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, 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.