The creation of the “softer, gentler” PBM is one of my predictions driven by the rise in specialty pharmacy. While generic fill rates and mail order penetration still matter to earnings, the focus across the industry is on specialty.
- What can we expect in terms of pipeline?
- How and when will genetic tests be required? (i.e., companion diagnostics)
- How can we treat the patient not just fill the drug?
This will bring back a focus on how pharma and the PBMs work together which has had a bumpy past. Initially the two were very close. Then, with the rise of generics and more trend programs like prior authorization and step therapy, the PBMs and pharma butted heads frequently.
Of course, the situation for pharma has changed also. They are trying to figure out how to go “beyond the pill” and create new consumer relationship and make money. (Here’s a good article about pharma and digital from the other day.)
In case you missed them, here’s a few other things that are relevant:
- Envision just hired the former head of Accredo as their CEO.
- CVS Caremark bought Coram.
- All of the trend reports focus on specialty – Express Scripts, CVS Caremark, CatamaranRx, and Prime Therapeutics.
And, I think this screenshot from the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference Presentation given by Express Scripts shows that they are focused on this care and delivery intersection by continuing to show the success from the Therapeutic Resource Centers.
So, what do you think? Will the PBMs become more care management focused? Will they integrate with the other care providers? Will this be the beginning of their focus on working with ACOs and PCMHs? Will this change their approach? Will we see PBMs differentiating around key, chronic diseases like the specialty pharmacies have done? Will this create an opportunity for integrated PBMs (i.e., Humana, Cigna, Aetna) to differentiate?