Drug Channels.net has an interesting report on the specialty pharmacy business. Specialty pharmacy are biologic or large molecule drugs that require special pharmacy handling because, for example, they often are injectables. Biologic drugs are more expensive than small molecule / traditional drugs because the FDA still has not created a regulatory pathway for the approval of bio-similar drugs akin to small molecule generics. Drug Channels research
research shows a booming market:Specialty drugs also are dispensed in doctors' offices and clinics.
- In 2013, retail, mail, and specialty pharmacies dispensed about $63 billion in specialty pharmaceuticals.
- Specialty drugs accounted for 22% of total pharmacy industry revenues.
- Three companies—Express Scripts, CVS Caremark, and Walgreens—accounted for 63% of revenues from pharmacy-dispensed specialty drugs. The next three largest players had a combined share of about 5%.
Here are a couple of tid bits that caught the FEHBlog's attention:
- Two major drug manufacturers -- Ranbaxy in India and Pfizer here in the good old USA -- have recalled drugs due to distribution mix-ups. How often does that happen?
- Healthday is reporting that "A blood test has been developed that can predict with 90 percent certainty whether a senior will suffer from dementia within the next few years, researchers report." Fingers crossed that the blood test could help researchers determine the cause of this disease. The Washington Post reported last week that "Alzheimer’s disease likely plays a much larger role in the deaths of older Americans than is reported, according to a new study that says the disease may be the third-leading cause of death in the United States."