Poised to consume half of all drug spend by 2018, specialty biologics reached 38% of total drug spend in 2016 and are the fastest growing class of bio pharmaceutical products. These drugs are often the best treatment option for complex and chronic, but controllable, diseases in oncology, endocrinology and inflammatory conditions.
As pharmaceutical development pipelines reflect a focus on specialty drugs, these strategies will help launch teams better understand and prepare for payer, PBM, HCP and patient responses to the changing landscape of competitive drug classes.
According to Valerie DeBenedette, Managing Editor of Drug Topics, in 2016, the leading specialty drug classes based on per-member, per-year costs, were:
- Inflammatory conditions ($118)
- Oncology ($61)
- Multiple sclerosis ($59)
- HIV ($40)
- Hepatitis C ($25)
By 2021, 64 specialty pharmacy drugs will be losing their patents, according to Aimee Tharaldson, Senior Clinical Consultant of Emerging Therapeutics at Express Scripts. As these patents expire, competition will rise from other patented drugs and biosimilar drugs.
5 Competitive Strategies
How can pharma companies stay competitive in these highly-managed specialty drug classes? Here are five methods developed by MMIT:
- Leverage therapeutic analogues
- Develop a contracting strategy
- Analyze payer and PBM behavior
- Arm field teams with information
- Make HCP education a priority
To learn more about this topic, download MMIT’s White Paper: Staying Competitive in a Specialty Drug Class.
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