Throughout the meeting rooms and educational sessions at the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2019, there were clear signs that massive change could alter the industry before next year’s meeting. This year’s summit saw more than 6000 attendees representing over 1000 organizations. Among them were major players from pharmacy providers, integrated delivery networks, health systems, pharma/biotech manufacturers, payers, and drug wholesalers, as well as other specialty stakeholders. With drug pricing in the crosshairs of legislators and ongoing mergers by power players squeezing out smaller independents, experts throughout Asembia discussed some of the change that could alter specialty practice into the future.

Make sure to read our coverage of the Asembia-featured session on page 14, which explores some of the key challenges and forces that are driving a desire for change in the US pharma market. These forces include the escalating cost of care and the growing scrutiny surrounding value, causing stakeholders to reexamine the roles of payers and pharmacy benefit managers in the pursuit of a more sustainable system that empowers patients to become more involved in health care decision making.

Also check out our recap of the speech given by former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, who outlined some of the exciting innovations at the FDA, as well as some challenges that could persist into the future. Among the most exciting developments he discussed was how technology is increasingly advancing the quality of care, such as data from electronic health care records being used to conduct postmarketing surveillance, which could lead to clinical trials in a real-world setting. Lingering challenges Gottlieb mentioned that need to be addressed are current payment models and reimbursement, specifically in the area of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies.

These vital discussions are sure to continue at the upcoming National Association of Specialty Pharmacy 2019 Annual Meeting & Expo. The conference will provide comprehensive information regarding all aspects of specialty pharmacy, including the evolution of the market, the impact of specialty pharmacy on patients, and national legislative and regulatory policy. The meeting will also include the annual Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference, offering continuing education (CE) credits to attendees, a prep course for pharmacists studying for October examinations given by the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board, and a home infusion postconference workshop given by experts from the National Home Infusion Association offering CE credits to attendees. Don’t miss out on the chance to make your voice heard by registering at and follow our live coverage of the meeting at