Specialty Pharmaceutical Symposium Gathers Payers and Manufacturers to Discuss Industry Developments

On Thursday, December 10th, Acro Pharmaceutical Services (Acro) hosted their 9th Annual Symposium for Payer/Managed Care Strategies for Specialty Medications. This meeting gathered executives and representatives from health plans, pharmacy benefit management organizations, specialty pharmacy industry leaders and biotech pharmaceutical companies.

Key stakeholders in specialty pharmacy and healthcare from across the country assembled at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing specialty pharmacy in the changing healthcare environment as addressed by speakers and the first ever payer/pharmaceutical manufacturer panel discussion.
Acro’s Annual Symposium keynote speaker, Linda Schwimmer, President and CEO of New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, spoke on the influence of large employers and government over healthcare purchasing and benefit design, and how their influence directly affects the consumer. Linda’s presentation highlighted key drivers and challenges behind the major trends observed in the payer industry, and also discussed what ways the healthcare system can work as a whole to accomplish significant reform goals.

Another speaker included Suzette DiMascio, President & CEO of CSI Specialty Group who conveyed the channel changes, challenges and opportunities in the specialty pharmaceutical industry. Suzette discussed contracting strategies for drug manufacturers when engaging Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) and Large Employer Self-Funded Groups. Suzette also provided insights into how drug manufacturers should evaluate specialty pharmacy partners as part of their market launch strategy of a new specialty medication, and discussed some future developments (i.e. 340 B future regulations) that will have an impact on cost and access of specialty medications.

For the first time, there was a discussion panel that included participants from health plans, manufacturers, and academia. This multidisciplinary panel included members from Capital Blue Cross, BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Health Partners Plans, Horizon BlueCross BlueShield, Independent Health, and Widener University.  The discussion was moderated by Dr. Philip Gerbino, President Emeritus of the University of the Sciences.
Some of the topics that were discussed included:
  • Key structural changes affecting healthcare coverage
  • Current state of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and its impact on healthcare and specialty medication coverage
  • Top payer specialty medication concerns
  • Current trends in Payer Management of Specialty Drugs
  • Partnership improvement between drug manufacturers & payers
  • Transition of fee-for-service healthcare model to value service model 
Acro Pharmaceutical Services (Acro) dispenses specialty medications directly to physician offices and to patients’ homes throughout the United States (licensed in all 50 states). Acro Pharmaceutical Services offers online pharmacy services such as prescription refills, prior authorization forms, and other services to assist the patient and provider.

These specialty medications often focus on, but are not limited to, specific disease states such as Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, growth hormone deficiency, blood clotting disorders, types of cancer, pulmonary diseases, addiction treatment, mental health disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, rare orphan diseases and many others.

Acro is owned by Lincare Inc, a subsidiary of The Linde Group. While all specialty pharmacy services and support are provided at Acro’s headquarters in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, a national network of affiliated pharmacies owned by Lincare enables Acro to better serve patients and providers across the US.

SOURCE: Acro Pharmaceutical Services

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