An Introduction to Specialty Drugs
This module introduces you to specialty pharmaceuticals by addressing the following key questions:
• Why are specialty drugs significant?
• What are their key characteristics?
Job Aid: Partnering with Specialists
Specialty sales requires a sophisticated, customer-driven approach that can elevate your role as a healthcare sales professional. This tool provides some advice to help you speak the language of specialists, offer meaningful support to practices, and work collaboratively in the field.
Protecting Market Access as Biosimilars Emerge
The entry of biosimilars into the US marketplace will likely create a more competitive environment that could affect market access for all products in a therapeutic category. This module describes some of the strategies that biopharmaceutical companies might use to protect market access and identifies opportunities for sales teams to continue to serve their customers in the face of greater competition.
Specialty Drugs: Distribution and Reimbursement
This module describes how distribution and reimbursement differ under the medical ("buy-and-bill") and pharmacy benefit models. It explains why these models, which were designed for traditional drugs, become problematic when used to distribute and reimburse specialty drugs. It views these issues from the perspectives of payers, providers, and patients. Finally, it looks at current attempts to adapt and adjust these models to better fit the needs of the specialty drug supply chain.
Specialty Drugs: Stakeholders and Market Trends
Many stakeholders are engaged in the specialty market. For example, physicians must carefully weigh the risks and rewards of “buy-and-bill” distribution of specialty drugs. This module explains some of the key players and issues in the specialty market by addressing the following key questions:
• Who are the key specialty pharmaceutical stakeholders?
• What direction is the specialty market taking?
The Cost of Specialty Drugs
The cost of specialty drugs has come under scrutiny from payers, providers, and the public. To address these concerns, you first need to understand what contributes to the cost—and how that cost is managed. This module describes some of the key issues, including:
• The factors that contribute to higher specialty drug costs.
• How payers manage these costs.
• The implications for sales teams.
The Dynamics of the Specialty Supply Chain
To construct a persuasive value proposition for a specialty drug, you first need to understand the “business of specialty drugs.” This module describes the business systems that move specialty drugs through the market, including:
• How specialty drugs are distributed and reimbursed through the medical benefit or pharmacy benefit.
• How decisions are made in the supply chain.
• The role support services play, such as in-patient adherence assistance and data management.
The Entry of Biosimilars into the US Market
More biosimilars are expected to enter the US market in the coming years, potentially creating a more competitive market for biologic products and other competitive products. Understanding the basics of biosimilars is crucial for sales teams with products that treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, inflammatory bowel disease, skin conditions, and some cancers. This module explains how biosimilars are developed and the key concept of interchangeability. It also describes how customers view the emergence of biosimilars, including their expectations for how the products could affect healthcare costs in the US.
Understanding Buy and Bill
This micro-course outlines five quick facts you should know about drug distribution and the reimbursement model, offering a foundational understanding of the Buy-and-Bill model.
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