Before the book closes on 2017, in this issue of Specialty Pharmacy Times® we take a look back at one of the signature events in the world of specialty—the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) Annual Meeting and Educational Conference.
This can’t-miss event was held September 18 to 20 in Washington, DC. We are happy to offer you a comprehensive recap, both in this issue and on our daily news website at specialtypharmacytimes.com/link/2732. With health care reform still a hot-button issue for legislators and the ongoing controversy surrounding direct and indirect remuneration fees, the years ahead could be a transformative period for specialty pharmacy.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-LA) declared during his speech at the NASP conference that specialty pharmacy stakeholders must become advocates for the industry by contacting legislators in their state.
“They may not know a lot about what you do,” Dr. Cassidy said in his speech. “It’s incumbent upon you as an American to kind of relay that to those policy makers so they can come up with a wise policy.”
On the topic of high drug costs, former president of Eli Lilly USA, Alex M. Azar II, JD, warned attendees about the risks inherent in legislation that attacks drug costs based on trends that have already run their course.
“With the decoding of the human genome, we now have such an understanding of the molecular nature of disease that we are producing targeted therapies. We are seeing unbelievable, revolutionary drugs roll off right now,” he said. “I hope this is not when we stifle innovation and stifle patient access to that innovation in the interest of looking at a rearview-mirror problem here.”
Also in this issue, we continue to focus on the growing prevalence of value-based care. On page 19, William D. Kirsh, DO, MPH, and Dawn DeAngelo, PharmD, discuss the critical need to define value when multiple stakeholders have contrasting goals that require new data sets to address them.
Further highlighting the importance of measuring outcomes, our editor-in-chief Dan Steiber, RPh, notes that each specialty therapeutic class comes with various potential measures that must be considered when developing an accurate definition of value.
Finally, on page 28, we take a comprehensive look back at the year in specialty drug approvals in the first of a 2-part series written by Stacey Ness, PharmD, RPh, CSP, MSCS, AAHIVP, and Ruby Mhajan, RPh, of Managed Health Care Associates, Inc.
Staying on the cutting edge of the latest developments in specialty pharmacy is our mission in this journal and our daily news website, www.SpecialtyPharmacyTimes.com. Follow us online and through our e-newsletters (sign up at specialtypharmacytimes.com/link/1306) to assure your pharmacy is prepared to prosper in the year ahead. υ
Thank you for reading.
Mike Hennessy, Sr
Chairman & CEO