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 nearly 100,000 subscribers and followers. Learn more...

Friday, April 30, 2021

How Non-Commercial Pharmacies Accelerate Patients Into Prescription Programs

Today’s guest post comes from Natalie Tyler, Director of Pharmacy Operations & Strategy at ConnectiveRx.

Natalie discusses how non-commercial pharmacies boost patient access and adherence to specialty therapies. They also help physicians deliver better care.

On May 24 at 1:00 pm ET, ConnectiveRx will host an online panel discussion on non-commercial pharmacy services with experts from ConnectiveRx and AstraZeneca. Click here to register here for this free event. Email inquiries@ConnectiveRx.com with any questions.

Read on for Natalie’s insights.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Drug Channels News Roundup, April 2021: Cigna’s $500 Gift, 340B & Specialty Pharmacy, GoodRx Deep Dive, and U.S. Drug Pricing Policy

While we all roll up our sleeves for a full reopening, let’s spring into this month’s selection of noteworthy news:
  • Thoughts on Cigna’s payments to patients for non-medical switching
  • 340B’s explosive specialty pharmacy growth
  • An excellent analysis of GoodRx
Plus, my $0.02 on U.S. drug pricing policy.

P.S. Join the more than 11,600 followers of my daily links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. Recent posts have covered biosimilars, pharmacist workloads, formularies, pricing, PSAOs, Part D spending, copay accumulators, H.R.3, and more. You can also join my more than 17,000 followers on LinkedIn.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Making Health Policy Work for Patients: How Platform Solutions Enable More Affordable Drugs (Kalderos)

At Kalderos, we use data-driven solutions to deliver unifying technologies to solve problems facing the U.S. healthcare system, so that everyone can focus on the health of patients. We created the world’s first Drug Discount Management platform. This platform uses sophisticated models and machine learning to identify and then resolve noncompliance in drug discount programs.

On April 20, we released Making Health Policy Work for Patients: How Platform Solutions Enable More Affordable Drugs (free download), our first-ever annual report. 

Our 2021 annual report shares our perspective on challenges with discount and rebate programs in the drug channel and reports on our rapid growth as a health tech platform. It explores:
  • How systemic inefficiencies mean patients pay more for drugs
  • Why past drug price interventions have failed the patients who need them most
  • The tech-enabled, data-driven way to fix drug distribution and put patients first
The report also includes never-before-published insights leveraged from Kalderos’ proprietary data, drawing on our tech-enabled solutions for Discount Monitoring in the 340B Drug Pricing Program:
  • Our estimated total amount of duplicate discounts between 340B and Medicaid in 2019 based on our platform gathering more than four years of good-faith inquiry data from covered entities
  • Key metrics describing Kalderos’ growing network of relationships with stakeholder partners and increasing impact in 340B
The 2021 annual report also sets a vision for our company’s future as we continue our trajectory of rapid scaling, with a product roadmap that includes an expansion into data-driven, transparency-minded platform solutions for other drug discount programs.

Download the full report from Kalderos.

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

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Value of Patient-Centricity in Tech-Enabled Medication Access Solutions

Today’s guest post comes from Erica Conroy, Vice President of Specialty at CoverMyMeds.

Erica discusses four technology areas that the healthcare network can embrace to increase speed to therapy, affordability, and adherence.

To learn more about CoverMyMeds' specialty medication access solutions, download their new whitepaper: Helping Patients Access Specialty Therapies: Autoimmune Conditions. (Free download)

Read on for Erica’s insights.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Express Scripts 2020 Update: Utilization Drove Drug Spending Growth—While Maximizers Gained Further Traction

Cigna’s Evernorth business has recently released its 2020 Drug Trend Report. The results, which reflect the Express Scripts PBM business, are presented as a series of animated webpages. As you can see, Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Glen Stettin is newly cartooned.

For commercial plan sponsors, pharmacy benefit spending grew by 4.0%. However:
  • More than three-quarters of this spending growth was due to the growth in utilization—the number of people being treated and the number of prescriptions being dispensed.
  • The net, post-rebate costs of drugs rose by only 0.9%.
Details and comments about some therapeutic classes below. 

SaveonSP, the secretive copay maximizer partner of Express Scripts, apparently again drove big specialty savings for some plans in 2020. I wonder how many plan sponsors have probed the profits and operations of this business?

Monday, April 19, 2021

Informa Connect’s Compliance Congress for Specialty Products

Informa Connect’s Compliance Congress for Specialty Products
June 22-24, 2021 | Virtual Event

Exclusive Offer: Use promo code SPECIALTY10 to save 10% off* your registration fee.

Up your compliance game at this important event serving the unique sector of Specialty Products, the 7th annual Virtual Compliance Congress for Specialty Products. Join the compliance community for dynamic discussions on the top risk areas for specialty pharmaceutical companies, including speaker programs, patient support programs, charitable donations, specialty pharmacy relationships, patient advocacy group interactions, mergers and acquisitions, medical affairs activities, drug pricing, transparency and more!

The Compliance Congress for Specialty Products serves as a three-day conference experience, featuring top experts ready to lead robust discussions on the current and changing environment, industry best practices, hot-button topics and more, including:
  • Enforcement Trends & Prosecutor Perspectives
  • COVID-19 Impacts & Aftermath
  • Crisis Management & Business Continuity
  • Patient Interactions & Support Programs
  • Virtual/Digital Engagement & Monitoring
  • Transparency & Aggregate Spend
  • Drug Pricing Legislation & Transparency
  • Compliance Training & Culture Development
  • Speaker Programs
  • And more!
Outstanding 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
PLUS: Advance Your Career with CLE, CPE & CCB accredited content!

Exclusive Offer – View the full agenda and register today. Use promo code SPECIALTY10 to save 10% off* your registration fee.

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 reach the Drug Channels audience, please contact Paula Fein (paula@DrugChannels.net).

Friday, April 16, 2021

Choosing the Optimal Pharmacy Model for Retail and Specialty-Lite Products

Today’s guest post comes from Jeff Spafford, President and CEO at AssistRx.

Jeff discusses aspects of our drug pricing system that lead to decreased new and refill prescription volume, higher out-of-pocket costs for patients, and therapy abandonment.

To learn more about AssistRx’s technology solutions register for their Optimizing Program Performance: An Innovative Approach for Retail and Specialty Products webinar series.

Read on for Jeff’s insights.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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

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.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Informa Connect’s Patient Support Services Congress

Informa Connect’s Patient Support Services Congress
June 15-17, 2021 | VIRTUAL EVENT (All-Digital Format)

Patient Support Services is a dialogue driven meeting that arms the industry with trends and next-generation approaches to patient services for optimal performance. Showcasing innovative discussions on access strategy, patient interactions, case management, compliance practices and more, this two-and-a-half-day event navigates a myriad and mounting level of compliance hurdles while strengthening and innovating patient-oriented programs.

Drug Channels readers save 10% off the current registration rate with promo code 21PSSDC10.* Register today.

In-Depth Discussions and Actionable Takeaways on Critical Topics:
  • Keep a Pulse on Emerging Trends for 2021 — Update on Drug Pricing Pressures, Patient Assistance Programs, Evolving Copay Card Legislation and Formulary Transformations
  • Enforcement Update — Oversight and High Priority Risk Areas for Patient Services
  • Industry Playbook for Risk Mitigation — Leading Frameworks to Enhance your Compliance Strategy
  • Enhance the Stakeholder Experience — Operational Insights on Specialty Patient Connectivity
  • Capture and Optimize Patient Data to Create an Integrated Experience
Customizable Experience with Two Tailored Tracks:
  • Legal and Compliance
  • Innovation and Operations
Featured Faculty Driving the Conversation:
  • Esther Langer, Head of US Patient Services, Trade and Distribution, Apellis Pharmaceuticals
  • Paul J. Koob, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Jolie Apicella, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief, Health Care Fraud, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York
  • Rahul Khara, Pharm.D., Vice President, Legal and Chief Compliance Officer, Acceleron Pharma Inc.
  • Amy Wilson, Head, U.S. Compliance, Morphosys
  • Karen Tenenbaum, Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Legal, Salix
  • Liam Moy, Senior Director, Patient Services, Neurology, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • Katherine Chaurette, Vice President Healthcare Law and Compliance, Blueprint Medicines
  • Dave MacLeod, Head of Patient Services and Specialty Pharmacy Operations, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Robert Britting, Director, Patient Services and Strategic Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • 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
Drug Channels readers save 10% off the current registration rate with promo code 21PSSDC10. 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, April 09, 2021

A Framework to Optimize Patient Access And Drive Value in the Care Continuum

Today’s guest post comes from William Dupere, Practice Lead and Vice President of Market Access at TrialCard.

Bill discusses specific barriers to access, affordability, and adherence in the specialty pharmacy patient journey. To learn more about TrialCard’s patient access solutions, please visit their Resources page. You can also contact them at sales@trialcard.com.

Read on for Bill’s insights.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

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

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.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Streamlining the Specialty Therapy Prescribing and Enrollment Experience

Today’s guest post comes from Megan Marchal, CoverMyMeds Specialty Pharmacy’s pharmacist in charge.

Megan discusses a recent enhancement to AMP: Access for More Patients™ (AMP), a tech-enabled hub and patient access service from CoverMyMeds and RxCrossroads by McKesson. Read more about technology and patient access in CoverMyMeds’ 2021 Medication Access Report.

Read on for Megan’s insights.