Improving Patient Services and Adherence Discussed at World Congress Summit on Specialty Market Access

Delegates meet to discuss emerging trends in specialty pharmacy.

Delegates meet to discuss emerging trends in specialty pharmacy.

Dozens of key delegates from throughout the world of specialty pharmacy converged on Philadelphia, PA on July 28 and 29, 2014, to engage in a discussion on effectively managing the distribution of new and existing specialty products for the improvement of patient care.

The World Congress Summit on Specialty Market Access and Channel Optimization joined stakeholders from specialty pharmacies, distributors, and pharmacy benefit management, for a dialogue on a number of vital issues that will need to be confronted in the coming months and years.

“The organizers at the World Congress have put together a great program, with sessions and speakers chosen to highlight many of the emerging trends in specialty pharmacy,” said summit chairperson and Chief Strategy Officer at Armada Health Care Thomas Cohn, MS.

Programs included the impact of health insurance exchange plans on patient access to specialty drugs, how to achieve partnerships that will drive down costs through utilization of treatment services, understanding the operational and regulatory nuances of specialty pharmacy contracting, and improving specialty services through mobile and web-based tools.

“Some of the questions I have are how quickly will patients adopt smart medical devices and other technology solutions, what’s the update going to be like, when will remote monitoring, e-visits, and tele-medicine become more mainstream?” Cohn said in his opening remarks at the summit.

Delegates included representatives from Johnson & Johnson, OmedaRx, Bayer Healthcare, Accredo Health Group, UBC, Catamaran, NPS Pharma, Avalere Health, and Boehringer-Ingelheim, among others.

One of the key discussion topics touched on the potential impact of biosimilars on the US market in the wake of Sandoz, a Novartis Group company, becoming the first company to file for FDA approval of a biosimilar in the US on July 24, 2014. The application was filed through the pathway created by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009.

Cohn questioned whether biosimilars would have the same impact on the specialty market as generic drugs have had on traditional medications.

“Will the approval impact the market in the same way?” he queried the audience. “How will they be priced and will separate names impact their adoption?”

With an industry in a state of flux amidst developing technological and manufacturing milestones, the World Congress Summit sought to engage attendees in a productive dialogue to bring some of these issues to the forefront.

“[The summit will discuss] how can traditional specialty pharmacy be best used to optimize patient outcomes,” Cohn said. “Hopefully over the next 2 days we will be able to answer a lot of these questions.”