PHARMACY

Specialty to overtake traditional drugs in five years, report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Specialty drug spend will surpass traditional drug spend by 2018 for commercial plan sponsors, according to a new study.

Healthcare research firm Artemetrx announced Wednesday the release of its 2013 Specialty Drug Trend Study, finding that specialty drugs already represent 30% of total drug spend after the specialty claims covered under the medical benefit are fully captured, compared with the 15% to 20% frequently reported for specialty drugs as a percentage of total drug spend.

"Given these findings, plan sponsors need visibility into their entire specialty drug spend, not just that residing under the pharmacy benefit," Artemetrx president Brenda Motheral said. "When specialty medication use goes unmeasured, plans cannot effectively manage their specialty benefit."

The study’s researchers forecasted that total specialty drug spend will grow from $290 per member per year to $845 by 2018 due to a strong drug pipeline, price inflation and an expanded number of approved uses for drugs.

"Specialty spend is going to overtake traditional drug spend quicker than most plan sponsors realize due to the siloed reporting of specialty drugs that currently exists in the marketplace," Motheral said. "Opportunities to better manage specialty drugs abound, but they are often unique from those used for non-specialty drugs."


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Reports: NY to use GPS-fitted pill bottles to track thieves

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — New York is hoping to battle the theft of highly addictive prescription drugs, such as Oxycontin, by stocking pharmacies with fake pill bottles that are fitted with GPS tracking devices, according to published reports.

The Washington Post reported that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said, in prepared remarks provided before a conference Tuesday in California sponsored by former president Bill Clinton’s foundation, that the initiative was sparked by a series of crimes associated with the black market for prescription painkillers.

The initiative is reportedly dubbed “Operation Safety Cap.”

According to a Reuters report, federal and New York Police Department investigators last year seized 9,000 painkillers being sold at an open-air drug market in northern Manhattan.

A database of about 6,000 pharmacies in the New York City area currently is being created by the NYPD, according to the Post. Police offers are expected to visit those pharmacies to recommend better security measures, including the adoption of the GPS-fitted bottles.

To read the entire article by the Post, click here.
 

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Report: Kinney Drugs’ new specialty Rx subsidiary to open mail-order facility in DeWitt

BY Antoinette Alexander

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. — Specialty pharmacy service provider Noble Health Associates, a newly created subsidiary of regional player Kinney Drugs, is looking to open a mail-order facility in DeWitt, N.Y., according to a local news report.

Director of specialty pharmacy for Noble Health Michael Becker told The Post-Standard that it plans to open the facility in the spring or summer and will employ 31 people.

Noble Health will dispense, by mail, specialty medications for diseases such as AIDS, according to the article. The business in DeWitt will process orders, package the medications and ship them, serving customers throughout the country, The Post-Standard reported.
 

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