Integrated Specialty Pharmacy Distribution Model Reduces Manufacturer Waste

Integrated Specialty Pharmacy Distribution Model Reduces Manufacturer Waste

Pinsonault’s Managed Market Account Management Training took place this week in beautiful Bonita Springs, Florida. The conference hosted 55 attendees representing 33 different companies. This intimate training conference sparked great conversations while attendees from across the country networked and discussed the evolving healthcare landscape.

The conference covered a wide range of topics, including: Healthcare Reform, Medicare, Medicaid, e-prescribing, reimbursement, and specialty pharmacy. On Wednesday, I presented on the evolution, value, and future of specialty pharmacy. During my presentation, I was surprised by the number of new account managers that were unfamiliar with specialty pharmacy and perceived it to be more complex than it actually is.

Specialty pharmacy is a simple, yet rapidly growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry. Looking at pharmacy benefits alone, 17.6% of total 2011 pharmacy costs among Express Scripts plan sponsors were for specialty medications. To reiterate the growth of specialty pharmacy, I highlighted key findings from the recently released 2011 Express Scripts Drug Trend Report.  

Throughout my presentation, I emphasized that selecting the correct distribution channel is key to efficiently dispensing specialty meds.  A majority of specialty manufacturers utilize an integrated specialty distribution model to greatly reduce their costs.  Integrated specialty pharmacy services should include a HUB, 3PL, and SD distribution.  HUBs streamline key tasks such as reimbursement, PAP, clinical management, and alternate funding. 3PL and SD services include warehousing, inventory management, and data analytics. These three specialty services together make integrated specialty pharmacy distribution models the most effective way to dispense specialty meds.

Pinsonault put on yet another successful conference filled with impressive speakers and relevant topics. I appreciate them hosting me and look forward to their Managed Markets Summit in September in Las Vegas!

Kevin Cast, MS, is vice president, strategy and contracting, Pharma & Biotech, at Express Scripts.  He leads the business development team and works with all areas of specialty pharmacy operations and account management to provide integrated business solutions that support the life cycle of a drug.