Annual NASP EXPO Highlights Latest Trends and Issues for Specialty Pharmacy

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy brings together hundreds of stakeholders to discuss the rapidly changing special medication landscape.

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy brings together hundreds of stakeholders to discuss the rapidly changing special medication landscape.

Leaders, stakeholders, and professionals from throughout the specialty pharmacy industry converged on Tampa, Florida, this week for the 2014 Specialty Pharmacy EXPO hosted by the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP).

The EXPO, held from March 31 through April 4 at the University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, highlights the hottest issues and trends in specialty pharmacy, while offering networking opportunities and educational sessions. The EXPO takes advantage of the university’s virtual pharmacy and simulation-based meeting environment to offer a wide array of clinical and reimbursement workshops that demonstrate best practices and the latest collaborative care models, according to NASP officials.

"This meeting will push the boundary of what attendees expect from a conference, giving them an interactive and memorable educational experience,” said NASP’s CEO Gary M. Cohen, BSPharm, RPh, CSP, in a press release.

Launched in 2012, NASP provides educational programs, certification curriculum and networking opportunities for professionals, while also promoting safe use of specialty medications. As the association’s signature event, the NASP EXPO offers more than 75 hours of programming in accredited specialty pharmacy, nursing, and managed care tracks.

The EXPO also offers practical, hands-on training scenarios and reimbursement labs. Attendees include representatives of specialty and retail pharmacies, medication distributors, health plans, managed care organizations, publishers, pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers, and patient advocacy groups.

Programming includes sessions on biosimilars, pending laws and regulations in supply chain security, emerging trends in specialty pharmacy, and emerging treatment options for a wide variety of diseases.

On April 2, the EXPO featured a presentation by Ray Tancredi, vice president of specialty pharmacy development, who previewed products currently in the specialty medication pipeline.

Fourteen of the 27 new drugs approved by the FDA last year could be classified as specialty medications, NASP noted in another press release, and this area of pharmaceuticals is projected to make up 50% of overall drug spending by insurance plans as of 2020. As the specialty pipeline continues to develop new agents, NASP said it is committed to supporting the various stakeholders in the field with programs such as the annual EXPO.

"Our goal is to collaborate with leaders, organizations and innovators in healthcare to empower and support our industry as it implements solutions that elevate the quality of car provided to the patients we serve," Cohen said.