CVS Health: Will This Giant’s Scale and Scope Confound Its Vision for Healthcare?

Last week, CVS Health held its annual investor day. (Links below.) In the aftermath of the Aetna transaction, CVS Health has become a uniquely diverse organization with revenues exceeding $250 billion. As expected, CVS Health management explained the cost-cutting synergies that it expects from having united CVS Health and Aetna. It also laid out a long-range vision for generating value—and operating income—from making the disparate pieces of its empire work together in new ways. CVS Health called these new products and services “transformational initiatives.” Below, I summarize investor day high points concerning CVS Health’s overall strategy, offer thoughts on the … Continue reading CVS Health: Will This Giant’s Scale and Scope Confound Its Vision for Healthcare?

Profits in the 2019 Fortune 500: Manufacturers vs. Managed Care vs. Pharmacies, PBMs, and Wholesalers

Time to dive into our 12th (!) annual review of the Fortune 500 list. Every year, this is one of my most popular posts, because it helps us follow the dollar and understand how drug channel intermediaries make money. Fortune’s 2019 list contains only six drug channel companies: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, McKesson, Rite Aid, and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Consolidation and vertical integration have transformed the channel—and the Fortune rankings. Below you will see our list of the companies that disappeared from the roster. We therefore have added to our analysis the four managed care and insurance companies on … Continue reading Profits in the 2019 Fortune 500: Manufacturers vs. Managed Care vs. Pharmacies, PBMs, and Wholesalers

Drug Channels News Roundup, May 2019: Express Scripts’ New GPO, More on Amazon/PillPack, a BS Update, and Vegas Video

Summer is unofficially here! Before you break out the grill, check out these officially noteworthy items: Why did Express Scripts launch a GPO … in Switzerland? Behind the scenes of Amazon’s deal for PillPack More on BS in healthcare Plus, a fun video recap from Asembia’s 2019 Specialty Pharmacy Summit—including some footage of your friendly neighborhood blogger! P.S. Follow my daily musings and links to neat stuff at @DrugChannels on Twitter. Read more » Copyright © 2006-2019 Pembroke Consulting, Inc. d/b/a Drug Channels Institute. Drug Channels® is a registered trademark of Pembroke Consulting, Inc. This Feed is for personal non-commercial … Continue reading Drug Channels News Roundup, May 2019: Express Scripts’ New GPO, More on Amazon/PillPack, a BS Update, and Vegas Video

The State of Specialty Pharmacy 2019: Industry Trends and Photos from #Asembia19

Last week, Paula and I had the pleasure of attending Asembia’s 2019 Specialty Pharmacy Summit at the wonderful Wynn Las Vegas. The Specialty Pharmacy Summit remains the most important forum for learning, networking, and conducting business throughout the entire specialty marketplace. Today marks the ninth year that I will violate Vegas code and tell you what happened there. Below, I offer reflections on the meeting, share my experiences during the featured session, and highlight four crucial specialty industry trends. You’ll also find a link to the conference’s Featured Session slides and cool photos—including two of the many selfies for which I … Continue reading The State of Specialty Pharmacy 2019: Industry Trends and Photos from #Asembia19

Specialty Pharmacy M&A: Our Look at 2018’s Deals (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2019 Specialty Pharmacy Summit. Click here to see the original post and comments from January 2019. Let’s kick off 2019 with a quick review of last year’s specialty pharmacy mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Our list (below) includes only deals that were publicly announced in 2018. Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) were especially busy. CVS Health bought five specialty pharmacies. UnitedHealth’s OptumRx bought Avella Specialty Pharmacy, the largest independent specialty pharmacy. Diplomat Pharmacy was uncharacteristically quiet during 2018, though it had been one of the most active acquirers in previous years. … Continue reading Specialty Pharmacy M&A: Our Look at 2018’s Deals (rerun)

Independent Pharmacy Economics Keep Deteriorating (rerun)

This week, I’m rerunning some popular posts while I attend Asembia’s 2019 Specialty Pharmacy Summit. Click here to see the original post and comments from January 2019. Time for Drug Channels’annual look at independent pharmacy owners’ business economics, drawn from the recently released 2018 National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Digest, Sponsored by Cardinal Health. Here’s the press release: NCPA Releases 2017 Digest. Below, I update our estimates on pharmacy economics and margins. Our analysis reveals that independent pharmacy owners have faced another year of deteriorating finances. What’s more, we estimate that in 2017, the average pharmacy owner’s salary fell to … Continue reading Independent Pharmacy Economics Keep Deteriorating (rerun)

The Specialty Pharmacy Boom: Our Exclusive Update on the U.S. Market

It’s time for Drug Channels Institute’s annual update of the number of U.S. specialty pharmacies. As always, I had outstanding research assistance. (See photo at right.) But even we can’t count the total number of pharmacies dispensing specialty drugs, since any pharmacy can designate itself a specialty pharmacy. We therefore counted every pharmacy location that had achieved accreditation by an independent organization. Our exclusive findings: As of the end of 2018, more than 900 unique pharmacy locations had achieved specialty pharmacy accreditation from one or more of three major independent accreditation organizations. The 2018 figure marks a 25% increase over … Continue reading The Specialty Pharmacy Boom: Our Exclusive Update on the U.S. Market

The Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2018: PBMs Keep Winning

In Drug Channel Institute’s list of the top 15 pharmacies of 2018, we show that many of the largest U.S. pharmacies are now central-fill mail and specialty pharmacies operated by PBMs and insurers. To complement that broader list, below you’ll find the Drug Channels Institute list of the top 15 pharmacies based on specialty drug dispensing revenues. As you will see, PBMs and insurers dominate specialty drug dispensing channels. The top four companies—all of which are fully or partly owned by a PBM—accounted for more than 70% of prescription revenues from pharmacy-dispensed specialty drugs. Payer- and PBM-owned specialty pharmacies’ market … Continue reading The Top 15 Specialty Pharmacies of 2018: PBMs Keep Winning

NEW: The 2019 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers

I am pleased to announce our new 2019 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers, available for purchase and immediate download. Click here to download a free report overview (including the Table of Contents and a List of Exhibits) New Drug Channels Institute Study Analyzes U.S. Drug Pricing and Rebates, Predicts Further Shakeout and Consolidation (press release) We’re offering special discounted pricing if you order before March 22, 2019! The 2019 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers is the only resource of its kind available anywhere. With 180 proprietary charts, exhibits, and data tables, the … Continue reading NEW: The 2019 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Drug Channels News Roundup, February 2019: Diplomat’s Troubles, Sanofi’s Gross-to-Net Bubble, and the Legality of Accumulators

Winter—or at least February—is almost over! Celebrate the imminent return of spring with our selection of noteworthy news from around the drug channel. In this issue: My $0.02 on Diplomat’s failures and the new realities of specialty pharmacy Sanofi’s 2018 gross-to-net bubble Legal issues for copay accumulators Plus, The Onion reports a health insurance miracle! P.S. My @DrugChannels Twitter account now has more than 7,000 followers. Join the fun for my daily commentary on the industry’s news. Read more » Copyright © 2006-2019 Pembroke Consulting, Inc. d/b/a Drug Channels Institute. Drug Channels® is a registered trademark of Pembroke Consulting, Inc. … Continue reading Drug Channels News Roundup, February 2019: Diplomat’s Troubles, Sanofi’s Gross-to-Net Bubble, and the Legality of Accumulators