LATEST NEWS
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    While traditional retail chains still dominate, the focus by PBMs on specialty distribution is raising their presence among top retailers
    Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting (Philadelphia) has previewed his 2014-15 Economic Report on Retail, Mail and Specialty Pharmacies, which includes an estimation of 2014 calendar-year sales by the top retailers. While CVS Health, Walgreen (now Walgreen Boots), Walmart and Rite Aid occupy four of the top five slots (Express Scripts is No. 4), their growth more or less tracked overall industry sales. According to his numbers, Walgreen is now the No. 1 chain retailer, in that CVS health includes both a retail chain
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    Compliance issues around sampling will be featured at upcoming conference
    It's not the first, and it won't be the last, but two key organizations in their respective fields--electronic health record (EHR) systems used by doctors' offices, and e-sampling and coupon distribution--are partnering to expand access for sampling and copay or other coupon programs. Practice Fusion (San Francisco), which styles itself as the No. 1 EHR vendor (competing EHR vendors use a variety of measures for this) will now enable the sampling programs managed by OptimizeRx (Rochester, MI) through its SampleMD technology to appear on doctor's screens. Actual numbers of prescribers affected by this are hard to determine
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    So long WAG, hello to WBA as pharma manufacturers look at a consolidating buyer landscape
    On the last day of 2014, the union of Walgreens, in the US, and Alliance Boots, headquartered in Bern, Switzerland but operating throughout Europe and elsewhere, was completed. Earlier this week, Walgreens shareholders approved the second stage of a two-step acquisition, first announced in mid-2012. The combined company, to be called Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), will remain headquartered in Deerfield, IL. Stefano Pessina, head of Alliance Boots, will be acting CEO. (Pessina [pictured] is a story in himself, having previously merged Alliance, a European wholesaler, with the UK pharmacy chain Boots,
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    Express Scripts touts a 'fundamental change' in drug pricing; others would call it negotiating a discount
    Throughout 2014, Gilead Science's Sovaldi treatment for hepC--the first drug that is an outright cure for the disease in many cases--has attracted extraordinary attention. Its high price (about $84K for a 12-week regimen) is not the highest among specialty pharmaceutical therapies; and the cohort of patients--an estimated 3.2 million in the US--is also not extraordinary compared to other debilitating conditions. But the combination of those two factors, its clear advantage over prior therapies and the estimated $8.7 billion it garnered for Gilead through the first 10 months on the market has made it a stalking horse
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    'Stay tuned' for interactions directly with pharma companies, says CEO Jeff Tangney
    Nestled in the high-tech Silicon Valley area, Doximity has positioned itself as a state-of-the-art, social-media-driven community, but one dedicated exclusively to physicians. The company has announced that its signed-on membership among physicians is now over 400,000, representing roughly half of all prescribing physicians in the US. In the intense battle for attention and interaction with physicians, in which pharma companies touting their products compete with healthcare providers, professional and personal interests and all the other things that physicians can look at
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    Global market will rise 30% over the next five years, reaching $1.3 trillion
    The go-go days of the early 2000s, when the US pharma industry routinely had double-digit growth, haven't exactly returned in full force. But from the 1-3% annual increases in the past several years--including a first-in-recent-history actual decline in 2012--the US market is projected to grow 11-13% when the books close on 2014. The "official" count, from IMS Health, won't be ready until early spring 2015, but in its annual "Global Use of Medicines" report, just issued, IMS' Institute for Healthcare Informatics projects that the US market will be in the range of $377-384 billion for 2014, up 11-13%. It and Japan will experience a "spike" in 2014-5; after that growth
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    'Exception handling' will be the monkey wrench in maintaining normal distribution
    You heard it was coming, and now it's almost here: the Jan. 1 deadline, per the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), for pharma trading partners to receive lot-level transaction information as products are delivered to them. At the HDMA Traceability Seminar (Nov. 10-12, Arlington, VA), wholesaler representatives talked about anticipated situations come Jan. 1; they also heard, from Dr. Connie Jung, RPh, acting associate director at the Office of Drug Security, Integrity and Recalls of FDA, that the Nov. 27 deadline FDA has for providing guidance based on DSCSA will be delivered (but probably not before that date). That leaves the US pharma
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    Regulatory compliance continues to exceed cost as a primary driver
    UPS' seventh global survey of supply chain managers in healthcare products finds a greater consensus of industry goals regarding supply chain management, but a lesser degree of actually following through on those goals. All this is occurring in a context of rapid change, driven by the desire to tap into global markets, adoption of new distribution channels, and the urgency to keep up with expanding regulatory compliance initiatives. "One of the values of this survey is the timeline it establishes for industry issues," notes John Menna, VP for healthcare strategy. "In past years, we've asked about global initiatives and found that 81% of healthcare executives planned
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    Pharmaceutical Commerce's latest report finds continued growth in these specialized logistics services
    The 5th edition of the Biopharma Cold Chain Sourcebook analyzes economic, regulatory and technological trends in a vital part of today's industry: the shipment of temperature-controlled products. The just-published report calculates that current (2014) expenditures for commercial shipments will be $8.36 billion, rising to $10.28 billion in 2018. By comparison, last year's Sourcebook estimated the 2013 cold-chain business to be $7.5 billion, rising
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COLD CHAIN FOCUS
Cargo, logistics and packaging interests are represented
 
INDUSTRY EVENTS
 
 
 
 
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Homi Kapadia was appointed head of the Life Sciences Practice last June. He sat down with Pharmaceutical Commerce this summer to talk about trends in life sciences, new initiatives in Deloitte and his evolving role. Here’s what he had to say.
 
 
FEATURES
In the past five years, the role of Master Data Management (MDM) and informatics has dramatically changed the strategic and operational objectives of life sciences organizations  continued >
 
Service providers are building out a wider range of services to meet drug developers' needs  continued >
 
More complex products and higher risk are changing the nature of pharmaceutical outsourcing  continued >
 
As rare diseases have emerged as a market opportunity for pharma over the past several years, industry practices are beginning to stabilize  continued >
 
The drive for lower costs, safer products  continued >
 
 
MOST POPULAR STORIES
 
 
SPECIAL FOCUS REPORT
2014 Cold Chain Directory
 
Our annual compilation of key vendors and service providers in this vital component of pharmaceutical distribution, together with a preview of the IQPC Cold Chain Forum and more late-breaking news
 
CLINICAL OPERATIONS
LabCorp’s $6.1-billion bid for leading CRO has implications for pharma’s future
 
 
 
   
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