The backdrop of the pharmacy landscape in 2017 will likely be dominated by drug shortages, infrastructure issues, and wholesaler challenges. In addition, pharmacists are serving as supply chain protectors and technology extenders while preparing for major changes. Listed below are some of the biggest trends to watch for in 2017.
Trends in Pharmacy White-bagging
Although some people don’t like the idea of handing over drugs for special handling, it could be an important trend for payers in the future. White-bagging can help hospitals and payers control costs while still maximizing the efficiency of their pharmacies. It may even help reduce out-of-pocket costs, especially if payers can negotiate favorable dispensing rates with pharmacies.
This practice is often referred to as white-bagging, and it involves transferring prescription drugs to specialty pharmacies. These pharmacies are often chosen by payers and receive reimbursement for the administration of the medications. This arrangement creates inventory management challenges for hospitals while raising concerns about patient safety and waste. The American Hospital Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists wrote a letter to acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock this year asking her to consider the risks of white-bagging and take appropriate enforcement action against these practices. They noted that patient safety is at stake, as well as the reimbursement for hospital services.
In essence, white-bagging means that a specialty pharmacy dispenses the prescription and settles the claim with the payer. As a result, the patient receives less expensive treatment. Moreover, white-bagging also reduces costs by allowing payers to negotiate better dispensing rates and reduce administrative billing. Additionally, it eliminates the need for expensive, customized packaging, and storage for specialty medications.
Site of care restrictions
The use of specific product names in the text is for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation for one product over another. The document also does not represent a comprehensive list of products available for acute or chronic conditions. The Medical Policy & Technology Assessment Committee (MPTAC) reviewed and updated this document. It can be found at the following link. It includes a discussion section, reference section, and website.
The economics of healthcare are complex, requiring thousands of people across the public and private sectors to provide healthcare. But there is one strategy that enhances the quality of patient care and lowers costs: Site of Care Optimization. This strategy encourages patients to receive specialty biologic medications in lower-cost settings such as physician-run infusion suites and stand-alone infusion centers. The latter is more affordable than hospitals and still meets high-quality standards.
Trends in Pharmacy Amazon/PillPack
In the world of online pharmacy, Amazon/PillPack are making major inroads. PillPack is an online pharmacy that ships out monthly shipments of prescription pills in daily planners. These planners make it easier for patients to take their medications. Its service is also backed by 24/7 customer support and automatic prescription refills. In the US alone, more than half of adults can’t afford to purchase prescriptions, so this new service has the potential to be a big player in the industry.
While PillPack has been a disruptor in the industry since its inception, the company was in danger of being acquired by a larger company. Earlier this year, CNBC reported on an Amazon deal to acquire PillPack. Amazon CEO Nader Kabbani met with PillPack’s TJ Parker to discuss the future of the pharmacy industry. It seems that both companies are concerned about the future of the industry.
The consolidation of the pharmacy industry is accelerating, with the largest chains such as Walgreens and Rite Aid losing their independent pharmacies. In addition to Amazon/PillPack, many brick-and-mortar Pharmacy/Drug Site Selection Software are trying to leverage their positions in communities and provide higher value to patients. These pharmacy trends include unit-dose packaging and personalized monitoring for medication gaps. They will also be competing with mail-order pharmacies and pharmacy benefit management companies.
While biosimilars promise to bring competition to the market, they have been slow to gain ground. They’re not yet making much of a dent in the market, but they’re about to enter the growth phase. There are several factors driving biosimilars’ rise. Several factors have already been identified:
Physicians are the least likely to have a financial involvement in the buy-and-bill channel because they typically follow a payer’s formulary. However, their influence will be driven by interchangeability. Another key factor to consider is patient brand loyalty. Physicians and pharmacists have become increasingly comfortable with the biosimilar concept, and physicians and healthcare providers are incorporating them into their treatment plans.
Although biosimilars are similar to reference biologics, they are not identical, and their entry into the market is likely only when a drug’s profits are large enough to justify their cost. But this won’t happen overnight – it will take time and effort for the biosimilar market to gain traction. Ultimately, the patient will be the biggest beneficiary of biosimilars.
As biosimilars gain market share, they also increase competition for biologics. The adoption of biosimilars has become increasingly widespread in specialty care and across channels. The adoption of biosimilars is projected to increase by up to 50% between 2020 and 2025, according to McKinsey. It is estimated that biosimilar sales will hit $30 billion by 2025 and $60 billion over the next decade.
Advancements in machine-learning technology will revolutionize how the profession teaches. Pharmaceutical schools generate a vast amount of data, from selection to performance and job placement. The Academy is working to improve its data practices in order to make use of this information more efficiently. The current data practices and policies for managing this data may limit the Academy’s ability to maximize the benefits of machine learning and data-driven decision support. To support its work, the Academy has created guiding principles for data management.
The use of machine learning in pharmacy can be applied to any number of tasks, including medication adherence. AI algorithms can identify those patients who are at risk for non-adherence and cooperate with interventions. Retail pharmacies and provider organizations can use recommended lists to optimize interventions. Moreover, large-scale data sets and longitudinal studies can evaluate the effectiveness of machine-learning models. Machine-learning and data-driven algorithms can solve significant problems in medication management. However, it is important to remember that there are many drawbacks to using this technology in pharmacy.
AI-based prediction tools have been developed to predict cardiovascular events. For example, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in clinical trials can help predict serious adverse drug reactions. Machine-learning tools can also be used to develop user-centered health information technology. While these technologies are not yet widely available, they are already starting to transform healthcare and pharmacy. So, if you are interested in using machine-learning technology in your work, it is essential that you understand how it works.
The program’s goal is to help hospitals and clinics afford more expensive medicines. Hospitals are encouraged to use 340B pharmacies to save money on their drug bills, and many have started to do so. However, it’s not all roses. Some hospitals have seen negative effects from using 340B pharmacies, and are considering terminating their contracts with these pharmacies.
The 340B program has seen a dramatic impact on the industry. In the past year, 340B purchases made through contract pharmacy networks grew by 50%. That growth has slowed significantly since the manufacturers pulled out. After these manufacturers pulled out of the program, the number of new 340B purchases declined by 20%, according to Apexus data. This is a major development in the pharmacy industry and should be monitored closely.
Despite these gains, drugmakers are still fighting back. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, at least 17 drugmakers have withdrawn from 340B because they don’t like the way patients fill their prescriptions. In the meantime, contract pharmacies have made arrangements with 340B providers to fill prescriptions at reduced prices. These contract pharmacies are a good way to reduce the cost of prescriptions.
Despite the negative press aimed at the 340B program, the 330B program has expanded access to care for millions of patients and increased the number of eligible providers. The program was designed to help safety-net providers address their patient’s needs while stretching federal resources as far as possible. However, it has been plagued by complaints of discrimination from third-party payers. In addition, due to its complex recordkeeping and infrastructure, some drug manufacturers have started refusing to give discounts to contract pharmacies.