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...

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Drug Channels News Roundup, February 2024: Pharmacy Shakeout Update, High Drug Prices, 340B Realities, MDs vs. Pharmacists, and Foo Fighters

February is longer than usual this year, which means that you’ll have extra time to leap into our monthly curated selection of noteworthy news. In this issue:
  • An update on the retail pharmacy shakeout
  • Arguing for high drug prices
  • A leading researcher provides a 340B reality check
  • Physicians don’t want pharmacists getting uppity
Plus, Dave Grohl fights for your right to…have healthcare price transparency?

P.S. Join my nearly 53,000 LinkedIn followers for daily links to neat stuff. You can also find my daily posts at @DrugChannels on Twitter/X, where I have more than 17,400 followers. (I recommend that you follow me on LinkedIn, because the quality of comments and engagement is much higher than they are on Twitter. Sorry, no Threads.)

Friday, February 23, 2024

Four Keys to Success for Retail and Specialty-Lite Hub Services

Today’s guest post comes from Nicole Grycan, VP of Commercialization at Phil, Inc.

Nicole discusses how hubs can improve access and adherence. She outlines four success factors for manufacturers that use a digital hub partner.

To learn more, register for Phil's upcoming webinar: Improving Access, Coverage, and GTN with a Digital Hub.

Read on for Nicole’s insights.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Surprise! Thanks to the IRA, Part D Plans Will Prefer High-List, High-Rebate Drugs

Like many of you, I have believed that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) will encourage Medicare Part D plans to adopt low-list-price products over their high-list/high-rebate counterparts, thereby popping the gross-to-net bubble.

Actually, maybe not.

Below, I explain why the IRA will encourage Part D plans to prefer high-list, high-rebate specialty drugs, even as the government and manufacturers will prefer a low-list-price version. Just another IRA-inflicted hit for biosimilars?

The warped incentives don't stop there. Even more weirdly, both products with a negotiated maximum fair price (MFP) and low-list-price products will raise total costs for the healthcare system and increase beneficiary premiums.

Did I get this latest unintended consequence right? Or have I been spending too much time underwater in Bikini Bottom? Read on and see what you think. As always, I encourage you to share your own thoughts with the Drug Channels community on social media.

P.S. Want to learn more? Join me on April 5 for DCI's next live webinar: Drug Channel Implications of the Inflation Reduction Act. Official announcement coming soon!

Friday, February 16, 2024

The Drug Discount Ecosystem Needs Clarity in 2024 and Beyond

Today’s guest post comes from Gavin Magaha, Senior Director of Value Delivery at Kalderos.

Gavin discusses the problems manufacturers face in accessing and standardizing drug discount data. These data are necessary to avoid duplicate discounts and comply with regulatory requirements.

To learn more about how the Inflation Reduction Act adds to challenges of drug discount programs, download Kalderos’ whitepaper:

Operational Complexity and Evolving Challenges: What Drug Manufacturers Need to Know Now About Drug Discount Programs, the Inflation Reduction Act, and 340B.

Read on for Gavin’s insights.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Copay Accumulator and Maximizer Update: Adoption Expands as Legal Barriers Grow

It's Valentine’s Day—and commercial plan sponsors remain smitten with copay accumulators and maximizers.

Our latest update finds that as of late 2023, about half of commercial lives were in plans that utilize a copay accumulator and/or a maximizer. These programs’ growth continues to divert the value of a manufacturer’s copay support payments away from patients and toward plans and PBMs. Check out the data below.

Patient advocacy groups and some big legal wins are starting to reverse Cupid’s arrow. But given the money at stake, I suspect that plans will keep looking for love in all the wrong places.

Friday, February 09, 2024

New Survey Reveals Manufacturers’ Patient Services Priorities for 2024

Today’s guest post comes from Nasir Ali, Chief Product Officer at CareMetx.

Nasir shares findings from CareMetx’s new 2024 Patient Services Report research study: Revealing Manufacturer Priorities: Patients Naturally Take Center Stage.

As he explains, manufacturers want hub partners that can take a holistic approach and address each patient’s individual needs. Nasir also discusses how hub selection criteria are evolving.

Read on for Nasir’s insights.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Latest CMS Data Reveal the Truth About U.S. Drug Spending

The boffins at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently dropped the latest National Health Expenditure (NHE) data, which measures all U.S. spending on healthcare. (Links below.)

As you will see, retail and mail prescription drug spending remain a consistently small share of the $4.5 trillion that we spend on U.S. healthcare.

And contrary to what you might read, drug spending growth was *not* driven by purportedly “skyrocketing” drug prices. In reality, nearly all drug spending growth occurred due to growth in the number of people treated, prescriptions dispensed, and other nonprice factors.

Tomorrow, we’ll be treated to a Senate show trial featuring pharmaceutical company executives. Sadly, pharma industry perma-critics refuse to accept that brand-name drug prices are falling—or that prescription drug spending is a small and stable portion of overall U.S. healthcare expenditures. Will drug pricing flat earthers (#DPFE) ever acknowledge the data?

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Informa Connect’s Access USA

Informa Connect’s Access USA
March 19-21, 2024 | Pre-Conference Workshops on March 18, 2024
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, PA
Exclusive Offer – Be sure to use your exclusive promocode 24AUSA10 to save 10% off* of your registration.

Access USA, industry’s resource for accelerating access, partnerships and collaboration to deliver superior patient outcomes, is back and better than ever!

Exclusive Offer – Choose your preferred event and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promocode 24AUSA10 to save 10% off* of your registration.

What is Access USA? Access USA will unite PAP – Patient Assistance & Access Programs, Hub and Specialty Pharmacy Models East and the Rare Disease Summit three influential access conferences under one roof for one week of collaborative discussions and opportunities to expand your network and establish powerful partnerships.

What does that mean for you? In one week, meet with hundreds of key stakeholders across the access landscape and benchmark with, learn from and network with leaders paving the way in patient access. Just choose your preferred event and prepare to walk away inspired and armed with the knowledge necessary to drive patient access forward.

Which event is for you?

PAP – Patient Assistance & Access Programs

Download Agenda | See Who’s Speaking

The experts will be taking the most pressing challenges industry is facing head on, including:
  • Emerging Policy Changes and Enforcement Actions
  • The Impact of AFPs on PAPs
  • Program Automation for Operational Efficiency
  • Ensuring Health Equity Where It Matters Most
  • Patient Education: Reaching the Patient and Continued Communication
  • Keeping Up with Growing Demand for Patient Assistance
Rare Disease Summit

Download Agenda | See Who’s Speaking

Unite to create life-transforming therapies and breakthroughs for rare diseases, with sessions led by experts in the field:
  • Navigate FDA Updates on Rare Disease Product Development
  • Discuss the Use of AI in the Rare Space
  • Review Investment Success through Valuation, Risk and Innovation
  • Deep Dives into Product Launch, Gene Therapy, Funding and Partnering, Reimbursement Strategies and More
  • Listen in on a Rare Caregivers Report, a NIH Address on moving your Rare Disease research forward, a Fireside Chat with CEO pharma pioneers, a Case Study from an early stage bio/pharma company, a Payer Perspective and more!
Hub and Specialty Pharmacy Models East

Download Agenda | See Who’s Speaking

Industry stakeholders collaborate on top-of-mind topics for hub professionals, including:
  • Enhancing Hub/PSP Design & Operations
  • Bridging the Gap Between Hubs and Specialty Pharmacies
  • Customization to Serve a Diverse Patient Base
  • Working Cross Functionally and Across Stakeholders
  • Utilizing Technology and AI to Increase Patient Engagement
Exclusive Offer – Choose your preferred event and register today – Be sure to use your exclusive promocode 24AUSA10 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, February 02, 2024

New Report: How GoodRx Improves the Economics of Healthcare

Today’s guest post comes from Divya Iyer, SVP of Go-to-Market Strategy at GoodRx.

Divya shares highlights from GoodRx’s new research report: The GoodRx Effect: How GoodRx Improves the Economics of Healthcare. She highlights how GoodRx’s integrated pharma copay cards help to improve medication access, therapy adherence, and overall health outcomes.

Click here to download the full report and learn more about partnering with GoodRx to drive patient access for your brand.

Read on for Divya’s insights.