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 30,000 subscribers. Learn more...

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Introducing: Drug Channels Video!

In 2006, I launched the Drug Channels website to explore the economics of the U.S. reimbursement and distribution system for prescription pharmaceuticals. More than 30,000 professionals in the pharmaceutical and related industries rely on Drug Channels for timely analysis and provocative, fact-based insights.

Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of our new delivery platform: Drug Channels Video!

You can look forward to:
  • Information and analysis via our new YouTube channel (Never fear. I’ll still be publishing articles on the website every week.)
  • Livestream video webinars (Stay tuned next week for an announcement about our first two events.)
  • Private, live virtual keynotes and remote presentations (Email me to schedule a safe social distancing event for your team.)
  • Online video courses (Coming later in 2020)
Please watch my brief video introduction below. (Click here if you can’t see the video.)

I hope you and your families stay safe and healthy in these challenging times. I look forward to reconnecting with you in person soon.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

The Latest CMS Outlook for Drug Spending—And How COVID-19 Will Change It

ICYMI, the boffins at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released their new projections for U.S. National Health Expenditures (NHE). Unfortunately, the coronavirus almost immediately made these predictions obsolete.

It’s still useful to analyze these forecasts for a pre-pandemic examination of U.S. healthcare spending. A few highlights of the 2024 outlook:
  • Total U.S. spending on healthcare was projected to grow, from $3.6 trillion in 2018 to $5.0 trillion in 2024.
  • Spending on hospitals and professional services was expected to grow by a combined $800 billion—more than 60% of CMS’s projected $1.4 trillion increase in U.S. healthcare spending. That’s consistent with historical trends.
  • Net spending on outpatient prescription drugs in 2024 was projected to shrink to less than 9% of total U.S. spending. That would be its lowest level since 2000.
As usual, the actual facts run counter to the popular narrative that drug spending is skyrocketing relative to any other aspect of U.S. healthcare. Of course, the coronavirus will alter these projections. Below, I speculate how COVID-19 and its aftermath will affect healthcare and prescription drug spending.

Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future. Feel free to add your own outlook in the comment section below.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Drug Channels News Roundup, March 2020: Sanofi’s Gross-to-Net Bubble, Drug Pricing Findings, Amazon Replaces Express Scripts, and Drug Channels Video

First, let me say thank you to all of the healthcare workers who are putting themselves at risk during this crisis.

As I noted last week, many of the crucial issues for our healthcare system will remain after we all get through this challenging period. In that regard, here’s a look at some noteworthy news from the past month:
  • Sanofi discloses new data about insulin prices
  • Excellent new academic research on list vs. net drug prices
  • Three notable researchers overturn their earlier research on drug costs
  • Amazon switches PBM vendors for some of its employees
Plus, we unveil the teaser trailer for Drug Channels Video!

P.S. Join the more than 9,000 followers of my daily links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. My recent tweets have highlighted such topics as:
  • How GoodRx shares patients’ prescription data
  • 2019 drug trend at Prime Therapeutics
  • Controversy about the independent pharmacy market
  • A new $5 generic mail order program, Medicare Part D reform
  • Retail pharmacy’s future
  • Job openings at Amazon 
  • Frozen cookie dough
  • And much more!
I have also been tweeting many under-the-radar stories about how the coronavirus affects drug channels.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Expanding How CoverMyMeds Helps Patients Access Their Medications

Today’s guest post comes from David Holladay, President of CoverMyMeds and Austin Raper, Healthcare Writer at CoverMyMeds.

First, David discusses how CoverMyMeds supports medication access. Then, Austin highlights key findings from CoverMyMeds’ 2020 Medication Access Report. This new report includes industry research, patient interviews, novel survey data, and strategies for boosting patients’ medication access.

Read on for David’s and Austin’s insights.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus Industry Impact Survey: Winners and Losers (Part 3)

Today is the final installment of our three-part investigation into the coronavirus’ ultimate impact on the drug channel.

Below, I examine expectations about how the coronavirus will affect the public’s perception of various industry participants. We explore what our survey respondents said about:
  • Pharmacies
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Hospitals
  • Wholesalers
  • Pharmacy benefit managers and plan sponsors
  • Insurance companies.
In these early stages of this crisis, my crystal ball is as cloudy as yours. Let’s hope that the country will stabilize within a few months. I may then rerun the survey to determine how (if at all) everyone’s perspective has changed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus Industry Impact: Manufacturers, Public Policy, and Payers (Part 2)

Today’s post is the second in our three-part investigation of the ultimate impact of the coronavirus on the drug channel. Here is a link to the first part of our survey analysis: Coronavirus Industry Impact: Patients, Pharmacies, and Wholesalers (Part 1). That article includes details about the methodology and respondents.

Today, I review how people in the industry think coronavirus will affect:
  • Federal drug pricing legislation
  • FDA new drug approvals
  • Public support for single-payer health insurance
  • Third-party payment for prescription drugs
I also highlight survey respondents’ comments on whether the current situation will bring overseas pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States.

Tomorrow, I’ll examine survey responses that address how the coronavirus may affect the public’s perception of the industry’s participants. In the meantime, remember that every day is no pants day when you work from home.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus Industry Impact: Patients, Pharmacies, and Wholesalers (Part 1)

I hope you are staying healthy and are managing to navigate your work-at-home mandates.

Last week, I tapped the collective insights of the Drug Channels’ audience. Nearly 700 readers shared their perspectives and projections for how the coronavirus pandemic could ultimately affect behavior, policy, and industry structure. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond.

I will share the results over three articles this week:
  • Today, in Part 1, I will review the responses relating to patient behavior, pharmacies, and wholesalers. 
  • In Part 2 (tomorrow), I’ll focus on expectations for pharmaceutical manufacturers and third-party payment. 
  • In Part 3 (Thursday), I’ll examine how the coronavirus may affect the public perception of the industry’s participants.
P.S. A special shout out to the respondent who hoped that the coronavirus would not impact the quality of Drug Channels memes. Never fear, dear readers: Drug Channels will remain the internet’s top destination for pharmaceutical-related humor!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Informa Connect-CBI’s 22nd Annual Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress

Informa Connect-CBI’s 22nd Annual Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress
May 19-21, 2020 | Orlando, FL

Exclusive Offer: Register by April 10th and save $500* (mention promo code MDCDC5).

With a volatile healthcare system combined with an election year upon us, the stakes are incredibly high for life sciences manufacturers. Staying on the pulse of industry trends, policies and regulations has never been more critical. The 22nd Annual Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress delivers critical updates and industry best practices to effectively contract, report and comply with state and federal healthcare programs. Gain timely, up-to-the-minute insights on:
  • State Invoicing and Disputes
  • GTN Models
  • Innovative Contracting Strategies
  • State Price Transparency and Reporting Requirements
  • 340B Oversight and Compliance
  • Preparing, Negotiating and Implementing FSS Contracts
  • Bona Fide Service Fees and FMV
  • And many other critical topics
Download the complete program agenda.

The 2020 agenda features 75+ speakers and 50+ sessions customizable by company type and size, as well as 10 hours of dedicated networking. Bio/pharma, regulatory and government experts representing HHS, Pfizer, Daiichi Sankyo, Sobi, Maryland Department of Health, BMS, Jazz, Novartis, Amneal, J&J, Sunovion, Gilead, VA, Granard, Insmed, UCB, Alnylam, Louisiana Department of Health, AstraZeneca, CMS, CSL Behring, Astellas, Lilly, Oklahoma Healthcare Authority, Theravance, Indivior, Sandoz, Alvogen, Takeda, OIG, AMAG, Aimmune, Exelixis, South Dakota Department of Healthcare Services, Regeneron, Sun Pharma, Teva and many others are set to drive the dynamic dialogue.

Drug Channels readers can register today and use promo code MDCDC5 to save $500.

*Discount offer valid through 4/10/2020; applies to standard rates only and may not be combined with other offers, categories, promotions or applied to an existing registration. Offer not valid on workshop-only or 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, March 20, 2020

Three Things to Look for in a Patient Assistance Program

Today’s guest post comes from Rob Brown, Vice President and General Manager of RxCrossroads by McKesson and Biologics by McKesson.

Rob discusses the importance of access, adherence, and affordability for specialty therapy patients who are uninsured, underinsured, or low-income. He describes three criteria companies should use to evaluate patient assistance program solutions.

Click here to learn more about program pharmacy solutions for biopharma from RxCrossroads by McKesson.

Read on for Rob’s insights.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Drug Channels Coronavirus Industry Impact Survey

It’s a unique and troubling time. We are all of course concerned about the coronavirus and its disruption to our personal and professional lives.

I presume that life will return to normal later this year. But what happens then? Will there be long-term changes to how the drug channel operates? Will we see permanent changes in behavior, policy, and industry structure?

To answer these questions, I want to tap the collective insights of Drug Channels’ 30,000+ audience.

This survey should take 10 minutes or less. I will provide a full review of the results next week on Drug Channels. The survey will close on March 20.

You can respond anonymously. Any information you provide will be kept confidential. Per Drug Channels' long-standing policy, I never publish, release, or disclose any personal data without your permission.

Thanks in advance for sharing your insights.


Monday, March 16, 2020

Informa Connect-CBI’s Patient Support Services Congress

Informa Connect-CBI’s Patient Support Services Congress
June 16-18, 2020 | The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village | Princeton, NJ

Informa Connect-CBI’s Patient Support Services Congress is a comprehensive meeting for insightful and engaging dialogue around navigating compliance hurdles while strengthening and innovating patient-oriented programs.

Visit www.informaconnect.com/patient-support-services-congress for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard registration rate when they use code BNP667*.

Download the agenda here and see in-depth coverage on industry trends and next-generation patient services, such as:
  • Critical Regulatory Updates and Effective Strategies for Monitoring & Oversight
  • Novel Approaches to Services, Program Architecture and Operational Management
  • The pros and cons of different support service models
  • Measuring the Success of Patient Support Programs
  • Innovation, AI, Changing Distribution Models and Market Mergers
  • Transparency with Charitable Organizations
Create Your Own Customized Learning Experience for 2020!

Choose from Two In-Depth Tracks
  • Legal and Compliance
  • Innovation and Operations
Plus! Four Tailored Summits
  • Summit A: Patient Adherence – Educate, Engage and Collaborate to Enhance Outcomes
  • Summit B: Case Management for Novel and Innovative Therapies
  • Summit C: Strategic Planning for Product Launch
  • Summit D: Primer Course for Partnering with Patients

Leading Perspectives from Industry Trendsetters:
  • Robert Britting, Director, Patient Services and Strategic Solutions, Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • Stella Vnook, Chief Executive Officer, Diverse Biotech
  • Katherine Chaurette, Vice President healthcare Law and Compliance, Blueprint Medicines
  • Kimberly Goldberg, Director, U.S Data Privacy Counsel, Novartis
  • Imtiaz Hussain, Senior Director, Patient Services, Bayer
  • Cory Potomis, Associate Director, Ethics & Compliance Operations, Novo Nordisk, Inc.
  • And so many more!

Visit www.informaconnect.com/patient-support-services-congress for more information. Drug Channels readers will save $500 off the standard registration rate when they use code BNP667*.

*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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

NEW: The 2020 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers

I am pleased to announce our new 2020 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers, available for purchase and immediate download.
We’re offering special discounted pricing if you order before March 22, 2020.

The 2020 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers is a truly unique resource. With 203 proprietary charts, exhibits, and data tables, this 11th edition provides a comprehensive, fact-based, and non-partisan tool for understanding the entire U.S. drug pricing, reimbursement, and dispensing system.

The full document clocks in at 397 pages. I can safely say there is nothing else available that comes close to this report.

The chart below illustrates the depth and breadth of the 2020 edition. The numbers indicate the report chapter that corresponds to, explains, and analyzes each channel flow.

[Click to Enlarge]

Below, you can read more info and some behind-the-scenes tidbits.

P.S. If you would like to pay by corporate purchase order or check, please email Tamra Feldman. If you preordered the report, you should have already received an email with download instructions. Please contact us if you did not receive the email.