Changes - and Challenges - in the Oncology Therapy Market

UBC provides specialized oncology care for patients and products

Changes - and Challenges - in the Oncology Therapy Market

An increasing number of cancer therapies are oral formulations, meaning many patients are picking up their prescription at a retail pharmacy or receiving them in the mail through home delivery.  Regardless of administration method, we’ve learned that cancer patients have a high rate of non-adherence.  In fact, the Express Scripts Drug Trend Report estimates that 40.9 percent of cancer patients are non-adherent to their medication therapy. 

UBC partners with our specialty pharmacy, Accredo, and its Oncology Therapeutic Resource CentersSM to improve patient adherence and provide specialized oncology care. 

The future of cancer treatment is changing.  That much we know.  Yet, many drug manufacturers don’t have a clear picture of the best way to get their oncology treatment to patients.  The complexities of the distribution channel through which oncology therapies and other specialty products flow from manufacturer to patient can prevent a drug from reaching its full potential in the marketplace.

Keep in mind that oncology therapies have specific needs from a specialty pharmacy perspective, often including:

• REMS requirements
• Special handling/storage (i.e. refrigeration, packing)
• Adherence issues
• Reimbursement hurdles
• High copays
• Site of care or coordination center nursing services

Manufacturers of oncology therapies should also consider the optimal distribution method by:

• Exploring opportunities for a specialty pharmacy to partner with health systems for limited distribution
• Reviewing how payment impacts distribution
• Reviewing what the expansive industry pipeline means for open, limited, and exclusive distribution models
• Considering what consolidation in specialty pharmacies means for competitive priced services

I’ll be talking about these changes and what it could mean for your specialty products next week at the IIR Collaborative Summit for Oncology ManagementContact me if you’re attending the conference, or if you’d like to learn more about changes in the oncology therapy market.