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...

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Drug Channels News Roundup, February 2021: Accumulator Problems, Humana + ESI, White Bagging Battles, Buy-and-Bill Economics, and Pharmacy Hero Dave Marley

Let’s melt away this foul February with our monthly selection of scorching news from around the drug channel. In this issue:
  • Payers confess: Patients lose from copay accumulators
  • Humana joins the Express Scripts GPO
  • Hospitals vs. PBMs over specialty pharmacy white bagging
  • Let’s all follow the Buy-and-Bill Dollar!
Plus, entrepreneurial pharmacy owner Dave Marley demonstrates the power of innovation.

P.S. Join the more than 11,000 followers of my daily links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. You can also join my more than 15,000 followers on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Promise and Limits of Digital Pharmacies

Does pharmacy need to be disrupted?

Venture capitalists clearly think so, judging by the billions they have put behind technology-enabled digital pharmacies. Below, you’ll find our list of 14 leading contenders along with funding levels. These companies have not gained significant pharmacy industry market share, but their revenue growth rates are impressive.

Alas, many of these digital pharmacies seem to have misdiagnosed their relative advantage versus today's pharmacies. 

That’s why I believe that digital pharmacies’ biggest impact will come from forcing the industry incumbents to improve their businesses and approach to patients. Pharmacies and PBMs should absorb the technologies and consumer-oriented mindsets of the start-ups.

Digital pharmacies more intriguing disruption comes from combining prescribing and dispensing. But this novel idea seems to have limited applicability to the broader prescription market.   

Read on and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Available for Preorder: The 2021 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers

On March 16, 2021, Drug Channels Institute will release The 2021 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. This report—our twelfth edition—remains the most comprehensive, fact-based tool for understanding the entire U.S. drug pricing, reimbursement, and dispensing system.

We are providing you with the opportunity to preorder this thoroughly updated and revised 2021 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 March 16.


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.

Special preorder and launch pricing discounts will be valid through March 28, 2021.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Pharmacy Economics Rebound (A Little) Amid Glimmers of Good News

Time to update Drug Channels' exclusive look at independent pharmacy owners’ business economics.

Our analysis reveals that despite what you may have heard, many independent pharmacies have figured out how to survive a highly challenging environment.

Retail pharmacy profits have rebounded—or at least not fallen any further. What’s more, better expense control has allowed the average pharmacy owner’s salary to increase for the first time in years. 

Believe it or not, the pharmacy profit outlook for 2021 also is improving, thanks to the Rutledge v. PCMA decision and the prospect of state Medicaid changes in California, New York, and elsewhere.

Read on for our analysis of pharmacy profits and some thoughts on the hardy retail pharmacy survivors.