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 40,000 subscribers. Learn more...

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Fresh Evidence: How Health Systems Steer Prescriptions to Their Own Specialty Pharmacies

Hospitals and health systems are rapidly expanding their internal specialty pharmacies—and they’re using questionable tactics to boost revenues and profits.

A new American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP) survey of health system pharmacies offers fresh insights into how these systems steer prescriptions to their internal specialty pharmacies:
  • For most health systems' in-house specialty pharmacies, more than 90% of specialty prescriptions are written by system-employed physicians.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the larger health system specialty pharmacies operate as the exclusive pharmacy within self-insured health systems’ networks.
See below for data and details.

The 340B Drug Pricing Program’s explosive growth plays a crucial role in the economics of the health system specialty pharmacy channel. As manufacturers challenge external 340B contract pharmacies, health systems will become even more aggressive about guiding volume to their internal pharmacies.

P.S. I'll be presenting my "State of Specialty Pharmacy 2021," live and in-person at next week's Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit. (I'm speaking at 8:15 AM on 10/27 during the "Post-Pandemic Outlook for Specialty Pharmacy" session with Doug Long.) Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 15, 2021

What to Expect at This Year’s Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post comes from Jayne Hornung, Chief Clinical Officer at MMIT.

Jayne discusses changes in the life science and specialty pharmacy industries since the COVID-19 pandemic began. She highlights three key trends that pharma companies, plan sponsors, and others will consider as we head to the upcoming Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit (October 26 to 29 in Las Vegas).

To learn more, schedule a meeting with one of MMIT's experts at the upcoming Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Read on for Jayne’s insights.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

White Bagging Update: PBMs’ Specialty Pharmacies Keep Gaining on Buy-and-Bill Oncology Channels

Payers have long sought to disrupt the buy-and-bill channel.

Coming out of the pandemic (maybe?), specialty pharmacies—via white, brown, and clear bagging—continue to displace buy-and-bill distribution channels for provider-administered oncology drugs. Check out the latest 2021 data below.

The battle for the specialty patient pits hospitals against insurers—and their respective specialty pharmacies. As you will see, UnitedHealthcare has been especially aggressive in accelerating channel change.

White bagging can boost profits and revenues for PBM-owned specialty pharmacies while increasing payers’ control over hard-to-manage medical benefit drugs. Hospitals, however, lose profits and face higher costs. Look for more drama as this squid game plays out.

FYI: The material in today’s article is adapted from Section 3.1. of our new 2021–22 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors, available at special introductory pricing until October 15.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Conducting Patient Access in an Evolving Market

Today’s guest post comes from Bill Dupere, Practice Lead and VP of Market Access Solutions and Eric Willis, VP of Operations Hub and Reimbursement Services at TrialCard.

Bill and Eric discuss the complexities of digital patient support program technologies and introduce TrialCard’s integrated suite of solutions.

To learn more, please contact Trialcard at sales@trialcard.com or visit them in booth #416 at the upcoming Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit from October 26 to 29, 2021.

Read on for Bill’s and Eric’s insights.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

NEW: The 2021–22 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors

I am pleased to announce our new 2021–22 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 15, 2021!

The 2021–22 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors—our 12th edition— remains the most comprehensive, fact-based tool for understanding and analyzing the large and growing U.S. pharmaceutical distribution industry.

This 2021-22 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.

The notable new material in this 2021-22 edition includes three new sections:
  • Section 4.2.5. analyzes how marketplace dynamics of provider-administered biosimilars affect wholesalers’ gross margins. (Section 4.4. in this edition introduces our estimates of these profits.)
  • Section 7.4.4. reviews AmerisourceBergen’s entry into the European distribution market. (We consider McKesson’s exit from Europe in Section 9.4.3.)
  • Section 6.1.5. summarizes key aspects of the wholesalers’ national opioid settlement.
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, lawyers, consultants, and more. So, you can find out what your customers, partners, and competitors are reading.

The 2021–22 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors is the only resource of its kind available anywhere. It offers 142 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 142 exhibits. This popular option helps you share the insights and data with others in your organization. (The exhibits appear in all license versions. The PowerPoint file option is available only with the purchase of a corporate license.)
  • There are an astonishing 537 (!) 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 04, 2021

Informa Connect’s Rare Disease Innovation & Partnering Summit

Informa Connect’s Rare Disease Innovation & Partnering Summit
Hybrid Event
In person: December 6-10 | Boston, MA
Virtual: December 9-10
www.informaconnect.com/raredisease

Exclusive Offer – Be sure to use your exclusive promo code DC4RARE10 to save 10% off* of your registration

After over a year apart, Informa Connect is pleased to announce that Rare Disease Innovation & Partnering Summit will return this Winter as a hybrid event, in-person December 6-7 in Boston, MA and virtually December 9-10. Driven by industry, advocacy, policy and investor insights, the Rare Disease Innovation & Partnering Summit convenes diverse stakeholders to discuss opportunities for continued innovation, advancement of impactful patient advocacy and acceleration of commercial strategy success.

Join multi-stakeholders as they gather and discuss novel approaches to optimize value, access and commercial strategy, deliver insights on maximizing engagement and innovation through data, research and technology and dive into best practices for driving therapeutic progress and creating purposeful partnering. Do not miss this opportunity to advance your organization forward. In such trying times, 2021 is a must-attend.

Exclusive Offer – Download the agenda and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promo code DC4RARE10 to save 10% off* of your registration

Whether you choose to attend in-person or virtual (or both!), Rare Disease Innovation & Partnering Summit is sure to deliver impactful discussions, inspiring leaders and meaningful connections that will help advance the rare community forward. Tackle to most pressing challenges surrounding patient access, reimbursement, commercialization, launch, partnering and more with experts from across the industry.

Can’t Miss Content Highlights:
  • PANEL: Fostering Effective Relationships Between Industry and Advocacy
  • Leverage Genetic Testing for Value for Rare Disease Patients
  • Harness the Power of Data to Drive Progress
  • TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT: Developing and Scaling Digital Therapeutics for Rare Diseases
  • Reverse Engineering for Drug Development in Rare Diseases
  • REGULATORY SPOTLIGHT: Navigate FDA Updates on Rare Disease Product Development
  • Risks and Rewards of Rare Disease Drug Development — Highlight Opportunities and the Way Forward
  • PLUS! Tailored Breakouts for Customizable Learning:
    • Patient Driven Progress
    • Reimbursement, Value and Access
    • New Launch and Commercialization
    • Partnering, Investment and Portfolio Strategy
    How Does Hybrid Work?

    ALL ACCESS PASS includes the in-person event December 6-7 AND the virtual experience December 9-10

    VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE PASS includes recorded presentations from the in-person event, as well as daily live streaming content December 9-10 (plus, 30-day portal access)

    Exclusive Offer – Download the agenda and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promo DC4RARE10 to save 10% off* of your registration
    Informa Connect will see you there!

    *Cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or applied to an existing registration. 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. To find out how you can promote an event on Drug Channels, please contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannels.net).

    Friday, October 01, 2021

    Supporting Patient Adherence Through Electronic Prior Authorization and First Fill Copay Programs

    Today’s guest post comes from David Fidler, Senior Director of Product Innovation at ConnectiveRx. David discusses how electronic prior authorization (ePA) and first-fill, buy-down programs can boost patient adherence to specialty therapies.

    On November 3rd at 1:00 pm ET, ConnectiveRx will host First Fill, No Wait: How to Make it Happen, a free webinar about copay ePA. Click here to register.

    Email inquiries@ConnectiveRx.com with any questions.

    Read on for David’s insights.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2021

    Drug Channels News Roundup, September 2021: Hospitals’ 340B Profits, Drug Prices Deflate, U.S. vs. EU, Amazon vs. CVS, and More Bad Blood for Theranos

    Autumn is here! Curl up with your favorite pumpkin-spiced blog and savor these stories harvested from the Drug Channels patch:
    • Fresh insights about hospitals’ specialty drug profits
    • SSR Update: Drug prices keep dropping
    • My $0.02 on international benchmarking goes viral
    • Amazon is finally disrupting CVS—but not how you expected
    Plus, the best article ever about Elizabeth Holmes’s Theranos trial.

    P.S. Please join the more than 12,500 consumers of my daily commentary and links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, where I have more than 20,000 followers.

    My recent social media topics have included: the ASPE report, biosimilar reimbursement, non-profit hospital shenanigans, HRSA’s reorganization, MTM in Part D, PBMs’ GPOs, pharmacy GPOs, channel strategy, white bagging, and the soothing sounds of pills being counted.

    Monday, September 27, 2021

    Informa Connect’s Trade & Channel Strategies

    Informa Connect’s Trade & Channel Strategies
    Delivered as a Hybrid Event
    In-Person: December 13-14, Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA
    Virtual: December 16-17
    www.informaconnect.com/trade-channel/

    Year after year, the life science industry marks Informa Connect’s Trade and Channel Strategies as the “go-to” event for trade, channel, market access, account strategy and brand professionals. Join hundreds of your industry counterparts this December to unravel the complexities of the channel, navigate high-impact topics transforming trade and benchmark winning pharmacy and distribution frameworks.

    Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current rate when they register and use code 21DC10*.

    Live Keynotes Delivering Timely Updates and Insights on High-Impact Topics:
    • Analyze Market Dynamics and Trends Impacting the Channel in an Ever-Changing Environment
    • Unpack Emerging Product Specific Trends in 3PL, Distribution and Pharmacy
    • Break Down Evolving Regulatory Reform Driving Innovation and Access
    • Navigate Major Market Mergers and Forecast Future Evolution in the Industry
    • Discover Pharmacy-Level Innovations Redesigning Care and Driving eCommerce
    Customize Your Experience with Tailored Content:
    • Benefit from sessions covering the full product mix
    • Build your own agenda with focused breakouts on critical topic areas
    • Hear from key stakeholders along the supply chain continuum
    • Attend the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit taking place December 14th
    Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current rate when they register and use code 21DC10*.

    Be sure to sign up today and save your seat!

    *Offer applies to current 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. To find out how you can promote an event on Drug Channels, please contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannels.net).

    Friday, September 24, 2021

    Pharmacist Job Market in 2020: Hospital Employment Up, Retail Salaries Down (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for today's live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends.

    Click here to see the original post and comments from June 2021.


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has recently released its employment and salary data for 2020. That means it’s time to update Drug Channels Institute’s (DCI) annual analysis of pharmacist salaries and employment.

    We have found that the share of pharmacists who work at hospitals reached a new high. What’s more, average base salaries for retail pharmacists have dropped, while salaries have risen for pharmacists employed by hospitals, physician offices, and other non-retail settings. 

    A word of caution: These data were collected during the peak of last year’s pandemic shutdowns. I suspect that 2020 will turn out to have been a much more challenging year for retail-employed pharmacists.

    Thursday, September 23, 2021

    How Cigna’s Growing Pharmacy Platform Expands Its Channel Power (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends.

    Click here to see the original post and comments from May 2021.


    Last week, Cigna released its earnings for the first quarter of 2021. Links below.

    I was struck by how quickly Cigna’s Express Scripts PBM business has increased revenues and prescriptions from its retail pharmacy network. Our second chart below highlights this growth.

    The businesses in Cigna's Evernorth segment—especially Express Scripts, Ascent Health Services, and InsideRx—are already providing rebate negotiation, network management, and/or a sourcing platform for Prime Therapeutics, Kroger, Humana, GoodRx, and Amazon. 

    I expect Cigna’s influence over the drug channel to expand further as other businesses step onto this burgeoning platform.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    EXCLUSIVE: The 340B Program Soared to $38 Billion in 2020—Up 27% vs. 2019 (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends.

    Click here to see the original post and comments from June 2021.


    Despite what you may have heard, the 340B Drug Pricing Program continues to thrive.

    Discounted purchases under the program reached at least $38 billion in 2020. That figure is an astonishing 27% higher than its 2019 counterpart—and more than quadruple the value of discounted purchases in 2014.

    Drug Channels has exclusively obtained the 2020 amount from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). We received it by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was just answered yesterday. You can read our FOIA letter below, along with more details on the program's growth.

    The 340B program’s size now exceeds the Medicaid program’s outpatient drug sales—and accounts for nearly 20% of the total rebates and discounts that manufacturers provide for brand-name drugs. Alas, many elements of the 340B program—including its controversial contract pharmacy component—lack a comprehensive regulatory infrastructure.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2021

    DCI’s Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2020: PBMs Expand Amid the Shakeout—While Walgreens’ Outlook Dims (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends.

    Click here to see the original post and comments from May 2021. BTW, my prediction about AllianceRx Walgreens Prime is already starting to come true. Prime Therapeutics recently alleged that Walgreens is competing against the companies' joint venture.


    In Drug Channels Institute's list of the top 15 pharmacies of 2020, we show that many of the largest U.S. market participants are now central-fill mail and specialty pharmacies operated by PBMs and insurers.

    To complement that broader ranking, we present below our exclusive list of the top 15 pharmacies based on specialty drug dispensing revenues. You will see that PBMs and insurers have increased their dominance over specialty drug channels. Many of the largest independent companies have been acquired.

    As we look ahead, CVS Health and Cigna’s Express Scripts seem best positioned for further growth. However, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime—the joint venture between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Prime Therapeutics—faces significant market share loss.

    Read on for all the details.

    Monday, September 20, 2021

    Informa Connect's Pharma/Biotech GTN Summit

    Informa Connect's Pharma/Biotech GTN Summit
    Hybrid Event
    In-Person: November 17-19, 2021 in Philadelphia
    Virtual: November 22-23, 2021
    www.informaconnect.com/gtn

    Join the life sciences community this fall at Informa Connect’s GTN Summit, now in the 11th year. Whether you register with an All-Access Pass (attending in-person on November 17-19, 2021 with access to Virtual content) or register with a Virtual Pass (attending from your home or office on November 22-23, 2021 with access to the In-Person event recordings), you'll be able to benefit from all the expert-led sessions and panels on the agenda.

    Visit www.informaconnect.com/gtn for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save 10% off when they use code 21DRCH10 and register prior to October 20th.*

    Session topics include:
    • Comprehensive and Strategic Roadmap for Optimizing GTN Processes
    • GTN and Strategic Finance in a Revolutionary Marketplace
    • Changing Policy and Drug Pricing Proposals
    • Product Pricing Pressures and Trends within the Payer Marketplace
    • Medicaid Accruals and Forecasting and 340B
    • Ensuring Audit Readiness and Optimal Governance of GTN Processes and Financial Reporting
    • Methodology Showcase and Platform-Centric Strategies for GTN Optimization
    • Medicare, Part D Discount Rate and Impact on GTN
    • Implementing Salesforce Initiatives to Maximize GTN
    • Value-Based Contracting Agreements and GTN
    • Untangling the Complexities between Access Programs, Coverage Decisions and GTN
    • Visibility and Predictability for Inventory and Product Returns
    • GTN's Importance and Materiality into the Broader Business Equation
    • Organizational Alignment, Process Excellence and Transparency to Maximize GTN Accuracy and Efficiency
    • GTN Implementations - Best Practices, Purpose-built Launch Planning and GTN Readiness to Ensure Product Success
    These sessions will be presented by senior-level finance executives from companies such as Agile Therapeutics, Collegium Pharma, Currax Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, GSK, Horizon Therapeutics, Incyte, Karyopharm, Lannett Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Sandoz and more.

    View the agenda to see the complete picture – agenda, speakers, and more! Plus, in-person participation qualifies for CPE credits!*

    Visit www.informaconnect.com/gtn for further details and to register. Drug Channels readers will save 10% off when they use code 21DRCH10 and register prior to October 20th.*

    *Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category 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. To find out how you can promote an event on Drug Channels, please contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannels.net).

    Friday, September 17, 2021

    Connected Solutions Are Simplifying Specialty Medication Access

    Today’s guest post comes from Vicki Muscarella, Vice President of Specialty at CoverMyMeds.

    Vicki discusses the advantages of integrated technology solutions in enhancing specialty patients' access to therapy, affordability, and adherence. CoverMyMeds now includes RelayHealth, RxCrossroads by McKesson, and McKesson Prescription automation.

    Click here to sign up for complimentary early access to the specialty edition of the CoverMyMeds 2021 Medication Access Report.

    Read on for Vicki’s insights.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    How and Why I Was Overcharged by Penn Medicine and My Blue Cross Health Plan (A True Story)

    Sometimes, a little knowledge can be a bad thing.

    I want to share with you, dear reader, the strange but true tale of my recent foray into the wonderful world of hospital price transparency for routine lab services.

    I discovered—with great effort—that the rates my health plan negotiated with the largest local health system in Philadelphia were greater than the self-pay, cash price. Ultimately, my baffling and unexpected out-of-network bill required me to pay more out-of-pocket than the total cash price.

    This tale neatly summarizes why so many people hate our healthcare system—and why the average patient will have trouble benefiting from transparency regulations.

    Learn more about how hospitals get paid for provider-administered drugs during my upcoming live video webinar, Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends, on September 24, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    Available for Preorder: The 2021-22 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors

    On October 5, 2021, Drug Channels Institute will release The 2021–22 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors. This report—our twelfth edition— remains the most comprehensive, fact-based tool for understanding and analyzing the large and growing U.S. pharmaceutical distribution industry.

    We are providing you with the opportunity to preorder this thoroughly updated and revised 2021-22 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 5.


    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 15, 2021.

    I'll discuss new data from the 2021-22 report during DCI’s upcoming live video webinar, Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends, on September 24, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP.

    Monday, September 13, 2021

    Informa Connect’s Drug Pricing Transparency Congress

    Informa Connect’s Drug Pricing Transparency Congress
    Delivered as a Hybrid Event
    In-Person: November 9-10 | Philadelphia, PA
    Virtual: November 16-17
    www.informaconnect.com/drug-pricing-transparency
    Save 10% by using code 21DPT10

    The 2021 Drug Pricing Transparency Congress, an important event dedicated to providing critical updates on federal and state reporting requirements, policy initiatives and strategic best practices for compliance, returns this November as a HYBRID event, with the in-person component being held November 9-10 in Philadelphia and the virtual component being held November 16-17.

    Exclusive Offer for Drug Channels Readers:
    Use Promo Code 21DPT10 to Receive 10% off Your Registration

    Thought-leaders and colleagues from federal agencies, bio/pharma manufacturers, consultants, industry trade associations and law firms will gather to discuss key insights on how current and future drug pricing transparency regulations will impact commercialization, reimbursement, pricing and compliance practices.

    The content-rich agenda features fresh perspectives, along with many of the well-respected experts typically on the program. Key impactful sessions include:

    • BIO and PhRMA ADDRESS: Examining New Legislation and Addressing Current Industry Efforts — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
    • ENFORCEMENT SPOTLIGHT: Explore Developments in Enforcement Action — Winston & Strawn LLP, The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • Strategize Best Practices for Compliance in Drug Pricing Transparency — Pfizer
    • INDUSTRY PULSE: Analyzing Benchmarking Results — ClassOne Insight
    • PANEL DISCUSSION: Ask the Experts – What Keeps You Up at Night? — Chiesi, Sidley Austin LLP, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C., Porzio Life Sciences
    • And many more!
    Choose how you attend with the All-Access Pass, registration to both the in-person and virtual events, or the Virtual-Only Pass. Whichever you choose, be sure to use your exclusive promo code 21DPT10 when securing your place to receive 10% off!


    The content of Sponsored Posts does not necessarily reflect the views of Pembroke Consulting, Inc., Drug Channels, or any of its employees. To find out how you can promote an event on Drug Channels, please contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannels.net).

    Friday, September 10, 2021

    Improving the Provider Experience to Accelerate Patients’ Access to Specialty Therapy

    Today’s guest post comes from Vicki Muscarella, Vice President of Specialty Product at CoverMyMeds.

    Vicki discusses the value of a centralized patient support services solution. She argues that such a solution improves the provider experience, enhances the patient experience, and accelerates speed to therapy.

    To learn about CoverMyMeds’ integrated patient support services solution, download the free Medication Access Report: Healthcare Technology.

    Thursday, September 09, 2021

    How CVS Health Drives Cardinal Health’s Distribution Financials

    Cardinal Health recently released the annual report for its 2021 fiscal year, which ended on June 30. See the links below.

    Today, I delve into the financials behind Cardinal’s relationship with its largest customer, CVS Health. In Cardinal’s 2021 fiscal year, CVS purchased more than $42 billion in pharmaceuticals from the wholesaler—about double the figure from 10 years ago. The new report also reveals that CVS Health’s payment terms with Cardinal give the wholesaler an often-overlooked cash flow benefit.

    I also compare Cardinal’s relationship with CVS to McKesson’s relationship with CVS. The two wholesalers sell more than $90 billion in pharmaceuticals to CVS Health—making it the largest U.S. drug purchaser.

    Like McKesson, however, Cardinal Health has discovered that CVS is its worst best friend.

    Learn about how changes in the the provider-administered drug market affect wholesalers during DCI’s upcoming live video webinar, Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends, on September 24, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2021

    Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends (NEW Live Video Webinar)

    Dr. Adam J. Fein, CEO of Drug Channels Institute (DCI) and the author of Drug Channels, invites you to join him for his latest video webinar:

    Drug Channels Update: Buy-and-Bill Market Trends
    Friday, September 24, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

    This page describes the event and explains how to purchase a registration.

    This event is part of The Drug Channels 2021 Quarterly Video Webinar Series. Anyone who registered for the entire series will receive an email with a link to access the June event.

    WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

    During the September event, Dr. Fein will focus on the latest market developments in the buy-and-bill market, including:
    • The key channels for provider-administered drugs
    • The flow of funds and product in the buy-and-bill system
    • The latest data on reimbursement models and methodologies
    • The impact of COVID-19 on provider-administered channels
    • Crucial market developments and insights regarding:
      • Consolidation and vertical integration
      • Hospital transparency
      • Biosimilars
      • The 340B Drug Pricing Program
      • Medicare Part B policy
      • PBM and payer tactics
      • Specialty distributors
    • And more!
    As always, Dr. Fein will clearly distinguish his opinions and interpretations from the objective facts and data.

    PLUS: During the webinar, Dr. Fein will give participants an opportunity to unmute themselves and ask live questions. The webinar will be 90 minutes to accommodate audience questions.

    Read on for full details on pricing and registration.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2021

    A Video History of Pharmacies and Prescription Prices: From Soda Fountains to GoodRx

    Charlotte Morabito at CNBC has put together “Why Pharmacies Overcharge,” an entertaining and provocative video on the pharmacy industry and its generic prescription pricing.

    It’s definitely worth your time. I especially enjoyed the cool visualizations of Drug Channels Institute’s industry data. Links below.

    The video covers the history of pharmacy, from the “Soda Fountain Era” to “Lick, Stick, and Pour” to the rise of PBMs and GoodRx. 

    It also includes a wide variety of expert perspectives, including $0.02 from your friendly neighborhood blogger at Drug Channels. See the list below.

    Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

    Wednesday, August 25, 2021

    Drug Channels News Roundup, August 2021: OptumRx’s New GPO, Pharmacy DIR Fees, State Biosimilar Laws, UM Views, and a Newspaper Delivers

    Our not-quite-post-pandemic summer is coming to an end. Time to pack away the bathing suit and get serious again—with these curated curiosities combed from the now-barren Drug Channels beach:
    • OptumRx joins the PBM GPO game
    • Pharmacy DIR fees hit $11 billion
    • A terrific resource on state biosimilar laws
    • Patient views on utilization management
    Plus, my social media success…from a (print) newspaper ad!

    P.S. Please join the more than 12,100 consumers of my daily commentary and links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, where I have more than 19,500 followers. Recent topics have included: Express Scripts’ 2022 formulary exclusion list, Amazon’s pharmacy, generics in Part D, 340B research, zero-dollar copay, pass-through rebates, PBMs’ spread pricing, Rite Aid’s Bartell deal, healthcare pricing trends, the DSCSA, John Venn, and more.

    Friday, August 20, 2021

    Leveraging Mobile Patient Support to Boost Adherence

    Today’s guest post comes from Ian Ocilka, Senior Vice President of Client Solutions at ConnectiveRx.

    Ian discusses how mobile platforms like mobileCare Manager can boost patient adherence to specialty therapies.

    To learn more, register for ConnectiveRx's free panel discussion on September 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Email inquiries@ConnectiveRx.com with any questions.

    Read on for Ian’s insights.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2021

    Why GoodRx—Not Amazon—May Be the True PBM Disrupter

    The generic prescription market is being disrupted—but not by the big, bad spaceman from Seattle.

    Instead, consider how GoodRx is affecting patients, payers, and PBMs.

    Below I summarize the latest financial results for GoodRx’s discount card business. We estimate that the company accounted for $4.1 billion in U.S. prescription revenues for 2021. That’s about six times its 2016 figure.

    GoodRx and its discount card competitors profit by incentivizing people to bypass their own insurance plans. Meanwhile, our crazy pharmacy pricing system deters pharmacies from pursuing consumer-driven pricing and PBMs from undercutting their own clients.

    Consequently, discount cards could become the force that upends PBMs’ pharmacy benefit economics, plan sponsors’ decisions, and the entire generic market. Should PBMs continue to profit from discount cards’ rapid growth…while ignoring the risk that this growth could undermine the value of their benefit management services?

    Read on and see what you think.

    Saturday, August 14, 2021

    Informa Connect’s Coupon & Copay

    Informa Connect’s Coupon & Copay
    Hybrid Event | October 13-20
    In-Person: October 13-14 in Philadelphia, PA
    Virtual: October 19-20
    www.informaconnect.com/couponcopay

    It’s time to get the gang back together! With an improving landscape, Informa Connect is pleased to announce that Coupon and Copay will return this Fall as a hybrid event, in-person October 13-14 in Philadelphia, PA and virtually October 19-20. 

    Benefit from crucial and timely updates addressing access challenges and exploring the impact of copay accumulators, maximizers and drug pricing legislation on patient affordability. In such a fluid year for medication access and affordability, join influential stakeholders as they innovate on copay program design and operations, identify key trends in market access, patient affordability and the future of the drug pricing and analyze the impact of cost sharing on out of pocket costs and high deductible health plans. 2021 is a must-attend.

    Exclusive Offer – Download the agenda and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promo code USAVE10 to save 10% off* of your registration.

    Whether you choose to attend in-person or virtual (or both!), Coupon and Copay is sure to deliver. The largest and longest standing forum focused on the role of coupon and copay programs in assisting in patient access and affordability to higher priced drugs, hear multi-stakeholder perspectives on the most pressing issues, including:

    Can’t Miss Content Highlights:
    • Two Part Trailblazer Exchange
    • Explore Alternative Copay Strategies to Respond to the Rise of Copay Accumulator and Maximizer Programs
    • The Future of Copay Programs- Where Do We Go From Here
    • Address Utilization of Step Therapy and Bridge Programs
    • Advocacy and Policy Panel: Analyze State and Federal Progress Regulating Copay Programs
    • DOJ Updates: Government Enforcement Trends Impacting Copay Assistance
    • Physician Perspective – Uncover the Need for Streamlined Efficiencies in Copay Programs
    • Specialty Brands Copay Programs Deep Dive
    • And more!
    How Does Hybrid Work?

    ALL ACCESS PASS includes the in-person event October 13-14 AND the virtual experience October 19-20

    VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE PASS includes recorded presentations from the in-person event, as well as daily live streaming content October 19-20 (plus, 30-day portal access)

    Exclusive Offer – Download the agenda and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promo code USAVE10 to save 10% off* of your registration.

    Informa Connect will see you there!

    *Cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or applied to an existing registration. 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. To find out how you can promote an event on Drug Channels, please contact Paula Fein (paula@drugchannels.net)

    Friday, August 13, 2021

    Three Factors to Determine the Best e-Support Services Provider for Your Brand

    Today’s guest post comes from Stacey Little, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at AssistRx.

    Stacey discusses how a patient support vendor can help specialty pharmacy patients attain prior authorizations and access critical therapies. She offers three criteria that manufacturers can use to evaluate e-support services providers.

    Learn more about AssistRx’s technology and patient support services by viewing their on-demand webinars.

    Read on for Stacey’s insights.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2021

    Part B Update: Hospitals Keep Displacing Physicians—And More Practice Acquisitions Loom

    The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the independent agency that advises Congress on the Medicare program, recently released its latest Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program databook. This annual report is a treasure trove of useful and fascinating data.

    The July 2021 edition provides us with the latest pre-pandemic details on the buy-and-bill market in Medicare Part B.

    As you will see below, the Part B spending data look like Groundhog Day all over again. Medicare payments continued to their shift from physician practices to hospital outpatient departments. 

    This spending change would have been even more pronounced if CMS had not reduced reimbursements to 340B hospitals.

    Early data suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated hospital’s acquisitions of physician practices, suggesting that we’ll keep talking about the shift in sites-of-care—even if you are sick of these dolphins.

    Monday, August 09, 2021

    Informa Connect’s Medicaid Drug Rebate Program — MDRP 2021 Hybrid

    Informa Connect’s Medicaid Drug Rebate Program — MDRP 2021 Hybrid
    In-Person: October 11-13, 2021 | New Brunswick, NJ
    Virtual: October 18-20, 2021
    www.informaconnect.com/MDRP

    Informa Connect’s 26th Annual Medicaid Drug Rebate Program — MDRP 2021 Hybrid — is an important event for government pricing, rebates and regulation, providing direct access to government regulators creating the rules, the industry leaders interpreting them and the manufacturer experts implementing them.

    View the complete agenda, then register for the All Access Pass (in-person + virtual) or Virtual-Only Pass using the exclusive Drug Channels discount code 21MDRP10 to receive 10% off!

    MDRP 2021 is a hybrid event, with the in-person component taking place October 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ and the virtual experience taking place October 18-20; plus, we’ll have an on-demand library of content available throughout the event, as well as 30 days post event.

    View the agenda here.

    Learn more about our all access & virtual-only passes here.

    Impactful Sessions Include:
    • Policy Proposals from the Current Administration, House and Senate: What Can We Expect for 2021 and How Will It Impact You? — Kaiser Family Foundation
    • Key Enforcement Trends in Drug Pricing — Ropes & Gray
    • Medicare Part B: ASP and Reimbursement — CSL Behring
    • Contracting and Reimbursement Strategies for Gene Therapies — Arnold & Porter
    • CMS Final Rule Review: Regulation Updates and Operational Strategies — Deloitte & Touche LLP
    • JCodes and HCPCS: Best Practices for Manufacturers — ND Department of Health and Human Services
    • Panel on the Interaction Between Government Pricing and Contracting — BMS, Model N, Sandoz
    PLUS, our world-class content includes many of the topics you’ve requested year-after-year like the in-depth GP 101 Bootcamp, the Town Hall between States and Manufacturers, the one-on-one State Dispute Resolution Meetings, updates from CMS and OIG and more!

    View the complete agenda, then register for the All Access Pass (in-person + virtual) or Virtual-Only Pass using the exclusive Drug Channels discount code 21MDRP10 to receive 10% off!


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

    Tuesday, August 03, 2021

    Drug Channels Recommends: “The U.S. Healthcare Ecosystem: Payers, Providers, Producers”

    Looking for a summer beach read?

    I suggest The U.S. Healthcare Ecosystem: Payers, Providers, Producers, by Rob Burns.

    My friend Rob of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School offers an exhaustive look into the commercial side of our complicated and confusing healthcare system. 

    You will be amazed and overwhelmed by the amount of material crammed into this volume. It would be a valuable addition to the library of both industry newbies and grizzled veterans.

    Read on for my overview of this valuable resource.

    Friday, July 30, 2021

    Expanding Healthcare Technology Across the Care Team to Improve Medication Access

    Today’s guest post comes from David Holladay, President of Access and Adherence at CoverMyMeds.

    David discusses how common medication access, adherence, and affordability barriers can lead patients to abandon important therapies. He suggests that technology can connect providers with actionable information at the point of care, thereby giving patients access to data that can lead them to make better decisions.

    To learn more, download CoverMyMeds’ 2021 Medication Access Report: Healthcare Technology Edition.

    Read on for David’s insights.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    Drug Channels News Roundup, July 2021: Stingy Hospitals, Biosimilars & Part B, Hep C Drug Prices, Costco vs. Part D, and MBA Funny Business

    Let’s cut through the summer haze with our refreshing breeze of articles and insights. In this issue:
    • The top 10 stingiest hospitals
    • Medicare Part B's savings from biosimilars 
    • What happened to hepatitis C drug costs and rebates?
    • Costco beats Medicare Part D
    Plus, math madness with Duke’s Fuqua business school.

    P.S. Please join the more than 12,000 consumers of my daily commentary and links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, where I have more than 19,000 followers.

    Monday, July 26, 2021

    Informa Connect’s Hub, SPP and eServices Optimization

    Informa Connect’s Hub, SPP and eServices Optimization
    Delivered as a Hybrid Event
    In-Person: Sep 22-23, New Brunswick, NJ | Virtual: Sep 28-29
    www.informaconnect.com/hub-spp/

    This important event convenes key stakeholders including manufacturers, specialty pharmacies, hub providers and more for unrivaled collaboration to leverage innovation and optimize access. Be a part of the critical conversation at this timely hybrid meeting to explore proven strategies and cutting-edge approaches to drive an all-encompassing, state-of-the-art hub.

    Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current registration rate when they use code 21HUBDC10*.

    Navigate the Evolving Affordability and Regulatory Landscape to Maximize Access
    • Demystify the Evolving Bio/Pharma Affordability Landscape — Key Trends and Dynamics Impacting Access
    • Emerging Trends and Top Risk Areas — Review of Guidance on Copay Assistance, Accumulators and Charitable PAPs
    • NCPDP Standards Update – Specialty Pharmacy and Standards Activity
    Uncover Industry Best Practices and Stakeholder Management to Optimize Program Performance
    • Bridge the Gap Between Hubs and Specialty Pharmacies for Improved Patient Experience
    • Optimize Program Design for Cohesive Operational Administration
    • Innovative Model Manufacturer Showcase — Practical Expertise from Industry Experts Enhancing Access, Adherence and Analytics
    • Unpack Hybrid Hubs — How to Make Decisions on Insourced vs. Outsourced Services
    • Discover Patient Support Program Needs for Patients with Rare Diseases
    • Industry Playbook for Focused Investment, Operational Efficiencies, Scorecarding and Metrics
    Utilize Data, Analytics and Technology to Enhance Adherence
    • Embrace the Future of Data Driven Patient Support Through Automation and Predictive Analytics
    • Utilize Digital Engagement for End-to-End Patient Support for Specialty Products
    • Achieve Better Patient Outcomes through Tech-Enabled Adherence Programs
    • Leveraging Next-Gen Tech to Enhance Electronic Benefit Verification and Prior Authorizations to Optimize Workflow
    • Improve Patient Engagement through Mobile Messaging and Virtual Assistance
    Download the full agenda and save your seat today!

    Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current registration rate when they use code 21HUBDC10*.

    *Offer applies to current 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.

    Tuesday, July 20, 2021

    Specialty Pharmacy’s Explosive 340B Growth

    The 340B Drug Pricing Program continues to expand far more quickly than the overall pharmaceutical market—and some channels are benefiting more than others.

    As you will see below, mail and specialty pharmacies’ purchases of products that are eligible for 340B discounts have grown by an incredible 56% per year since 2017. That’s about six times faster than the overall mail and specialty market.

    Consequently, specialty pharmacies have gained a greater share of the 340B market. Businesses owned by a few multi-billion-dollar, for-profit, publicly traded companies—Cigna, CVS Health, and UnitedHealthcare—are the primary beneficiaries of this astonishing growth.

    To help you make sense of the market changes, I have also included a brief video to explain 340B’s growth and the expansion of contract pharmacies. The video is excerpted from my recent Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook video webinar.

    Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

    Monday, July 19, 2021

    Informa Connect’s Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – Hybrid Events

    Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – Hybrid Events
    September 20-21, Boston MA | September 22, Virtual Experience | September 23-24, Burlingame, CA

    www.informaconnect.com/financeaccountingeast

    www.informaconnect.com/financeaccountingwest

    Tailored to the unique nuisances of bioscience companies, these CPE-accredited annual events bring together the brightest financial and accounting minds from the nation’s leading trailblazers.
    To best meet the needs of both traveling and stay-at-home audiences, Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies East and West will be HYBRID events, combining live and digital experiences that showcase all of the content from the live event, with additional keynotes, panel discussions and meeting scheduling to be fully inclusive to those unable to attend in person.

    Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current rate when they use code 21DRCH10 and register prior to August 13th.* More details are available at the event websites:



    Agenda Highlights:

    Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – East Coast:
    • Hear directly from leaders at Minovia Therapeutics, Zentalis Phamraceuticals, Takeda, Korro Bio, Tmunity Therapeutics, Generation Bio and more.
    • Attend sessions covering digital transformation, the changing landscape of clinical trials, biotech equity funding models, new product launch planning, forecasting, valuation strategies and more.
    • Earn up to 16.3 CPE credits.
    Virtual Experience:
    • Hear strategies to thrive through periods of change from today's most innovative CEOs.
    • Watch the presentation of the Inaugural Life Sciences leaders and Stars Awards, celebrating innovation, achievement, and leadership in the finance community.
    • Attend a Bioscience SPAC Workshop and review classification, valuation and reporting best practices.
    • Don't miss sessions on practical applications of AI, RPA, Machine Learning, IPO and public market update and more.
    • Earn up to 6.5 CPE credits.
    Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – West Coast:
    • Hear directly from CFOs as they review the path to the CFO role, lessons on leadership and tackling challenges.
    • Attend sessions covering preparing to go public, market access dynamics, accounting standards updates, accounting for R&D deals and more.
    • Earn up to 15.4 CPE credits.
    How to Register:
    • LIVE in Boston with an All Access Pass! Start your week LIVE in Boston on September 20 and 21, and wrap up with a virtual programming on September 22, featuring recordings from BOTH East and West Coast events, as well as live streaming content.
    • LIVE in Burlingame with an All Access Pass! Start your week with the virtual programming on September 22, featuring recordings from BOTH West and East Coast events, and wrap up your week LIVE in Burlingame, CA on September 23 and 24.
    • Go All Virtual! Experience recordings from both meetings, plus live streaming virtual content from the comfort of your home or office on September 22!
    Drug Channels readers will save 10% off the current rate when they use code 21DRCH10 and register prior to August 13th.* More details are available at the event websites:

    Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – East Coast
    Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies – West Coast

    *Cannot be combined with other offers or used towards a current registration. Cannot be combined with special category rate or non-profit rates. Other restrictions may apply.


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

    Friday, July 16, 2021

    The Power of Partnerships: Why Pharma Needs to Redefine its Role With IDNs

    Today’s guest post comes from MMIT's Dinesh Kabaleeswaran, Director of Advisory Services, and John Griggs, Senior Solution Consultant.

    Dinesh and John discuss the expanding role and importance of integrated delivery networks (IDNs) in specialty medication administration and reimbursement.

    Dinesh and John also highlight MMIT’s Pulse Analytics solution, which allows pharma manufacturers the ability to monitor drug coverage at the brand and IDN level.

    Read on for Dinesh’s and John’s insights.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2021

    PBMs and Drug Spending in 2020: Data from CVS Health (sort of), Express Scripts, Navitus, and WellDyne (Plus: The Demise of PBM Reporting)

    Since 2012, Drug Channels has examined commercial drug spending using the annual trend reports published by the largest PBMs.

    This year, we review 2020 data on commercial plan sponsor clients of CVS Health and Express Scripts along with two smaller PBMs—Navitus and WellDyne. As you will see below, plan sponsors experienced another year of single-digit growth in overall pharmacy benefit drug spending.

    For specialty drugs, utilization—more people taking more prescriptions—remained the driving force behind this higher spending. Specialty drug costs grew slowly—or even declined.

    I’m sad to report that this year’s analysis is skimpier than usual. CVS Health has published only a bare bones summary, while Prime Therapeutics, MedImpact, and other large PBMs have stopped publishing trend reports. I document this disappointing state of affairs below.

    Read on as I spread all the the k-poppin' details.

    Monday, July 12, 2021

    Informa Connect’s PAP: Patient Assistance & Access Programs

    Informa Connect’s PAP: Patient Assistance & Access Programs
    August 17-19, 2021 | Virtual Event
    www.informaconnect.com/pap

    Industry’s favorite event is back! Break through affordability barriers with PAP: Patient Assistance & Access Programs taking place August 17-19 in a fully virtual format, and benefit from critical and timely updates addressing the current and anticipated challenges for patient access and assistance professionals.

    In a pivotal year for PAPs, join influential stakeholders as they collaborate and uncover industry best practices and stakeholder management to optimize program performance, navigate policy watch-outs and discuss methods to evolve patient assistance through technology and innovation. This event is not to be missed.

    Exclusive Offer: View the agenda and register today. Be sure to use your exclusive promo DC4PAP to save 10% off* of your registration.

    PAP serves as a three-day conference experience, featuring expert led discussion on the everchanging healthcare and coverage landscape, staying on the pulse of trends in copay exclusions, accumulators and maximizers, solutions to maintain the digital momentum and overcome challenges as we begin to transition to a post COVID-19 world and more. Hear multi-stakeholder perspectives on the most pressing topics and attend tailored content offerings based on your individual needs, including:
    • Executive Outlook: The Intersection on Access and Affordability for Health Policy
    • Build on the ACA Trends to Reduce Coverage Gaps and Disruptions
    • Enforcement Update: Understand DOJ Enforcement Priorities for 2021 and Beyond
    • Three Hot Topic Roundtables
      • Models for Partnership to Advance Program Impact
      • Racial and Income Disparities in Healthcare
      • Compliance and Operational Trends for Nursing Support Programs
    • Three Customizable Learning Streams
      • Technology & Innovation for Streamlined Access
      • Patient Support Collaboration & Operations
      • Legal, Compliance and Policy
    • Industry Disruptors: Stay on the Pulse of Trends in Copay Exclusions, Accumulators and Maximizers
    • Ask the Experts: Setting PAP Industry Standards
    • And more!
    PLUS! Introducing a Brand New Digital Platform, ConnectMe:
    • Interactive coffee tables and enhanced networking capabilities
    • Instant message with attendees to continue conversations and spark up one-on-one discussions
    • Suggested connections based on your preferences
    • Sophisticated scheduling tools: Set your availability, book meetings and more
    • Live and on-demand sessions, all available 30-days post-event to review at your leisure
    Exclusive Offer: View the agenda and register today. Be sure to use your exclusive promo DC4PAP to save 10% off* of your registration.

    Informa Connect will see you there!

    *Cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or applied to an existing registration. 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, July 07, 2021

    Rite Aid’s PBM Strategy: Will Hope Triumph Over Experience?

    ICYMI, Rite Aid recently released the financial results for its most recent fiscal quarter, which ended on May 29. Rite Aid’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) business, Elixir, continues to flail in an increasingly challenging market.

    I’ve long been skeptical of Rite Aid’s PBM strategy. As you will see below, last quarter’s results further validated my skepticism. Synergies with the company’s retail pharmacy business are minimal—and shrinking.

    Rite Aid’s management team does seem committed to fixing and then growing the business. But as I see it, the company should either unload Elixir before it loses even more value or join with a larger company that can offer a viable platform for success.

    I’m sure many investors wish that Amazon would simply buy Rite Aid and solve their pain.

    On the other hand, free advice is often worth what you paid for it. Read on and see what you think the company should do.

    Monday, June 28, 2021

    Drug Channels News Roundup, June 2021: Amazon's Latest, Patients vs. Accumulators, Generics & Biosimilars, 340B Games, and a Hospital Road trip

    Happy 245th birthday, America! As you declare your vaccinated independence, celebrate with these Drug Channels fireworks:
    • Amazon’s teeny step toward pharmacy disruption
    • How patients view copay accumulators
    • My $0.02 on generic and biosimilar trends
    • Some hospitals seem to be gaming their 340B eligibility
    Plus, tips on effective hospital marketing.

    P.S. Please join the nearly 12,000 consumers of my daily commentary and links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, where I am approaching 19,000 followers.

    Friday, June 25, 2021

    Gross-to-Net Bubble Update: Net Prices Drop (Again) at Six Top Drugmakers (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for today’s live video webinar at 12:00 p.m. ET: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook. More than 2,000 people have already registered for the webinar. Will you be there, too?

    Click here to see the original post and comments from April 2021.


    Time for Drug Channels' annual update on pricing at six of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers—Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, and Sanofi. You can find links to each company’s data below.

    When rebates and discounts were factored in, brand-name drug prices declined—or grew slowly—in 2020. Consistent with our previous analyses, rebates and discounts reduced the selling prices of brand-name drugs to less than half of their list prices. What’s more, net drug prices have declined for the past four years.

    Alas, many pharma industry perma-critics refuse to accept that brand-name drug prices are falling—or that they remain the only part of U.S. healthcare where prices have been declining. That’s why they are drug pricing flat earthers (DPFE.) Consider today’s data deluge as my small contribution to making the world a slightly smarter and more fact-based place.

    Thursday, June 24, 2021

    The Top 15 U.S. Pharmacies of 2020: Market Shares and Revenues at the Biggest Companies (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook.

    Click here to see the original post and comments from March 2021.


    Next week, Drug Channels Institute will release our 2021 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. It’s the 12th edition of our popular and comprehensive examination of the entire drug pricing, reimbursement, and dispensing system. (You can preorder at special discounted prices.)

    The exhibit below—one of 211 in our new report—provides a first look at the 15 largest organizations, ranked by total U.S. prescription dispensing revenues for calendar year 2020.

    U.S. prescription dispensing revenues reached a record $465 billion in 2020. The largest players all had bigger slices of the revenue pie, due to the growth at specialty pharmacies and multiple transactions that shifted market share among the vertically integrated companies.

    For a sneak peek at the complete report, click here to download a free pre-publication draft overview (including the table of contents and a list of exhibits).

    Wednesday, June 23, 2021

    How GoodRx’s Rapid Growth Creates Conflict between PBMs and Payers (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook.

    Click here to see the original post and comments from March 2021.


    Pharmacy pricing and benefit design are fundamentally broken.

    For proof, look at GoodRx’s 2020 financial results for its discount card business. The company accounted for an estimated $3.4 billion in U.S. prescription revenues—and earned nearly $500 million in fees from PBMs.

    Incredibly, three out of four consumers who used GoodRx already had commercial, Medicare, or Medicaid insurance. This means that someone—the consumer, their employer, and/or the government—paid insurance premiums for a pharmacy benefit managed by a PBM. Yet it was still worthwhile for people to bypass their plan’s out-of-pocket costs and PBM network rates in favor of a different PBM’s rates. As I explain below, such arbitrage creates potent conflicts between PBMs and their plan sponsor clients.

    Don’t blame GoodRx for this mess. I give it credit for helping consumers navigate a crazy system that incentivizes people to bypass their own insurance plans. But it’s hard not to dislike a system that enables these games. Read on and let me know what you think.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2021

    The Top Pharmacy Benefit Managers of 2020: Vertical Integration Drives Consolidation (rerun)

    This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I prepare for this Friday’s live video webinar: Drug Channels Update: 340B Controversies and Outlook.

    Click here to see the original post and comments from April 2021.


    The drug channel is consolidating, both vertically and horizontally.

    For evidence, look no further than Drug Channels Institute's estimates of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) market share, which are shown in the chart below. For 2020, DCI estimates that the three biggest PBMs accounted for more than three-quarters of total equivalent prescription claims.

    To help you make sense of recent market changes, I also include a brief video explaining how various transactions and partnerships have concentrated and shifted PBM share among the vertically integrated companies. The video is excerpted from my recent Patients, Payers, and PBMs webinar.

    Depending on your role in the drug channel, you may or may not find these data terrifying.

    Monday, June 21, 2021

    Informa Connect’s IDN & Bio/Pharma Partnering Summit

    Informa Connect’s IDN & Bio/Pharma Partnering Summit
    August 17-19, 2021 | Virtual Event
    www.informaconnect.com/IDN

    As part of an evolving healthcare environment, the life science industry is continually challenged to be effective in how it engages health system partners. It is critical that discussions evolve to meet the needs of today and also where healthcare is headed tomorrow.

    Visit www.informaconnect.com/IDN for more information. Drug Channels subscribers will save 10% off the current registration rate when they use promo code 21IDNDC10*

    To address the challenges and opportunities ahead, join a distinguished group of industry pioneers at Informa Connect’s IDN & Bio/Pharma Partnering Summit—an important event for learning how to best meet the needs of these evolving networks for better patient outcomes.

    Diverse Perspectives from Industry Pioneers:
    • Timothy Paine, Vice President, Pharma Strategy & Relations, Fairview Pharmacy Services
    • Kim Coppom, Executive Director, Managed Markets, Relypsa
    • Gerard Taglianetti, Market Access Strategy & Analytics, Pfizer Inc
    • Chip Kurt, Senior Director, Corporate Accounts; Specialty Pharmacy IDNs and GPOs, CSL Behring
    • Richard Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD, Medical Director, Population Health, Jefferson College of Population Health
    • Matthew Malchowski, PharmD, BCPS, System Director, Population Health & Ambulatory Care, Ochsner Health Pharmacy
    • Elizabeth Cherry, Program Director, Trade Relations, Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy
    • Michael Gannon, PharmD, CSP, Assistant Director, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Ambulatory Pharmacy Services, University of Illinois Health
    • Ryan Haumschild, PharmD., MS, MBA, Director of Pharmacy Services, Emory Healthcare and Winship Cancer Institute
    • Sophia Humphreys, PharmD., MHA, Director, System Pharmacy Clinical Services, Providence St. Joseph Health
    • Ameet Wattamwar, PharmD., Director of Pharmacy, Specialty Pharmacy Program, NYU Langone Health System
    • And more!
    High-Impact Topics Driving the Content:
    • State of the Healthcare Industry—Impactful Policy Changes and COVID-19 Implications
    • Best Practices in Working with Payers and PBMs
    • Insights from Leaders in Population Health
    • IDN CEO Fireside Chat: Lessons from Leadership – Priorities and New Directions to Adapt, Align and Advance the Business Forward
    • [Case Study] Innovative Ways to Pay for High Cost Drugs
    • The Next Frontier for IDNs: True Integration of Accountability
    • The Role and Utility of Data and Predictive Analytics to Identify and Service Patient Populations
    • And More!
    Visit www.informaconnect.com/IDN for more information. Drug Channels subscribers will save 10% off the current registration rate when they use promo code 21IDNDC10*

    *Applies to current 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.