News & Events

Think Patients and PHSI Named PM360 Trailblazer 2017 Initiative Winners

Press Release

 

For Immediate Release

 

THINK PATIENTS AND PHARMACY HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS, INC. NAMED PM360 TRAILBLAZER 2017 INITIATIVE WINNERS FOR THE EMR/EHR PROGRAM CATEGORY


[NEW YORK, NY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2017] — PM360, a publication for marketing decision makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries, recently named Think Patients and Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions Inc.’s “Supporting Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in the New Age of Digital Care” program as the Trailblazer Initiative “Gold Winner” in the EMR/EHR Program category.

The winning program, which was selected from among a group of three finalists in the EMR/EHR Program category, was recognized for outstanding achievement and marketing innovation.  To develop the “Supporting Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in the New Age of Digital Care” program, Think Patients and PHSI worked with pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug compendia organizations.  The service works to ensure pharmaceutical products are displayed clearly and appropriately in EMR/EHR systems for prescribers to view in the product selection step of the prescribing process.

Winners were honored during a special reception at Gotham Hall in New York City on Thursday, September 14, 2017.  After announcement of the award, Don Dietz, Vice President of PHSI said, “This exciting news is a true testament to our ability to stand out in the complex, ever-changing healthcare environment.  The judges looked at the EMR/EHR category nominated programs’ content, format, and success in reaching the targeted audience, overall quality, and results.  Think Patients and Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions Inc. (PHSI) thank their peers in the pharmaceutical and HIT industries for this recognition.  We are very proud of our work in this area, and are especially proud and appreciative of the work all of our colleagues have done to develop this service.”

Since 2009, the PM360 Trailblazer awards have recognized outstanding achievement and innovation in healthcare marketing. Each year, nominations are judged by the PM360 Editorial Advisory Board, a distinguished cross-section of industry experts. Winning initiatives were selected for their ability to stand out in the complex, ever-changing healthcare environment, and were judged on their ability to overcome challenges; the skill, innovation and quality of planning and execution; and the effectiveness of the work.

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About PM360

PM360 is the premier, must-read magazine for marketing decision makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries. Published monthly, PM360 is the only journal that focuses on delivering the full spectrum of practical information necessary for product managers and pharmaceutical marketing professionals to succeed in the complex and highly regulated healthcare environment.

The journal’s targeted and insightful editorial focuses on issues that directly impact critical decision making, including: Planning and implementation of cutting edge strategies, trends, the latest technological advances, branding/marketing, advertising/promotion, patient/professional education, sales, market research, PR, and leadership. Additionally, the “360” in the title signifies the span of this critical, how-to info with personal and career insights for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

By providing the full circle of enriching content, PM360 is truly an indispensable tool for busy and productive marketing professionals to stay at the top of their game.

 

About Think Patients

Think Patients is a marketing consulting and research company serving both pharmaceutical and vaccine companies and firms that supply these industries. Think Patients is proud of its deep experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing with leaders and consultants that have spent their careers building and managing leading brands, developing game-changing products and services, and leading teams, franchises and companies to success.

Given our experience with patient education, direct marketing and data-driven communication, many people assume our name refers to a “patient marketing” company. And while we do assist clients in these areas, they are not the focus of our practice. Our name is simply meant to reflect our belief that great pharmaceutical, vaccine and healthcare marketing – like all great marketing – begins by thinking about the customer. And in these markets, that means thinking about the patient even when the immediate audience is physicians, payers, policy makers or patients.

 

About PHSI

Founded in 1996, Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions Inc. (PHSI) provides consulting solutions that improve the profitability of our healthcare clients.  PHSI clients are comprised of many worldwide pharmaceutical manufacturers including 5 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world by revenue.  PHSI also provides consulting support to a host of notable managed care organizations, pharmacies of all types, pharmacy benefits managers, and software companies. Consulting projects across these market segments provide PHSI with the latest information on emerging trends as well as new products and services.  Our experienced consultants create actionable recommendations for our clients’ challenging business issues.

Contacts:

PM360 :

Andrew Matthius

Senior Editor, PM360

646-300-8113

www.pm360online.com

 

Think Patients :

Joe Meadows

President, Think Patients LLC

484-200-7898

www.thinkpatients.com

 

Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions, Inc. :

Donald Dietz

Vice President, Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (PHSI)

412-635-4650

www.phsirx.com

 

A PDF version of the Press Release is available here.

Dave Schuetz and Fred Hamlin Attending NCPDP’s November Work Group Meetings

PHSI Director of Business Development Fred Hamlin and PHSI Consultant Dave Schuetz will be attending the NCPDP Joint Technical Work Group Meetings November 8th and 9th, 2017 at the Hilton Long Beach in Long Beach, CA.  The Work Group Meetings provide a venue for NCPDP members and industry stakeholders to come together to address issues and create solutions for pharmacy and healthcare.

Contact PHSI if you would like to schedule a meeting with Fred or Dave while at the Work Group Meetings.

Mark your Calendars for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is scheduled for October 28, 2017 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at participating locations. The previous Take Back Day in April 2017 collected 450 Tons of drug products at nearly 5,500 collection sites around the country.

Visit https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/SEARCH-NTBI to find a disposal site near you.

Bring your unused, expired, and unwanted medication to a site near you. It is important to dispose of medication properly to reduce the risk of harm from taking an expired medication, accidental exposure, and intentional misuse.

Different medications can be disposed of in different ways. Most medication can be disposed of at registered take-back locations. Some locations may have individual limitations on medication that they can accept, but medications and supplies that should be excluded from this process include:

  • Controlled substances (though police stations may be able to handle the disposal of these medications)
  • Needles and syringes
  • Diabetic testing supplies
  • IV bags and tubing
  • Biohazard material

Diabetic testing supplies and needles can be disposed of at home using an opaque container such as a laundry detergent bottle. Make sure the bottle is sealed tightly and dispose of it in the trash.

PHSI supports efforts to remove unused or expired medication to reduce harm to consumers.

ComputerTalk for the Pharmacist July/August 2017

PHSI President Tim Kosty contributed to the July/August 2017 edition of ComputerTalk for the Pharmacist. In his Viewpoints article, Tim explores the historical issues with DUR system configurations and suggest steps the industry needs to take to improve patient safety.

Click here to read Tim’s article entitled “Drug Utilization Alerts: Failures and Future Direction”. You can read full versions of current and past ComputerTalk issues at http://www.computertalk.com/issues-archive.

2017 Summer Newsletter- FDA Orange Book Added Identifier

FDA Orange Book Added Identifier

Prior to 2017, the FDA’s “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations” (Orange Book) used the Reference Listed Drug (RLD) identifier for different uses, depending upon the market situation.  These uses included the RLD identifying the NDA or an ANDA (when the NDA was no longer marketed or other extraordinary situations) that would identify the product to compare for bioequivalence.  The RLD was also used as the standard for generics to use for pharmacokinetic testing when preparing for an ANDA submission.

In this scenario, when an ANDA was identified as the RLD, the FDA clarified which product prospective ANDA applicants should use for bioequivalence testing as the reference standard.  This change created new issues because the ANDA applicant knew which product to conduct their pharmacokinetic testing, but there was no longer a NDA to use as the basis of generic labeling.  This caused confusion for ANDA applicants because the RLD identifier was being used to determine the “reference standard” (RS), which may not have been the basis for product labeling.

In 2017, the FDA updated the Orange Book to split the RLD identifier into the two unique definitions.  The RLD now solely refers to the application and labeling aspect the ANDA applicant should reference. The RS determines the product to conduct the bioequivalence testing.  In many cases, the RLD and RS are the same product.  The separate identifiers can be used to clearly delineate the focus for the applicant’s labeling vs. the bioequivalence testing.

FDA Orange Book Examples May 2017

Januvia, a single source brand, depicts the scenario in the Orange Book where only the brand is listed and available.  Januvia is both the RLD and RS reference product.

Summer NL 1

Darifenacin (generic Enablex) demonstrates that the NDA will continue to be identified as the RLD and RS as long as it is marketed.

Summer NL 2

The RLD can identify a discontinued NDA product, while the RS can identify an active ANDA so the ANDA applicant can clearly determine the comparison application for labeling (RLD) and the comparison application for pharmacokinetic studies (RS).

This second scenario is found with Cefaclor oral suspension.  The active ANDA is the RS, and the discontinued NDA, Ceclor, is the RLD.  Prior to the FDA change in 2017, the ANDA would have been identified as the RLD instead of the discontinued NDA.

Summer NL 3

The reference standard (RS) in the FDA Orange Book is a new identifier on certain products and depicts which product the applicant should use for bioequivalence testing.  The new RS identifier is not currently found in the drug compendia, but must be referenced in the FDA Orange Book.  The RLD now is solely focused on identifying the product to reference the labeling.  ANDA applicants now have clarity from the FDA for labeling (RLD) and product source for pharmacokinetic testing (RS).

 

2017 Summer Newsletter- 2018 Drug Exclusion Lists

2017 Summer Newsletter- 2018 Drug Exclusion Lists

Express Scripts and CVS Health 2018 Drug Exclusion Lists

Express Scripts and CVS Health have released their highly anticipated formulary exclusion lists for 2018.  Although CVS Health states that they will not finalize their list until September 15, they have published the expected formulary exclusions, indicating  that the autoimmune and hepatitis C categories may change.  PHSI analyzed the exclusion lists to note trends and changes over time.  Including combination products (e.g. Benicar and Benicar HCT), CVS Health added 21 products to their exclusion list, while Express Scripts added 68 drugs.  With many blockbuster drugs losing brand exclusivity in the past few years, it is not surprising that the 2018 exclusions lists are rife with multi-source brand products.

Of the 68 drugs added to Express Scripts’ formulary exclusion list, 50 were multi-source brands.  Meanwhile, eight of CVS’s twenty-one exclusions have generic alternatives available.  On both the CVS Health and Express Scripts’ lists, commonalities exist with both PBMs adding Effexor XR, Seroquel XR, Zetia, and Benicar/Benicar HCT to their exclusion lists.  Because lower-cost generics are now readily available for these products, excluding these brands will lower costs.

Specialty drugs may be the new frontier of drug innovation and account for the majority of new product launches.  See PHSI’s previous newsletter article, “2016: The Decline of New Drug Approvals and Increase in Expedited Reviews”.  However, specialty drugs were not overly abundant on the 2018 exclusion lists.  Both CVS Health and Express Scripts each added four specialty drugs to their 2018 exclusion lists.  CVS added Elelyso, Follistim, Synvisc, and Synvisc One, while Express Scripts added Sandostatin LAR Depot, Signifor LAR, Neupogen, and Forteo.

For Express Scripts, one of the most interesting exclusions was epinephrine auto-injectors from A-S Medication, Impax, and Lineage.  Express Scripts appears to have partnered with Mylan to promote the EpiPen and generic Mylan epinephrine auto-injector, which are the preferred alternatives.  CVS Health does not include either the EpiPen or generic epinephrine auto-injectors on their exclusion list.  However, in the past year, CVS retail stores have been promoting their low cash price epinephrine program, which provides the Impax/Lineage epinephrine product to patients for approximately $110.  Based on the success of that program, it is not unusual to see the epinephrine market divided amongst the PBMs (CVS and Express Scripts) and manufacturers (Mylan and Impax/Lineage).

New exclusions were not the only changes seen on the 2018 lists.  CVS announced that 18 products are being removed from the exclusion list, perhaps due to shifting costs or increased rebates from brand manufacturers.  Of the 18 items being re-added to the formulary, 13 will be placed on a preferred drug tier, while the remaining five will be placed on a non-preferred tier.  The items being removed from the exclusion list are shown in the chart below.

2018 Exclusion List Removals

Based on prior exclusions, Express Scripts notes that a total of 159 drugs are now included on their formulary exclusion list.  Meanwhile, CVS appears to have approximately 180 products on their exclusion list, although this may change when the autoimmune and hepatitis C categories are finalized mid-September.  It will be interesting to watch the exclusion list changes in coming years, especially as biosimilars become more prevalent.

The chart below lists new products on the CVS Health and Express Scripts 2018 drug exclusion lists that were not present on the 2017 lists.

2018 Exclusion List

 

2017 Summer Newsletter- FDA Orange Book Added Identifier

Tim Kosty Presented on Drug Utilization Edits at ASAP Midyear

PHSI President Tim Kosty presented on “Drug Utilization Edits: Failures, Needs, and Future Direction” at the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP) 2017 Midyear Conference. Tim’s presentation reviewed a variety of issues, including historical implementation of DUR edits, pharmacy workflow considerations, choices made by pharmacy chain management to display/suppress messages, payers’ choices on DUR messaging in their claims processing systems, legal implications, and future strategies and tactics. Click here to view Tim’s presentation slides. You can access all of the 2017 ASAP Annual Conference presentations at http://www.asapnet.org/2017-midyear.html

ComputerTalk for the Pharmacist May/June 2017

PHSI Consultant Dave Schuetz contributed to the May/June 2017 edition of ComputerTalk for the Pharmacist. In his Viewpoints article, Dave discusses the concern that the NDC (National Drug Code) number is going to run out of numbers sometime in the next decade and the need for industry stakeholders to start the discussion and work toward a goal before it’s too late.

Click here to read Dave’s article entitled “What Happens When We Run Out of NDC Numbers?”

ComputerTalk for the Pharmacist January/February 2017

PHSI President Tim Kosty and Vice President Don Dietz contributed to the January/February 2017 edition of ComputerTalk for the Pharmacist. In their Viewpoints article, Tim and Don provide a forecast of market changes for 2017. The article reviews topics related to industry challenges, preferred pharmacy networks, driving pharmacy efficiency, clinical services, and industry consolidation.

Click here to read their article entitled “The Outlook for 2017”.

Conflicts with Value-Based Medication Pricing

With multiple diverse variables and stakeholders to consider, controlling healthcare expenditures has proven to be a difficult problem to solve. Recently, the American Medical Association has voiced support for Value-Based Medication Pricing. This means that a drug would be priced based on the benefit to the patient’s care. While this may seem like a promising strategy, there are several concerns that arise under value-based pricing. For instance, generic drugs often provide high levels of care but do not fall under high price brackets. Under a value-based system, would the prices increase to reflect the value of a low-cost antibiotic? Also, many nonessential prescription products do not make it onto an insurance formulary, including various topical products that are mostly used for cosmetic purposes. This means that the value is much more personal to the patient. The ambiguity in value makes it extremely difficult to establish a value-based price.  In value-based pricing, the payer is the stakeholder defining value.  Another concern that is often brought up when discussing drug costs is research and development.  Often, profits in pharmaceutical manufacturing are used to fund research and development for new innovative medications. Many fear that drastically changing the way medications are priced could hinder new drugs coming to market. Time will tell if value-based pricing attracts more attention but both arguments highlight the fact that coming up with a strategy to price medications is no easy task.

 

http://insidepatientcare.com/issues/2016/december-2016-vol-4-no-12/449-value-based-medication-pricing