FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — On May 5 to 9, Armada Health Care hosted its 10th Annual Specialty Pharmacy Summit at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year's event gathered another record number of attendees, including more than 3,000 industry stakeholders, according to the association. Participants comprised specialty pharmacy owners, pharmacy directors and executives from specialty pharmacies and pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers.
Also in attendance were drug wholesalers, payers and PBMs, consultants in the health care sector, and other related technology and industry vendors.
"The Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit is one of the few venues that brings together key stakeholders from various industries: specialty pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry, and the payer industry," commented Albert Thigpen, SVP Catamaran. "The meeting provides us with an opportunity to express our needs and align the incentives across all of the key stakeholders in a very candid, objective way. We cover everything from reimbursement to patient services to supply chain logistics to product launch criteria."
This year's featured topics revolved around drug pricing, provider services and access, and also included many discussions about new hepatitis C drugs and 340B practices. Another hot topic discussed at the meeting was biosimilars. It has been estimated by various sources that $20 billion in product will lose patent over the next four years, and assuming a developed U.S. market, IMS predicts the global oncology biosimilar market will be worth approximately $12 billion by the year 2020.
During his State of the Industry presentation, Jim Robinson, president, Astellas Pharma US, petitioned attendees to continue working together as patients face new challenges in the evolving health care landscape. "We should be proud of the significant accomplishments that the pharma and biotech companies have made over the years, working in partnership with specialty pharmacies, managed care organizations and providers, but we still have a great deal of work to do, especially regarding reimbursement and improving customer experiences," Robinson noted.
Other speakers throughout the week challenged audience members to think about access and control when bringing a specialty drug to market and to consider the number of specialty pharmacy providers to use in this endeavor. They noted that brand teams should consider optimization of the right channel for a medication and plan the appropriate fulfillment approach early, as soon as the product launches.
The 11th Annual Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit & Expo will return to Wynn Las Vegas and Encore May 4 to 8, 2015.