How Can Data Aggregators Support Specialty Product Launches?


John Giannouris, vice president, Specialty Pharmacy Services, ValueCentric, discusses the data customers should be asking for from a specialty pharmacy.

“There’s a lot of new orphan/ultra-orphan products being launched. Many of them are being launched by small emerging pharmaceutical companies where they’re launching their very first specialty drugs. There’s a lot that we can do as aggregators, at ValueCentric, we provide a separate consulting service to help a customer with understanding what data they should be asking for from a specialty pharmacy. We look at what are the things that they really want to measure?

What’s the specific—how’s their brand, is it going to be a buy and build brand? Is it going to be some buy and build with predominantly specialty pharmacy? We help them with their data agreements and what language they should include in their data agreements. What are the right data elements to ask for? Should this data element be mandatory, or optional, or required if available? So, there’s a lot of upfront work before a specialty product launches that the manufacturer’s working on. So, they’re thinking about what should my distribution look like? Am I going to go limited? Am I going to go open? Am I going to go exclusive?

Those factors, we can help them. If they’re thinking about going limited and they’ve got a set of 10 specialty pharmacies they’re looking at, and they want to get down to five, data aggregators work on multiple products, and likely work with a pharmacy on multiple occasions. We know what the strengths and some of the weaknesses are of the specialty pharmacies, as it relates data quality, data timeliness, the consistency of their data, the ability of pharmacy to quickly adapt and fix data quality issues. We can help a manufacturer during their selection process. Their ability to provide data, and data in a high-quality way, could be one of the inputs in making a decision when I have 10 and need to get down to 5.

That’s another way data aggregators can help. There’s also the ability to benchmark. So, if you have a limited network and you’re looking at getting down to 5 pharmacies, we can benchmark the pharmacies against each other on some key KPI’s based on prior experience in working with them. Even something as like how well did they do for a time to fill for a launch drug that was similar to ours. If you have enough of that data, and you’re working with enough of the pharmacies, you can actually provide that as input.”

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