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...

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.