Roundtable discusses importance of specialty pharmacy, drugs
NEW YORK The subject of specialty pharmacy reached a whole new level of nuance as a wide variety of stakeholders gathered for a roundtable discussion on its role in health care Wednesday at The Chemists’ Club in New York.
The roundtable, titled “Slowing the Impact: The Role of Specialty Pharmacy in Managing Progressive and Chronic Diseases” and moderated by Health Affairs editor-in-chief Susan Dentzer, included perspectives of a pharmacy benefit manager, a healthcare company, a pharmaceutical company, a multiple-sclerosis advocate, an ethicist and an MS patient, all sharing their perspectives on the fast-growing field.
Specialty drugs have grown at a rapid pace over the years. According to AARP, 6-of-the-top-10 drugs in the country are expected to be biologics by 2014, compared with 1-out-of-10 in 2000; and IMS Health predicted that the specialty pharmaceuticals services segment will reach $160 billion by 2013.
“In addition to becoming a unique category of pharmaceuticals, specialty drugs are becoming mainstream,” said Jacqueline Kosecoff, CEO of Prescription Solutions, a PBM and part of UnitedHealth Group.
Another perspective was that of Ken Bandler, a multiple-sclerosis patient diagnosed in 1990, who stressed the importance of accessibility. “There must be an effort to ensure [specialty drugs] are affordable for the patients who take them,” Bandler said, acknowledging the expenses and other challenges that go into developing drugs, which fellow panelist and Bristol-Myers Squibb VP health services for the Americas Ross Maclean had spoken about earlier.
Other panelists included Lee Newcomer, UnitedHealthcare VP oncology in women’s health and genetics; The Hastings Center deputy director and research scholar Nancy Berlinger; and PJ Weiner, senior manager for advocacy programs of the New York City-southern New York chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Trojan picks up good vibrations
PRINCETON, N.J. Condom producer Trojan is launching a new line of vibrators, the company said Tuesday.
Trojan announced the introduction of Trojan Vibrations, which it described as powerful but with soft textures. The first, Vibrating Tri-Phoria, will become available in retail pharmacies and mass merchandisers in 2011.
“We’ve built a better vibrator for women and men to enjoy,” Trojan VP marketing Jim Daniels said. “We did our homework, and we listened to our consumers. We know that women and men want trusted and reliable pleasure products, and our world-class [research and development] team responded with a pioneering line of vibrators that will keep up the pleasure quotient during sex, and add some adventure and fun to America’s bedrooms.”
Decision Resources: Generic competition will crush hypertension drug market
BURLINGTON, Mass. The market for hypertension drugs will drop by $3 billion by the end of the decade due to generic competition, according to a new report by healthcare market research firm Decision Resources.
The report, announced Tuesday, found that the market for drugs to treat high blood pressure would decline from 2009’s $26 billion to $23 billion by 2019 in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.
The largest decline will hit Novartis’ Diovan (valsartan), which will lose more than $1 billion in sales in 2013, following market entry of generic versions of the drug.
“Emerging agents will find it difficult to penetrate the highly genericized hypertension market because of competition from inexpensive and efficacious generic anti-hypertensive drugs,” Decision Resources analyst Taskin Ahmed said. “Through 2019, we do not forecast blockbuster sales for any of the emerging anti-hypertensive agents.”