Last Word: Optimizing specialty supplying
The purpose of any prescription medication — whether it is a branded drug, generic, specialty medication or biosimilar — is to treat illnesses, cure diseases, mitigate symptoms or, in some cases, to help prevent disease. As an industry, it is our collective job to work together to get that medication to patients at the right time and right place in order for them to be successful.
Evolving distribution models
It is no surprise that the specialty pharmaceuticals market continues to grow, with both the number of specialty drugs and the percentage of drug spend increasing. While a number of these products are managed through the specialty pharmacy channel, many specialty drugs also can be dispensed at hospitals, clinics and retail pharmacies. This is particularly true of medications for hepatitis C, HIV and inflammatory conditions, among others.
These medications often have special needs for handling and storage, and may have shorter shelf lives than traditional medicines. This, when combined with the need to ensure access to help patients avoid delays in starting treatment, has changed how biopharma and life science companies think about distribution channels. More products are managed using a just-in-time approach that utilizes overnight delivery to fulfill next-day service to providers.
McKesson is building an ecosystem that connects biopharma and life sciences companies, providers, pharmacies and payers to successfully commercialize medications and maximize our collective impact on patients’ lives. Today, delivery service performance is the price of entry. We are proud that McKesson maintains 99.999% inventory and order accuracy. However, we believe what sets us apart is our ability to work with biopharma and life science companies to help educate and design the right commercial model that reaches a variety of healthcare providers to ensure patient access. This is about designing a commerical strategy that optimizes patient access to medication and supports the efforts of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare providers to care for patients throughout their treatment journey.
Supporting biopharma companies with the careful coordination of their specialty products through the entire product lifecycle, McKesson’s third-party logistics, or 3PL, services provide a seamless service model for patient and customer ease of access. By combining McKesson’s long-standing distribution services success with pharmaceutical experience, our 3PL services help biopharma companies deliver products accurately and on time to hospitals, physician practices, pharmacies and clinics.
Beyond distribution models, McKesson is focused on helping patients avoid delays in treatment, using its award-winning call center to accelerate patient on-boarding, prior authorizations, medication benefit investigation and access to foundation support, if needed. McKesson utilizes live agent support to identify adherence barriers, and offers solutions that can be paired with financial assistance or educational support programs.
McKesson is committed to working with our biopharma and life sciences partners in designing the right commercial strategy for their medications. Together, we do this to improve the lives of the patients who we communally serve.
Layne Martin is vice president of supply chain services at McKesson Specialty Health.
Lupin intros clobetasol propionate lotion, cream
Lupin has introduced two additions to its topical generics portfolio. The company launched its generic of Galderma Labs’ Clobex Lotion (clobetasol propionate lotion, 0.05%) and Fougera Pharmaceuticals’ Temovate Cream (clobetasol propionate cream, 0.05%).
Lupin’s generic Clobex Lotion and its generic Temovate Cream are indicated to relieve inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of dermatoses that respond to corticosteroids.
Clobetasol propionate lotion had U.S. sales of $12.6 million for the 12 months ended December 2017 and the cream had U.S. sales of $135 million for the 12 months ended October 2017, according to IQVIA data.
eRX Network brings Maaraba aboard from PharmaSmart
Change Healthcare company eRx Network is adding to its team. The Forth Worth, Texas-based pharmacy claims switching and e-prescription routing company has named Ashton Maaraba its new senior vice president of products and partnerships, effective immediately.
In his new role, Maaraba — most recently COO at health kiosk company PharmaSmart — will oversee eRx Network’s product team and oversee product design, innovation and development. He also will supervise account management for eRx Network’s partners, including retailers, technology vendors and pharmaceutical vendors.
“I look forward to collaborating closely with Ashton, as we leverage his deep industry knowledge and skills in leading our expert product and account management teams, while growing our product offerings and further strengthening our highly valued partner relationships,” eRx Network senior vice president of sales Richard Brook said.
Maaraba’s experie3nce with pharmacy services, pharmaceuticals and medical devices spans roughly 20 years. At PharmaSmart, where he held various roles since 2008, he held a role overseeing its business development, brand management and corporate operations. He had previously held leadership positions at FlavoRx and worked as a part of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ advisory council and planning committee, as well as at Neighbourhood Pharmacies in Canada.
“I am thrilled to join eRx Network, which boasts an award-winning team of experts, demonstrated product integrity, and credible thought leadership in the pharmacy services industry. eRx Network continues to implement and advance new standards within the claims switching and prescription routing marketplace,” Maaraba said. “eRx Network combines state-of the-art and trusted technology with a commitment to modernizing its existing networks and unlocking hidden value in its core product offerings and data assets.”