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 50,000 subscribers and followers. Learn more...

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Five Surprising Facts About GoodRx and the Discount Card Market

Last month, IQVIA quietly released a fascinating new report on discount cards. (Link below.) The research was sponsored by the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM).

Below, I highlight three unexpected findings from the data regarding GoodRx’s market position, when people use discount cards, how much they save, and why PBMs should still be worried about this market.

There’s a lot to unpack about the growing discount card market. As you’ll see, this report provides valuable insights about a market that seems stacked against patients.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Building New Data Connections Helps Brands Lower Adherence Barriers

Today’s guest post comes from Kylie Hall, Director of Product Management at ConnectiveRx.

Kylie explains how new ways of harnessing patient data can transform the way pharmaceutical companies interact with patients and providers—and ultimately help improve adherence.

Click here to learn about the ConnectiveRx Enterprise Data Platform.

Read on for Kylie’s insights.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Drug Channels News Roundup, September 2022: Patients vs. SaveonSP, PBMs’ Oncology Exclusions, Medicare Advantage Winners, HRSA’s 340B Reveal, and New DCI Offerings

Autumn is here! Please savor these Drug Channels acorns that we’ve squirrelled away for you:
  • One patient’s troubling experience with SaveonSP
  • PBMs ramp up formulary exclusions for oncology drugs
  • The mega-players dominating Medicare Advantage
  • My 340B FOIA efforts yield change at HRSA!
Plus, two new resources from Drug Channels Institute.

P.S. Join my 32,000 LinkedIn followers for daily links to neat stuff. You can also find my daily posts at @DrugChannels on Twitter, where I have more than 15,200 followers.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Managing 340B, Medicaid Drug Discounts: Technology for Collaboration – Anywhere, Anytime

Today’s guest post comes from Lindsey Alves, Vice President of Customer Success at Kalderos.

Lindsey describes the challenges facing remote workers who manage government-managed drug discount programs. As she explains, all drug discount stakeholders require novel technology-enabled collaboration tools.

To learn more, register for Kalderos’ panel discussion, The Dreaded Duplicate Discounts: Collaborating in the New Hybrid Working Landscape. You can also schedule a meeting with Kalderos at the Informa Connect Medicaid Drug Rebate Conference, October 13, 2022, in Chicago.

Read on for Lindsey’s insights.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

White Bagging Update 2022: Hospitals Battle to Boost Buy-and-Bill

The battle for control of the specialty patient continues.

In 2022, specialty pharmacies—via white, brown, and clear bagging—now constitute a meaningful share of the distribution channels for provider-administered oncology drugs.

However, buy-and-bill appears to have rebounded substantially at hospitals. As I explain below, this resurgence likely reflects the success of vertically-integrated hospital/specialty pharmacy/physician mega-systems against the large insurer/PBM/specialty pharmacy/provider mega-organizations.

Read on for full details and the latest data.

FYI: The material in today’s article is adapted from Chapter 3 of our forthcoming 2022-23 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors, now available to preorder at special introductory pricing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Available for Preorder: The 2022-23 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors

On October 11, 2022, Drug Channels Institute will release The 2022–23 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors. This report—our thirteenth 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 2022-23 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 11.


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 21, 2022.

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Pulse of Electronic Benefit Verification Solutions: Know the Facts

Today’s guest post comes from Edward Hensley, Chief Commercial Officer at AssistRx.

Edward compares the pros and cons of electronic benefit verification using artificial intelligence, direct connectivity, or data connectivity. He also describes the circumstances where each solution provides the greatest value.

To learn more, download AssistRx’s free eBook: Specialty Drug Patient Support Programs: 2022 Progress Report.

Read on for Edward’s insights.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

NEW: The Drug Channels 2023 Video Webinar Series

I invite you to join me for three new video webinars during 2023. These live, interactive events will be broadcast via Zoom from the Drug Channels Video studio in beautiful downtown Philadelphia.

During these events, I'll address the latest issues confronting the U.S. drug channel. Topics will be determined based on what’s happening—trends, policy changes, company announcements, and more. I’ll share DCI’s latest market data to help you stay on top of new developments. You will be able to use these events as both a capstone of your current learning and a touchpoint for the future.

The three events are scheduled for 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET on the following dates:
  • March 31, 2023
  • June 23, 2023
  • December 15, 2023 (Drug Channels Outlook 2024)
For 2023, we are offering a new Corporate Pricing option that will allow larger organizations to register hundreds of colleagues for one fixed price.


Read on for my video invitation and full details on pricing, including substantial discounts for multiple sites.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act: Three Unintended Consequences for Biosimilars, Health Plans, Providers, and Pharmacies

By now, you have already read innumerable articles explaining what’s in the new Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA; P.L. 117-169).

Today, I want to highlight three significant—and presumably unintended—drug channel consequences from the hastily-passed IRA legislation. These include disruption to the now-booming biosimilar market, the prospects of physician/hospital vertical integration that will raise commercial healthcare costs and expand 340B, and the need for complex new processes to administer the IRA's lower pharmacy reimbursements.

I can only barely scratch the surface in this article, so feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below or on social media.

At this point in our country’s history, you might think Congress would have learned the immutable law of 730-page bills: Legislate in haste, repent at leisure.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Patients At Risk As Healthcare Navigates Affordability

Today’s guest post comes from Kristina Crockett, Vice President of Product Management at CoverMyMeds.

Kristina discusses the affordability challenges that patients face in our complex and confusing healthcare system. She then explains how data and technology can help payers, manufacturers, and providers improve medication access.

To learn more about CoverMyMeds’ comprehensive affordability solutions, download Overcoming Medication Affordability Challenges with Patient-Centered Solutions.

Read on for Kristina’s insights.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

The Biosimilar Boom and the Coming Humira Price War (Video)

As regular readers know, the biosimilar boom for provider-administered drugs has been accelerating. Prices are dropping while adoption accelerates. In many therapeutic areas, biosimilars’ market share is approaching 80%. In the video below, I review these developments and discuss lessons from the launch of Semglee, the first interchangeable insulin.

I also offer some thoughts on 2023 and 2024. That’s when Humira, the best-selling drug in the U.S., will face multiple biosimilar competitors. Some—but likely not all—of these products will have interchangeability with Humira.

The video is excerpted from last month’s Specialty Drugs Update: Trends, Controversies, and Outlook video webinar. During the webinar, I speculated that net prices in the Humira category will be 70% or more below today’s prices. If you missed the live event, you can register to watch a replay and download the full slide deck.

Despite these positive recent developments, the just-passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) seems likely to disrupt the biosimilar market by altering launch strategies. However, the IRA won’t affect the coming Humira price war.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2022

Your Brand Just Got Added to a Must-Have Formulary: Now What?

Today’s guest post comes from Chris Dowd, Senior Vice President of Market Development at ConnectiveRx.

Chris discusses the benefits of using in-electronic health record (EHR) messaging to communicate formulary information to both healthcare providers and patients during the patient encounter. Click here to learn more about ConnectiveRx’s in-EHR messaging

You can also register for Your Brand Just Got Added to a Must-Have Payer Formulary, Now What?, a free webinar on September 29th at 1:00 P.M. ET.

Read on for Chris’ insights.