PLANO, Texas — The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute recently released its Specialty Drug Benefit Report, sponsored by Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. The 2014 edition highlights trends important to specialty pharmacy, including emerging cost-control strategies and challenges affecting benefit design and patient care.
"I was struck by the results on employer perceptions of pharmacy outlets for specialty drugs," noted Adam Fein, president Pembroke Consulting, in a Drug Channels blog on the release. "Employers think specialty pharmacies provide better pharmacist access and lower costs. However, they also think retail pharmacies are comparable for clinical services — and that surprised me."
Retail drug stores are also seen as better at providing access to copayment programs, Fein noted.
The report is based on survey respondents from 337 U.S. employers, representing more than 14.3 million lives. For the first time, the survey asked questions specifically about medical and pharmacy benefits, including key opportunities and challenges facing specialty pharmacy management. This is important because it reflects rapidly changing site-of-care dynamics and will better enable PBMI to assess and report on future trends.