Has anybody seen the fifth guy?
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — If you were to tell me that 4-out-of-every-5 people would choose 90-day prescriptions available by pickup at the pharmacy versus 90-day prescriptions delivered through mail order — and for about the same cost — I would tell you that we need to find the fifth person and make sure that they’re OK. They might be suffering from a medical emergency and could need our help. The publication of this study in a peer-reviewed journal, however, serves as proof of concept addressing two concerns — choice and plan cost. In other words, giving patients choice of 90-day at retail doesn’t have a material impact on plan cost.
(THE NEWS: Walgreens study finds patients prefer to fill Rxs at community pharmacies. For the full story, click here.)
That cost-neutral aspect is an important distinction to make, given what’s happening in the marketplace — namely the Express Scripts-Medco merger, and at an important time, during the PBM selling season. The fact is that a lot of the healthcare debate today really comes down to that one critical consideration — how much is this going to cost at the end of the day? If "this" is 90-day at retail and the answer is, "Not any more than mail order," then increasing patient choice by including 90-day at retail becomes an easy choice to make for health plan administrators.
Because the four patients that do go to the pharmacy have a living, breathing pharmacist who can counsel them on their medications when they come in; they have a pharmacist who, with multiple intercept opportunities, can help improve medication adherence and compliance through any number of programs; and they have a retail pharmacy operator that is engaging them online, through their emails and on their smartphones, or just about any venue that those 4-in-5 patients choose. And, chances are, those 4-in-5 patients who avail themselves of that kind of personal attentional from their pharmacist don’t find themselves in a medical emergency nearly as often.
So 90-day at retail is cost-neutral and helps increase compliance through better choice. That leaves just one question left for health plan coordinators: Has anybody seen the fifth guy?
Lilly chief executive John Lechleiter appointed as PhRMA chairman
BOSTON — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America announced Friday the appointment of Eli Lilly chairman, president and CEO John Lechleiter as PhRMA chairman at its annual meeting. The group also elected Celgene president and CEO Robert Hugin as chairman-elect of its board of directors and Pfizer president and CEO Ian Read as board treasurer. Lechleiter replaces Sanofi CEO Christopher Viehbacher as chairman.
"Chris has been indispensable to PhRMA on many fronts, providing invaluable leadership as the industry navigates the evolving policy and regulatory landscapes essential to continued innovation while always putting patients first," PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. "As Dr. Lechleiter assumes the chairman role, we can all feel comfort knowing that the patient-centered approaches we utilize in all our advocacy efforts will continue to be central to our mission of advancing innovation in the [United States] and worldwide."
Drug makers invested $49.5 billion in R&D in 2011, report finds
WASHINGTON — Drug companies invested nearly $50 billion in research and development in 2011, according to a new report by a drug industry trade group.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said in its latest report that with $49.5 billion of investment, the biopharmaceutical sector accounted for the single largest share of all U.S. business research and development, and related expenditures among PhRMA member companies represented 21.1% of domestic sales.
"Despite facing market, scientific and regulatory challenges, the U.S. biopharmaceutical sector, led by our member companies, has remained a major contributor to American innovation," PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. "Our member companies’ investment represents a boost to America’s economy, with 78% of those dollars invested on our shores."
PhRMA said the Food and Drug Administration approved 35 new drugs last year, one of the highest annual totals in the last decade, including two personalized medicines for cancer, 11 for rare diseases and the first new lupus drug since 1955. Personalized medicine represents a major area of investment, with 94% of companies in a recent survey by the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development responding that they currently are investing in the field.