Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit 2022

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IQVIA’s Lucas Greenwalt says manufacturers must provide assistance to patients if they want their new brands to meet their sales targets as payers strategize to cope with costs and the growing number of ultra-expensive drugs that soar.

According to Lucas Greenwalt, Vice President and Head of IQVIA’s Market Access Center of Excellence, Patient Assistance Programs are not just occasional coupons, but a centerpiece of drug marketing strategy. brands that are new to the market.

And that market has become increasingly complex and multifaceted as manufacturers and payers navigate the price and cost market dynamics, Greenwalt said during a presentation Monday at the 2022 Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit: “The degree of complexity in the industry is at all times high.”

Up to 70% of newly launched brands are supported by patient care, by manufacturers, Greenwalt told a large audience during his presentation. “We see manufacturers stepping in as the primary payer.”

“It’s no longer that we see patient support becoming a secondary strategy as products come to market,” Greenwalt later added. “It is now the main strategy for brand success when you launch a product.”

Payers have responded to co-pay assistance with accumulation programs that cause the coupon value to not count toward the deductible. Greenwalt shared data showing that between 5% and 25% of specialty brands are affected by battery programs. For patients, accumulators can mean a “co-pay surprise,” which means a significant increase in their out-of-pocket expenses. The rate at which patients discontinue their prescriptions is 13 times higher after a co-pay surprise than it otherwise would be, Greenwalt said.

In Greenwalt’s description, the market for newly launched brand-name drugs is increasingly hampered by payers’ efforts to control costs through prior authorization, formulary placement and other drug management efforts. the pharmacy. He said only 1 in 4 patients who are prescribed a new brand product are able to successfully fill that prescription the first time they try. One of the results of this and other experiments that lead to declining prescriptions is that many (more than half) newly launched drugs miss their first-year sales forecasts, he said.

Greenwalt also discussed the growing number of drugs with annual list prices of $200,000. Over the past 20 years, he said, about 70 drugs have been launched in this price range. This number of IQVIA projects will double over the next five years.

The problem is not paying for a particular drug; Greenwalt noted that many of these ultra-expensive drugs are cures or for conditions without other treatments. “The question is how are we going to pay them all?”

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