Seven Specialty Pharmacy Trends to Watch in 2023

Pharmaceutical CompaniesImage by Angelo Rosa

BERWYN, PAAscellaHealth, a global healthcare and specialty pharmacy (SP) solutions company, has released its list of SP industry trends to watch in 2023, including numerous positive developments that impact all stakeholders in the ecosystem and care continuum spanning patients, payers, life sciences manufacturers and providers.

“AscellaHealth is at the fulcrum of the SP industry worldwide and uniquely positioned to identify some of the key trends that help all stakeholders to address unmet market needs and optimize health outcomes for individuals with rare disease or complex conditions,” says Dea Belazi, president and CEO, AscellaHealth. “In 2023, these market developments require targeted programs and complete end-to-end solutions that ensure medication access and affordability, cost management and opportunities for improving patient outcomes. Global market conditions coupled with the sheer number and scope of specialty medications, cell and gene therapies (CGT) pose challenges best met by organizations that are steeped in addressing the complexities of rare diseases and have the flexibility to anticipate change and quickly respond.”

AscellaHealth’s key trends for 2023 include:

1. Greater focus on specialty and rare disease therapies
Private-sector investment and interest will drive research and influence policymaker support for specialty drug development, including CGT. The specialty pharmaceuticals market is expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 35.4% by 2027 while gene/cell therapy market will reach $21.33 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 25.6%. Many new ultra-expensive therapies are becoming available, putting extraordinary pressures on our target markets of life sciences manufacturers and payers to improve patient access to treatment and ensure affordability.

2. Improved commercial planning for new pharmaceutical rollouts
Meticulous planning, disciplined execution will help pharmaceutical manufacturers to improve product launches and meet their business goals – from pre-commercialization through launch including, market access insights and unique financial programs to enhance medication access and optimize outcomes.

3. Greater reliance on global expertise
The ongoing transition to serve rare disease patients worldwide with access to specialty drugs and CGT will intensify the need for international experience and expertise to bring these products to market globally.

4. A shift toward Value-Based (VB) and Outcome-Based Contracts
These types of contracts promote greater patient access to new biopharmaceutical treatments by linking reimbursement, coverage or payment to a treatment’s real-world performance and patient outcomes.

5. Innovative Financial Solutions for CGT
Continued increases in CGT costs will put pressures on employers, state Medicaid programs, commercial payers and providers throughout the health ecosystem. This will drive innovative approaches for absorbing these costs, which can exceed multi-million-dollar price tags for payers and individual patients. Unique financial solutions, such as loan-based programs for payers, significantly offset the cost of expensive and potentially curative CGTs.

6. Ongoing improvements in patient engagement
Patient-centric care is driving an expanded role for patient care coordinators, transcending all activities related to improving access to treatments and streamlining communications between prescriber, patient and SP that impact therapy management, including interventions and side effects management, financial concerns and other issues. Expect expanded market presence of SP solutions organizations and their technology, such as mobile apps and call centers to better connect with patients in managing their conditions. These capabilities will improve patient engagement, drive more efficient administration, decrease time to fill and optimize outcomes.

7. Carved-out prescription medical, pharmacy and contracting benefits
Self-funded employers, plan sponsors and other payers are contracting directly with an SP provider in designing their benefit packages. This enables payers to gain better control over SP costs, have greater transparency into their benefit claims and strengthen their negotiating power.

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