March 13, 2017 – Curant Health COO, Marc O’Connor, in Specialty Pharmacy Times – Each year, spring heralds the arrival of the annual Asembia (formerly Armada) Specialty Pharmacy Summit. The significant increase in attendance the event has demonstrated year after year is a testament to the growth of the industry, and the quality content served up at the conference.

However, our industry faces significant challenges in pricing pressures on manufacturers, highly uncertain national insurance policy shifts, and high levels of concern over direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees being imposed on specialty pharmacies by Medicare Part D sponsors and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Through this lens, how can Asembia 2017 attendees derive the most value from the event?

Here are a few tips for specialty pharmacy and manufacturer representatives on effectively leveraging your investment in time, and benefit from the networking and educational opportunities.

For specialty pharmacy representatives, large and small:

1. Go with an alignment mind-set focused on care
We maintain that specialty pharmacists have the greatest opportunity to improve outcomes for patients with chronic conditions due to the frequency of direct patient engagement opportunities that support providers who simply do not have the time, and payers who need to derive the highest value from the cost of specialty therapies from improvements in adherence. How do you align often divergent interests?

2. Manage your calendar by starting with the after hour, highest priority meetings
It should come as no surprise, but it bears repeating. Business deals typically do not get done during the day at the Asembia conference. The introductions may happen at that time, but the real advancement or consummation of deals at Asembia gets done after hours. Reach out to your colleagues with whom you have value-based opportunities to schedule coffee, drinks, dinner, or a nightcap. Get them on your calendar as soon as possible.

3. Don’t anticipate meeting with many PBM representatives
Last year’s Asembia event saw the fewest number of PBM representatives attending in recent memory. This is unfortunate, because the gap between specialty pharmacists, PBMs, payers, and manufacturers appears to be widening when the entire care community needs to be coming together. DIR fees will be a hot topic in the background of the event. Identifying solutions for improving outcomes, while keeping specialty pharmacies in business, is going to require an aligned ecosystem-wide effort.

To read Marc’s full article, visit Specialty Pharmacy Times.

To learn more about Curant Health, contact Kristin Lindsey, Senior Marketing Director, at klindsey@curanthealth.com.