deductible plans. Perhaps nothing ever lasts forever.

Read on for my overview of cost sharing tier structure, copayment vs. coinsurance, and average copayments and coinsurance rates—along with our annual Drug Channels tiers/tears puns. 

In a follow-up post, I’ll examine how today’s benefit designs continue to challenge—and confuse—patients.

Monday, November 09, 2020

16th Annual Life Sciences Trade and Channel Strategies

16th Annual Life Sciences Trade and Channel Strategies
December 1-3, 2020 | Virtual Event
www.informaconnect.com/trade-channel

Navigating the distribution and contracting landscape is a complex endeavor. That’s why the life science industry’s top experts will come together virtually on December 1-3 at Trade and Channel 2020. They’ll guide you through new and innovative ways to optimize channel strategies to reach patients in need and provide the necessary services based on product type, site of care and reimbursement. You’ll benefit from 3 days of live content, as well as a robust library of on-demand content – with all live and on-demand sessions available for viewing for 30 days after the event concludes.

Visit www.informaconnect.com/trade-channel for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $200 off the standard rate when they use code KTP933 and register prior to November 20th.*

You can download the complete agenda here.

Gain Critical Insight from Industry Trailblazers During a Time of Transformative Change – Speakers will include:
  • Bill Roth, Founding Partner, Blue Fin Group
  • Rob Osborne, Vice President Pharma Trade Relations, Express Scripts, Accredo, CuraScript SD
  • Ray Tancredi, RPh, MBA, CSP, Divisional Vice President, Specialty Pharmacy Development & Brand Rx/Vaccine Purchasing, Walgreens
  • Eric D. Hargan, Deputy Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Natalie Bedford, Executive Director, National Channel Account Team, AstraZeneca
  • Timothy Paine, Vice President, Pharma Strategy & Relations, Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Dave MacLeod, Head of Patient Services and Specialty Pharmacy Operations, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Brent Warner, Vice President, Gene Therapy, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Liz Minko, US Distribution and Channel Strategy, argenx US, Inc.
  • Stuart Parker, Senior Director, Trade Relations, Mayne Pharma
  • And more!
Live Keynotes Delivering Timely Updates and Insights on High-Impact Topics, Including:
  • Critical Update – Market Dynamics Drastically Impacting the Channel
  • Navigate the Evolving State of Regulatory Reform Driving Innovation and Access
  • Emerging and Future Trends in Channel Strategy, Distribution and 3PL
  • Pharmacy Spotlight – Innovative Models Redesigning Care in 2020 and Beyond
Download the agenda to plan your sessions and wrap up your week armed with critical updates and valuable takeaways.

Visit www.informaconnect.com/trade-channel for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $200 off the standard rate when they use code KTP933 and register prior to November 20th.*

Informa-Connect 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 or 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, November 05, 2020

What I told Congress about the 340B Program

ICYMI, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recently asked for input on how to improve the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Comments were due last Friday (October 30).

Your friendly neighborhood blogger submitted an 11-page letter, which you can read below. I shared my $0.02 on the overall market, explained channel distortions from 340B contract pharmacies, and offered some policy recommendations.

For your reference, I also include links to published comments from the American Hospital Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

The new Congress has an ambitious agenda. Let’s hope modernizing 340B gets on the do list.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Independent Pharmacies Learn to Live With (and Without) Preferred Networks for 2021

Last week, I highlighted the largest pharmacy chains that will participate in the 2021 Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDP).

Today, I examine how independent pharmacies will participate as preferred cost sharing pharmacies via the pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAOs) that represent these pharmacies in negotiations with plans.

As you will see here, some PSAOs are rejecting preferred networks, while others are participating cautiously. There are notable differences in strategy between the PSAOs operated by AmerisourceBergen and McKesson. Details and a handy scorecard below.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to take a hands-off approach to pharmacy networks. One notable consequence: Independent pharmacies have formed their own Part D plan, in which only independents are preferred. We’ll know in January if the new plan is sitting pretty—or on a bed of nails.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Rare Disease Innovation and Partnering Summit 2020

Rare Disease Innovation and Partnering Summit 2020
December 1-4, 2020 | Virtual Event
www.raredisease-summit.com

This December, tackle challenges faced in ensuring patient access and furthering therapeutic and curative progress at the Rare Disease Innovation & Partnering Summit. Held in a 100% virtual format, this four-day meeting convenes diverse stakeholders to discuss opportunities for continued innovation, advancement of impactful patient advocacy and acceleration of commercial strategy success. Benefit from live sessions, keynotes and panels, plus a library of on-demand sessions ready to watch as your schedule allows. All sessions are available for viewing for 30 days post event.

Visit www.raredisease-summit.com for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $200 off the standard rate when they use code ZZX688 and register prior to November 13th.*

You can download the complete agenda here.

Unparalleled Insights, Impactful Keynotes and Luminary Addresses from Industry Trailblazers, including:
  • Patient Perspective - Chasing My Cure
    David Fajgenbaum, M.D., Co-founder and Executive Director, CASTLEMAN DISEASE COLLABORATIVE NETWORK
  • Technology Spotlight - Using AI to Speed Discovery and New Treatments
    Tim Guilliams, Founder, CEO, HEALX LTD
  • Scientific Luminary - Targeting the Morphological Impact of Disease
    Marzieh Haghighi, PH.D., Postdoctoral Associate, BROAD INSTITUTE OF HARVARD MIT
  • Novel Funding - Accelerate Rare Disease Therapeutic Development
    Andrew Lo, Ph.D., Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor, MIT SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
  • FDA Address – Navigating Regulatory Pathways and Evidentiary Requirements
    Kerry Jo Lee, MD, Acting Associate Director for Rare Diseases, FDA/CDER/OND
PLUS! Hear from the most innovative industry organizations, including Acceleron, Alexion, Alkeus Pharmaceuticals, Argenx, Biogen, Castle Creek Biosciences, Centogene, Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Foundation Medicine, Perseo Pharma, Relypsa, Sanofi Genzyme and more.

Customize Your Virtual Experience with Powerful Program Offerings:
  • Two Strategic, One-Day Forums:
    • Global Drug Development and Access
    • Patient Engagement, Advocacy and Alliance Management
  • Four Targeted Track Offerings:
    • Patient-Driven Progress
    • Reimbursement, Value and Access
    • New Launch and Commercialization
    • Partnering, Investment and Portfolio Strategy
Download the agenda to plan your sessions and wrap up your week armed with critical updates and valuable takeaways.

Visit www.raredisease-summit.com for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $200 off the standard rate when they use code ZZX688 and register prior to November 13th.*

Informa Connect-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/advocacy rates or 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, October 29, 2020

Drug Channels News Roundup, October 2020: Accumulator Nonsense, GoodRx Fees, 340B Dollars, and Our Simulated World

Halloween is truly scary this year. Since we can’t trick-or-treat, spend some time with our spooky roundup of Drug Channels news stories:
  • Creepy! UnitedHealthcare expects physicians to enforce its copay accumulator policy
  • Vampiric! How GoodRx sucks money from the channel
  • Shocking! 340B haunts even more of the industry than you envisaged
Plus, a scary reason to be cheerful: Chances are 50/50 that we are living in a simulation!

P.S. Stretch out your arm and join the zombie horde who shamble after me at @DrugChannels on Twitter. My recent tweets have highlighted: UnitedHealth’s DivvyDose acquisition, independent analyses of Rutledge vs. PCMA, importation problems in Wyoming and Florida, Medicaid enrollment, fake news from NASHP, and unexpected public policy cameos by Drug Channels. (You can also join my followers on LinkedIn.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Battle of the Giants: CVS, Kroger, Walgreens, and Walmart Expand in 2021 Part D Preferred Networks

In Preferred Pharmacy Networks Dominate in 2021 Medicare Part D Plans, I highlighted how those networks will again rule next year’s Part D prescription drug plans (PDP).

Today, I examine the largest retail chains’ participation in the 27 major 2021 Part D preferred networks that the nine largest plan sponsors will offer. 

As you will see, most major chains increased their position as a preferred pharmacy in many 2021 networks. Only Rite Aid lost position. As usual, we provide you with a handy table for scoring each chain’s participation and all changes from 2020 to 2021.

The chains’ expanded participation may turn out to be a trick, not a treat. COVID-19 has not fundamentally altered the negative industry trends haunting retail pharmacies. Narrow networks force pharmacies to trade volume for profits. Expect another scary drop in the number of U.S. pharmacies. 

As the African proverb says: "When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers."

Monday, October 26, 2020

GTN 2020 – Informa Connect - CBI’s Gross-to-Net Summit

GTN 2020 – Informa Connect - CBI’s Gross-to-Net Summit
November 16-18, 2020 | Virtual Event
www.informaconnect.com/gtn

Join the life sciences community next month at Informa Connect - CBI’s GTN Summit, now in the 10th year. The event is being held virtually November 16-18, 2020 and is designed to position your organization for success in the end-to-end management of GTN. Benefit from live expert panels, presentations and summits, live polling and Q&A, and a library of on-demand content for you to watch as your schedule allows. All presentations will be available for viewing for 30 days after the event concludes!

Visit www.informaconnect.com/gtn for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use code GNB425 and register prior to October 30th.*

You can download the complete agenda here.

You’ll hear perspectives from companies such as ADC Therapeutics, Alkermes, Amgen, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cipla Therapeutics, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Eisai US, Eli Lilly & Co, IntegriChain, Intra-Cellular Therapies, MyoKardia, Paratek Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Our speakers are all ready to share their insights into strategic forecasting, accounting estimates, analytics and finance reporting strategies, specifically for life science companies.

Hot topics on the agenda include GTN Process and Governance, Managed Care and Payer Contracting, Market Changes and GTN Implications, Digital Finance and Robotics within GTN, Advanced Data and Analytics for Pricing and Payer Contracts, GTN Automation for Improved Forecasting, GTN Assumptions for New Product Launches, Medicare Part D and Coverage Gap, 340B and GP Programs, Managed Care and Specialty Product Rebates, Commercial and Government Chargebacks, Product Returns, Copay/Coupon Programs, and so much more!

Download the agenda to plan your sessions and wrap up your week armed with critical updates and valuable takeaways.

Visit www.informaconnect.com/gtn for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use code GNB425 and register prior to October 30th.*

Informa Connect-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, October 23, 2020

New Payer Policies Introduce Copay Accumulators to Medical Benefit Products: Implications for Manufacturer Programs

Today’s guest post comes from Jason Zemcik, Senior Director, Product Management and Rick Fry, Senior Vice President, Commercial Solutions, at TrialCard.

Jason and Rick discuss the use of copay accumulators for drugs covered under a patient’s medical benefit. 

To better understand how these policies may impact your brand, join TrialCard’s Jason Zemcik on Thursday, November 5th at 1 p.m. ET for a free live webinar Implications of Copay Accumulators on Medical Benefit-Covered Products. You can also email TrialCard at sales@trialcard.com.

Read on for Jason's and Rick’s insights.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Primer on 340B Contract Pharmacies and Medicaid Duplicate Discounts (video)

Below is a brief video primer on a hot Drug Channels topic. I review:
  • The growth of the 340B Drug Pricing Program
  • The role and expansion of 340B contract pharmacies
  • How 340B intersects with the Medicaid drug rebate program
  • Challenges with duplicate discounts
This 10 minute video provides a quick and efficient primer on the key issues. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Preferred Pharmacy Networks Dominate in 2021 Medicare Part D Plans: The Scoop on Cigna, CVS Health, Humana, WellCare, and More

Last week, open enrollment began for the 2021 Medicare Part D plans. 

Our exclusive analysis of these data reveals that preferred cost sharing pharmacy networks will maintain their dominance as an established component of Part D benefit design. 

For 2021, 98% of Medicare Part D regional prescription drug plans (PDP) will have a preferred network. By the beard of Zeus!

Below, I provide historical data on preferred networks’ growth and then discuss the top nine companies offering the 2021 plans. None of these major plan sponsors will offer a national plan with an open network for 2021.

In upcoming articles, I’ll examine how chain and independent pharmacies will participate in these plans and what that means for pharmacy profits. As always, Drug Channels brings you the news—so you don't have to get it yourself.

Monday, October 19, 2020

16th Annual Life Sciences Trade and Channel Strategies

16th Annual Life Sciences Trade and Channel Strategies

December 1-3, 2020 | Virtual Event
www.informaconnect.com/trade-channel

Get ready to hit the ground running in 2021 by closing out the year at Trade and Channel 2020! The life science industry's foremost thought-leaders will come together virtually on December 1-3 to navigate the complex distribution and contracting landscape, and will take a deep dive into ways to optimize channel strategies to reach patients in need and provide the necessary services based on product type, site of care and reimbursement. You’ll benefit from 3 days of live content, as well as a robust library of on-demand content – with all live and on-demand sessions available for viewing for 30 days after the event concludes.

Visit www.informaconnect.com/trade-channel for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use code GJE973 and register prior to October 30th.*

You can download the complete agenda here.

Gain Critical Insight from Industry Trailblazers During a Time of Transformative Change – Speakers will include:
  • Bill Roth, Founding Partner, Blue Fin Group
  • Rob Osborne, Vice President Pharma Trade Relations, Express Scripts, Accredo, CuraScript SD
  • Ray Tancredi, RPh, MBA, CSP, Divisional Vice President, Specialty Pharmacy Development &
  • Brand Rx/Vaccine Purchasing, Walgreens
  • Eric D. Hargan, Deputy Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Natalie Bedford, Executive Director, National Channel Account Team, AstraZeneca
  • Timothy Paine, Vice President, Pharma Strategy & Relations, Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Dave MacLeod, Head of Patient Services and Specialty Pharmacy Operations, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Brent Warner, Vice President, Gene Therapy, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • And more!
Live Keynotes Delivering Timely Updates and Insights on High-Impact Topics, Including:
  • Critical Update – Market Dynamics Drastically Impacting the Channel
  • Navigate the Evolving State of Regulatory Reform Driving Innovation and Access
  • Emerging and Future Trends in Channel Strategy, Distribution and 3PL
  • Pharmacy Spotlight – Innovative Models Redesigning Care in 2020 and Beyond
Insightful Strategy Sessions:
  • Discuss Reimbursement Models for Cell and Gene Therapies
  • Orphan and Rare – How Does Your First 5 Years of Channel Strategy Change for this Product Type?
  • Channel Strategy for First Medical Product – A Look at Channel Considerations for Pharmacy vs. Medical
Plus – Tailored Track Options Based on Company Size:
  • Emerging/Small Companies – Infrastructure Set-Up, License Procurement and 3PL Contracting
  • Mid-Large Companies – How Do I Think About My Portfolio Differently Based on Product Type?
Download the agenda to plan your sessions and wrap up your week armed with critical updates and valuable takeaways.

Visit www.informaconnect.com/trade-channel for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard rate when they use code GJE973 and register prior to October 30th.*

Informa Connect - 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 or 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, October 16, 2020

Utilizing Gini Coefficient To Anticipate Price Movement, Drug Shortages And Pricing Elasticity

Today’s guest post is sponsored by Elsevier and presented by Elsevier’s solution partner Todd Grover, Co-Founder of Glass Box Analytics.

Todd discusses how the Predictive Acquisition Cost (PAC) is utilizing the concept of a Gini coefficient to anticipate price movement, predict drug shortages, and pricing elasticity.

To learn more, read the brief: Predictive Acquisition Cost – a better standard.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Prime Therapeutics Deepens Its Reliance on Express Scripts: Our Four Takeaways From Their New Pharmacy Relationship

Last week, news broke that Prime Therapeutics is expanding its relationship with Cigna’s Express Scripts to include mail and specialty pharmacy dispensing. So far, there's been very little written about this transaction.

Below, I share my thoughts on the following topics arising from the deal:
  • The mail and specialty pharmacy market
  • The future of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime
  • The emerging Express Scripts industry platform
  • A reminder about why the Federal Trade Commission won’t challenge the relationship
Prime is becoming increasingly dependent on outsourcing to Cigna’s Express Scripts business. This new pharmacy contract furthers the industry’s move toward vertical consolidation and the disappearance of the independent PBM industry. 

Once again, channel intermediaries continue to gain power and extract profits. More to come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

NEW: The 2020–21 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors

I am pleased to announce our new 2020–21 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors, available for purchase and immediate download.
We’re offering special discounted pricing if you order before October 23, 2020!

The 2020–21 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors—our 11th edition—remains the most comprehensive resource for analyzing the pharmaceutical distribution industry’s economics, market structure, growth rates, forces of change, and interactions with the U.S. healthcare system.

This 2020-21 edition contains the most current financial and industry data along with detailed information about the strategies and market positions of the largest companies: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. It updates our annual analysis of each wholesaler’s business segments and underlying business profitability, based upon our proprietary economic models. Three new sections address COVID-19 and its impact on wholesalers, including the potential financial effects on wholesalers of widespread distribution of one or more COVID-19 vaccines.

If you would like to pay by corporate purchase order or check, please email Tamra Feldman. If you preordered the report, you should have already received an email with download instructions. Please contact us if you did not receive the email.

WHAT’S GOING ON

Twice a year, I spend my evenings and weekends writing two comprehensive, fact-based, and nonpartisan reports on drug channel economics. In some small way, I try to make the world a better and smarter place.

Licenses for our DCI reports are regularly purchased by nearly every company involved in the drug channel: pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacists, pharmacy owners, hospitals, buyers, benefit managers, managed care executives, policy analysts, investors, consultants, and more. So, you can find out what your customers, partners, and competitors are reading.

The 2020–21 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors is the only resource of its kind available anywhere. It offers 136 proprietary charts, exhibits, and data tables.

FOUR FUN FACTS
  • The 9 chapters are self-contained and do not need to be read in order. (Really!) There are loads of internal hyperlinks to help you navigate the document and customize it to your specific interests and priorities.
  • We are offering the option to download an additional PowerPoint file with images of all 136 exhibits. This popular option helps you share the insights and data with others in your organization. (The PowerPoint file option is available only with the purchase of a corporate license.)
  • There are an astonishing 482 (!) endnotes, most of which have hyperlinks to original source materials. These source materials offer a handy way to build your knowledge base beyond what’s included in the full report.
  • As usual, I have reluctantly stripped out the corny jokes and pop culture references.
If you have any questions (before or after reading the report), please email me.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Informa Connect-CBI’s 6th Edition Drug Pricing Transparency Congress

Informa Connect-CBI’s 6th Edition Drug Pricing Transparency Congress
November 16-17, 2020 | Virtual Event
www.informaconnect.com/drug-pricing-transparency

Drug Channels Readers: View the complete agenda and register today. Be sure to use your exclusive promo DRUG30 to save $300*

As the election nears and with the recent flurry of regulatory activity surrounding drug pricing transparency, bio/pharma manufacturers must continuously stay ahead of the ever-evolving changes. Join Informa Connect-CBI’s 6th Edition Drug Pricing Transparency Congress to discuss how current and future drug pricing transparency regulations will impact commercialization, reimbursement, pricing and compliance practices. Assess how companies are planning internally for these changes, hear updates post-election impacting drug pricing transparency and gain a preview of what’s to come in 2021.

Unlike a webinar or zoom training, Drug Pricing Transparency Congress serves as a full virtual 2-day conference experience. Experts from Nestle Health Science, Sidley Austin LLP, Covington & Burling LLP, Chiesi USA, Inc., Sandoz, King & Spalding LLP, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk, ClassOne Insights, BIO, PhRMA, and more will lead robust discussions on topics, including:
  • Unpack Price Increase Transparency Requirements
  • Analyze Price Disclosure Requirements to Health Care Providers (HCPs)
  • State of The Industry — Drug Pricing Transparency Landscape Address
  • Status Report on New Drug Pricing Reporting Requirements
  • Keep a Pulse on New Legislation and Current Industry Efforts
  • Explore Developments in Pricing Investigations and Enforcement Action
  • Keys for Success and Traps for the Unwary — A Roadmap for Compliance
  • Uncover Operational Realities and Recommendations to Maximize State Transparency Reporting
  • Leverage Proactive Approaches and Resources for Operational Readiness
  • Federal Initiatives for Pricing Transparency
  • Update on the Price Increase Advance Notice Requirements
Unparalleled Virtual Capabilities:
  • Interactive presentations and panels
  • Live Q&A and polling
  • Live and on-demand sessions, all available 30-days post-event to review at your leisure
  • 1-1 meeting opportunities and peer-to-peer engagement
  • Sophisticated and seamless scheduling tools
Drug Channels Readers – View the complete agenda and register today– Be sure to use your exclusive promo DRUG30 to save $300*

Informa Connect-CBI will see you there!

*Offer 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. 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, October 09, 2020

Discriminatory Reimbursement Practices by PBMs Represent a Threat to Public Health: A Perspective from Community Health


Today’s guest post comes from Shannon Stephenson, CEO of Cempa Community Care.

I am publishing this opinion piece to share a perspective from a community health provider that is eligible for the 340B Drug Pricing Program as a Ryan White clinic and as a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike. As I noted last week in my September news roundup, I generally consider federal grantees to be the good guys of 340B.

Shannon outlines her view that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have reduced reimbursement to her facilities. This reduces the value of the 340B program to Cempa. It also transfers funds to PBMs and their plan sponsor clients.

Read on for Shannon’s insights on this highly controversial issue.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

The Booming Biosimilar Market of 2020

The biosimilar market is finally beginning to fulfill its promise.

The latest data show that provider-administered biosimilar drugs are successfully displacing their reference biological products. As I predicted last year, newer biosimilars are being adopted quickly, and their prices are declining rapidly. What’s more, manufacturers of reference products are cutting drug prices to defend their market shares.

Last year, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner, argued that we shouldn’t give up on biosimilars and prematurely regulate prices. As you will see below, Dr. Gottlieb was right.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Patient Support Services Congress

Patient Support Services Congress
October 27-29, 2020 | VIRTUAL EVENT (All-Digital Format)
www.informaconnect.com/patientsupportservicescongress

Informa Connect-CBI’s Patient Support Services Congress is a comprehensive meeting for insightful and engaging dialogue around strengthening and innovating patient-oriented programs while remaining compliant.

Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels readers — Save $300 off the standard registration rate with promo code AHC685*. Register today.

Download the agenda here and see in-depth coverage on industry trends and next-generation patient services, such as:
  • Critical Regulatory Updates and Effective Strategies for Monitoring & Oversight
  • Novel Approaches to Services, Program Architecture and Operational Management
  • The Pros and Cons of Different Support Service Models
  • Measuring the Success of Patient Support Programs
  • Transparency with Charitable Organizations
  • Adapting to a Virtual World ― Strategies for Field Team Compliance and Virtual Monitoring
Choose from Two In-Depth Tracks and Interactive Roundtables on:
  • Legal and Compliance
  • Innovation and Operations
Critical Insights on Overcoming the Challenges and Complexities Amid a Shifting Industry from:
  • Evan Panich, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts
  • Katherine Chaurette, Vice President Healthcare Law and Compliance, Blueprint Medicines
  • Kelley Allison, Vice President of Patient Access, Rare Disease, Horizon Therapeutics
  • Robert Britting, Director, Patient Services and Strategic Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • Matthew Werner, Vice President, Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer, Bio-Rad Laboratories
  • John Kelly, Member, Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
  • Jenny Alonso, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Neurelis, Inc.
  • Doug Donaldson, Senior Director, Product Solutions and Patient Services, Mylan
  • And so many more!
Comprehensive Content and Dynamic Features Include:
  • 3 days of live content from industry thought-leaders
  • 10+ on-demand sessions, tailored to both access and compliance
  • Over 4 hours of live speaker Q&A
  • AI-powered virtual networking with colleagues and counterparts
  • Private meeting and chat rooms
  • Access to live and on-demand content for 30 days post-event
Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels readers — Save $300 off the standard registration rate with promo code AHC685*. Register today.

*Offer 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.


Friday, October 02, 2020

Bridging Data Insights Across the Patient Journey to Inform Your Commercialization Strategy

Today’s guest post comes from Jenna Mitby-Manning, Senior Director of Commercial Strategy & Insights, Access & Adherence at RxCrossroads by McKesson.

Jenna explains how data-driven solutions accelerate time to therapy, improve patient outcomes, and allow biopharma companies to make informed strategic decisions.

Click here to learn more about RxCrossroads' therapy access and adherence solutions.

Read on for Jenna’s insights.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Drug Channels News Roundup, September 2020: FQHCs and 340B, Drug Prices, CVS Health’s Zinc, Telehealth, All-Time Greatest Songs, and 10K on Twitter

Autumn is here! We’ve been squirrelling away these acorns from the mighty Drug Channels oaks:
  • I agree. FQHCs are not the problem in 340B.
  • Brand-name drug prices keep on dropping
  • It’s official: CVS Health’s Zinc GPO actually exists!
  • Telehealth takes a dive
Plus, vote for your 10 favorite songs of all time!

P.S. This month, @DrugChannels exceeded 10,000 followers on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who follows my curated links to neat stuff! Click here to join the crowd.


You can also join my 12.3K followers on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Informa Connect-CBI’s 8th Annual Coupon and Copay Forum

Informa Connect-CBI’s 8th Annual Coupon and Copay Forum
 
October 13-16, 2020 | Virtual Event
www.informaconnect.com/coupon-copay/

Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels Readers – View the complete agenda and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promo code USAVE3 to save $300*

It’s time to talk. As managing copay programs continues to be significantly more complex, it is imperative to stay on top of current trends, emerging regulations and future legislation. Hundreds of leaders in patient access and affordability have benefited from Informa Connect- CBI’s Coupon and Copay Forum conference series. Join key stakeholders at this timely meeting and examine the design of coupon and copay programs aimed at driving the most effective and efficient patient access and affordability.

Unlike a webinar or zoom training, Coupon and Copay serves as a full virtual 4-day conference experience. As always, the caliber of content and peer-to-peer engagement is second to none. Experts from Diverse Biotech, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, ConnectiveRX, Orange Grove Bio, National Hemophilia Foundation, Akebia Therapeutics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, HHS, AbbVie, PhRMA, The AIDs Institute, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, Sol-Gel Technologies, The GW School of Medicine, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Innocoll Pharmaceuticals, Tris Pharma, kaléo and more will lead robust discussions on compelling topics, including:
  • Innovative copay program design and operations
  • Impact of COVID-19 on affordability
  • Formulary barriers, increasing patient awareness and driving adherence
  • Performance metrics to justify the cost of copay programs
  • Pharmacy surveillance of specialty brand copay programs
  • Breaking down current barriers to prescription drug access and assistance
  • PAP compliance trends and implications of copay programs
  • Copay accumulator and maximizer programs
  • Employer shifts in benefit plan design to address the growing costs of advanced therapeutics
Unparalleled Virtual Capabilities:
  • Interactive presentations and panels
  • Live Q&A and polling
  • Live and on-demand sessions, all available 30-days post-event to review at your leisure
  • 1-1 meeting opportunities and peer-to-peer engagement
  • Sophisticated and seamless scheduling tools
Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels Readers – View the complete agenda and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promo code USAVE3 to save $300*

Informa Connect-CBI will see you there!

*Discount offer valid through 10/9/2020; applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, categories, promotions or applied to an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop-only or 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.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Mapping the Specialty Medication Journey—Digital Patient Engagement Made Easy

Today’s guest post comes from Julia Laurin, Chief Product Officer at ConnectiveRx.

Julia discusses the medication access and adherence challenges specialty patients face. She introduces us to mobileCare Manager™ a mobile platform built specifically for the specialty patient experience.

To learn more about ConnectiveRx’s mobile engagement platform, download their one-pager or visit their website to connect with one of their experts.

Read on for Julia’s insights.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Specialty Pharmacy Keeps Disrupting Buy-and-Bill—and COVID-19 Will Accelerate It

Will COVID-19 trigger long-term share gains for specialty pharmacies as suppliers to hospitals and physician offices?

Before the pandemic, specialty pharmacies—via white, brown, and clear bagging—had already displaced buy-and-bill distribution channels for a substantial chunk of provider-administered specialty drugs. See below for detailed data on oncology and non-oncology products.

We estimate that in the first half of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic accelerated this shift. Some of the changes will likely be transitory, as patients return to their healthcare providers. But payers will try to retain some of these gains—especially if they also own a specialty pharmacy.

Read on and see if you agree.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Preorder now: The 2020-21 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors

On October 13, 2020, Drug Channels Institute will release The 2020–21 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors. This report—our eleventh edition—remains the most comprehensive, fact-based tool for understanding and analyzing the large and growing U.S. pharmaceutical distribution industry. Notable new material in the 2020-21 edition includes three sections that address COVID-19 and its impact on wholesalers.

We are providing you with the opportunity to preorder this thoroughly updated and revised 2020-21 edition at special discounted prices. This means that you can be among the first to access our new report. Those who preorder will receive a download link before October 13.


You can pay online with all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) or via PayPal. Click here to email us if you would like to pay by corporate purchase order or check.

Preorder and launch pricing discounts will be valid through October 23, 2020.

Monday, September 21, 2020

15th Hub, SPP and eServices Summit

15th Hub, SPP and eServices Summit
September 29-October 2, 2020 | Virtual Event

 This important event convenes key stakeholders including manufacturers, specialty pharmacies, hubs, payers, PBMs, physicians and more to explore strategies for developing and integrating hub programs and other patient-centric services to ensure product access and optimal reimbursement. 

Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard registration rate when they use code MDU494.* 

  In-Depth Discussions and Actionable Takeaways on Critical Topics: Hub Excellence
  • Innovative Affordability Strategies and Hub Models for Specialty Products
  • Examine Support Service Model Design and Strategies for Implementation
  • Training and Staff Advancement for Hub Excellence through Resource Management
  • Strategic Integration of Patient Support, Distribution, Field and Commercial Strategies for Innovative Therapies
SPP Partnering
  • Ask the Experts—Elevate Stakeholder Collaboration to Optimize Patient Access
  • Uncover Innovative Strategies to Optimize SP Networks
  • Striking the Right Balance—A Look at the Level of Integration Between Hub and Pharmacy
  • Pharmacy Perspective—Assess the Impact of Real-Time Benefit Verification on Patient Access
eRx, ePrior Auth and eServices
  • ONC Keynote Address—Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs
  • Manufacturer Insights—Assess Opportunities to Prevent Un-Due Delay of Patient Care
  • Standards Update—Navigate NCPDP Initiatives, Guidance and Future Proposals for Innovation
  • Navigate ePrior Authorization and Real-Time Benefit Verification Complexities within Medicare
Featured Speakers:
  • Alicia Dixon, MHA, Director, Patient Access and Reimbursement, Tricidia, Inc.
  • John Wiedemann, Director of Patient Support Service, Retrophin
  • Jackie Barnard, Associate Director, Field Reimbursement, Paratek Pharmaceuticals
  • Bill Goodson, Director, Patient Access and Reimbursement Services, Eisai US
  • Keith White, Vice President and Head, Global Market Access, Corbus Pharmaceuticals
  • Stephen Samuel, Chief Executive Officer, Premier Specialty Pharmacy Services
  • John Klimek, R.Ph., Senior Vice President, Standards & IT, NCPDP
  • Sarah Krug, Executive Director, Cancer 101
  • Sheila M. Arquette, R.Ph., Executive Director, National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)
  • David Kowalsky, Director, Market Access and Patient Services, EyePoint Pharmaceuticals
  • Andrew Gettinger, Chief Clinical Officer, ONC at US Department of Health & Human Services
  • And more!

Drug Channels readers will save $300 off the standard registration rate when they use code MDU494.*

*Offer 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.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Three Ways to Boost Patient Access to Orphan Drugs—With an Independent Specialty Pharmacy

Today’s guest post comes from Ela Lourido, Vice President of Business Development at Biologics by Mckesson.

Ela discusses the important role independent specialty pharmacies play in educating payers, supporting patients, and ultimately getting potentially life-saving therapies into the hands of patients.

Click here to learn more about Biologics by McKesson's patient access services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies.

Read on for Ela’s insights.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

My Wall Street Journal Op-Ed about the 340B Program

Last Friday, The Wall Street Journal published my opinion piece: The Federal Program That Keeps Insulin Prices High. The article text is pasted below for those who don't subscribe.

I summarize issues with the role of contract pharmacies in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. My arguments will be familiar to regular readers of Drug Channels. I wrote this piece for a general business audience, so it's highly readable and omits industry insider terminology. To help you get the most from the article, I have included additional links to source materials in the text.

Note that my commentary focuses primarily on hospitals, which account for the vast majority of 340B program sales. Federal grantees are more likely to pass discounted 340B prices to needy patients. However, grantees should consider my warning from 2014: The good apples—the 340B entities that require additional financial support to support needy patients—should be worried that the bad ones could rot away the program for everyone.

Please share your comments below and I'll respond where appropriate.