Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013 - (Page 1)

MARCH/APRIL 2013 Brand Marketing & Communications Information Technology Sales automation tools make strides in Pharma struggles to manage the complexity of its Patient Assistance Programs addressing industry needs While awaiting the effects of the Affordable Care Act on PAPs, industry and its service providers wrestle with conflicting priorities By Suzanne Shelley, Contributing Editor Not too long ago, the mission of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) operated by bioph armaceutical companie s was f air ly straightforward: give free or reduced-cost branded medications to those patients who could not afford them. While the drug-specific eligibility criteria typically vary from program to program, eligibility has typically been based on a relatively small set of factors—primarily the patient’s income relative to the federal poverty limit (FPL), number of family This assistance card from RxHope, a Triplefin members and a few others. company, can be used at 60,000 pharmacies “A decade ago, patients who had insurance were nationwide. Credit: RxHope generally able to afford their medications,” says Tracy Foster, president of Lash Group (Charlotte, NC), a unit of AmerisourceBergen Consulting Services. “Today, many factors impact medication affordability.” These include the stagnant economy, increasing drug costs, a growing market for expensive oral medications and extremely costly specialty, orphan or ultra-orphan drugs, the increased use of complex, multi-drug treatment regimens, an overall trend toward higher out-of-pocket expenses (such as higher insurance premiums, deductibles and coinsurance requirements) as employers shift more of their rising healthcare costs to their employees. During each of the past four years, Lash Group has surveyed roughly 85 PAP administrators to track trends in the market. Roughly half of the PAPs surveyed have expanded the financial criteria of their programs, to help those whose financial needs have grown during these challenging economic times. Similarly, in 2012, 31% of PAP administrators reported an expansion of other eligibility criteria for free product assistance, so that they now include not only patients who have no insurance, but also those who may be “functionally uninsured” because their insurance does not cover medications, or creates high deductibles or cost shares compared to disposable income, says Foster. “Our estimate is that nationally, the pharma industry spends $5 billion on PAPs,” says Edward Petrella, president of CareNet Foundation, a PAP-service firm in Cary, NC. “To that can be added some portion—we believe that it’s around 65–70%—of the $14 billion the industry spends annually on physician sampling.” Thus, the entire PAP support, from pharma, is almost $15 billion. Meanwhile, as healthcare reform rolls forward, there is still considerable uncertainty about what the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) will be on the entire healthcare arena, and on PAPs and related copay-relief initiatives specifically. ACA-driven healthcare reforms will—by definition—reduce the number of individuals who are technically “uninsured” (by forcing nearly 30 million uninsured Americans to join expanded Medicaid programs or state-level health insurance continued on page 20 The near-takeover of detailing with the Apple iPad has created a springboard for new applications By Nicholas Basta What a difference 30 seconds make! That’s generally regarded as the difference in loading time between an Apple iPad and most types of laptop computers. And because pharma sales reps average between one and two minutes of face time when visiting physicians, those 30 seconds could become half of the time available for the interaction. That’s only one of the many reasons that sales forces throughout the worldwide life sciences industry have jumped onto the iPad platform; Apple’s interactive tablet is, of course, one of the most successful consumer electronics products in years, lauded for its convenience, ease of use and pleasantly viewed graphics. The iPad, in turn, has generated an upheaval in pharma sales force automation (SFA)—and that upheaval is having a ripple effect on overall pharma sales and marketing activities. continued on page 28 Manufacturing & Packaging Transdermal drug delivery looks for new frontiers Microneedles and ‘active’ patches extend the reach of transdermal applications By Peggy Wright, Contributing Editor The skin, the largest organ, effectively prevents passage of many foreign substances into the body. Passive transdermal products, such as patches and gels, creams, and sprays are able to pass some drugs through the skin at therapeutic rates to deliver drugs systemically. Drugs that are lipophilic, with low molecular weights and low dosages, can pass through the skin most easily. Not all small-molecule drugs, however, can do so; e.g., charged molecules. To enable delivery, products often use various passive technologies, including: • Particulate systems, such as liposomes, transfersomes (synthetic vesicles), microemulsions, or solid lipid nanoparticles • Chemical penetration enhancers, such as glycols and terpenes The skin provides an effective barrier as well to large-molecule drugs, such as continued on page 30 PONTIAC, IL PERMIT 268 PAID March | April 2013 Visit our website at 1 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013

Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013
Top News
Brand Marketing & Communications
Supply Chain/Logistics
Information Technology
Manufacturing & Packaging
Legal & Regulatory
Meetings and Editorial Index

Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013