Understanding the Real Impact of Recent Drug Pricing Announcements

In July, several major pharmaceutical companies responded to President Trump’s call to action to lower drug prices by announcing they would freeze price increases through the end of 2018. While much was made in the media about the effectiveness of the president’s request and the public announcements by some pharmaceutical companies at the time, no one really knew what the real impact would be on the actual cost of medications. More

Making the Case for Biosimilars

I recently had the pleasure and privilege to represent Vizient and present at a public hearing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), focused on removing barriers affecting the uptake of biosimilars, which offer a cost savings for some of the most expensive drugs on the market. Given the steep price for medications in our country, the importance of conversations like this cannot be overstated. More

Recognition is Nice, but Accuracy is Most Important with Biosimilars

It was a pleasant surprise to see not one, but two recent commentaries on the subject of biosimilars in prestigious publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). Given the novelty and complexity of biosimilars, new commentary in highly regarded clinical journals such as these is important to increasing the level of understanding and confidence necessary to boost adoption by clinicians.   More

Specialty Pharmacy: A Revenue Center in Disguise


Here’s a scenario: Department leaders across the health system are meeting to look for untapped sources of incremental revenue. They hope to find a traditional cost center that could become a strategic asset. An added bonus would be if it also enabled them to gain influence over patient care after discharge. Any ideas? I have one — specialty pharmacy.


Breaking the Opioid Prescribing Cycle through Stewardship

In 2015, 90 people died each day from an opioid overdose. If you subtract deaths attributed to heroin and synthetic opioids, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the number drops to 42 deaths per day. That is still 42 deaths daily from drugs that were prescribed by a licensed health care professional. How did we get here? More

The Unintended Consequences of the Orphan Drug Act

If you look up the word “orphan” in the dictionary it is commonly used to convey loss and abandonment. However, when orphan is used in the pharmaceutical industry, it conveys dollar signs. Big dollar signs. The world’s 10 most expensive drugs are all classified as orphan drugs and the orphan drug market is expanding rapidly. Projected worldwide sales are expected to outpace conventional drugs by twofold over the next six years. Moreover, orphan drugs are projected to account... More

And Then There Were Two: Biosimilars for Infliximab

The FDA recently achieved two significant firsts in one approval. On April 21, the FDA licensed infliximab-abda (Renflexis; Samsung) for marketing. While this product represents the fifth biosimilar approved in the United States, it is the first one licensed without the FDA conducting an advisory committee hearing prior to final endorsement. It is also the first time that a second biosimilar was approved for the same reference product infliximab (Remicade; Janssen Biotech). More

The FAST Generics Act Can Speed Up Pharmaceutical Competition


Given the challenge of achieving agreement on any issue in Washington, D.C., especially on topics involving health care, we should pause and celebrate situations where bipartisan behavior may be taking hold.


Navigating the Nuances of the Pharmacy Landscape

In my experience on the contracting side of pharmacy, I have yet to see an industry landscape quite as volatile and intriguing as the one we currently find ourselves navigating. As such, Vizient goes to great lengths to predict what’s coming down the pike in terms of trends, marketplace fluctuations and pricing variations, not just for our own organization, but to illuminate the landscape for our members as well. More

The Opioid Epidemic: How Joining Forces Can Turn the Tide

The U.S. is in the midst of a national crisis. In the past two decades we have seen increasing use, abuse and deaths associated with opioid medications. Here are a few disconcerting trends*: Prescribing opioids is on the increase. Approximately 20% of patients receive an opioid prescription for non-cancer-related symptoms or pain-related diagnosis in America. This 20% translates to approximately 259 million prescriptions or an equivalent of one bottle of opioids for every adult in America. More