The Weekly Roundup
Spending on Specialty drugs has nearly doubled in the past five years and has contributed to massive overall medicine spending growth. This week, Drug Channels’ Adam Fein released his analysis of the 2016 Specialty pharmacy estimates naming the largest players in the $115 billion-dollar market. He deftly points out one of the challenges felt by many independents who want to grow their own Specialty practices: many PBMs limit the ability of an independent to compete by requiring patients to use the pharmacies that the PBMs own, concentrating most of the business year-after-year with two players—ExpressScripts and CVS Health. Still, there is opportunity in Specialty, and it may well be a good way to diversify. Our own Sterling Specialty president, Tim Gallagher, had the opportunity to talk about pharmacy’s foray into the Specialty field, and spoke to a group of interested pharmacists at the NCPA Specialty Conference in New Orleans last October. Here’s the transcript, if you missed it.
Here are few other stories that might be of interest:
- The cat’s out of the bag. Amid a groundswell of news and advocacy around PBMs and pricing, here’s your daily dose on clawbacks.
- Missouri is the last holdout on more stringent opioid monitoring recommendations. Proposed H.B. 1922 would change all that. Meanwhile, loosening insurance requirements may improve the ability of patients to get the help they need to overcome dependence.
- You win some; you lose some. The FDA announced approval of Siliq (brodalumab), a new injectable for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. Meanwhile, Merck’s latest Alzheimer clinical trial with BACE inhibitor verubecestat is a flop.
- Walgreens announces major leap into specialized care for cancer patients. Or as we independents like to say, just another day at the office.
- Have you noticed the vaccine-hysteria never seems to go away? Here’s a suggestion for increasing vaccination rates.
- Get heard. Don’t forget to join NCPA’s legislative fly-in, slated for April 26-27.
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