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DrSN celebrates new mag targeting specialty Rx industry


BOSTON Specialty Pharmacy magazine, which The Drug Store News Group introduced under a partnership with specialty pharmacy channel management organization Armada Health Care.—Around 100 industry executives gathered Aug. 10 for the official launch of the latest member of The Drug Store News Group of publications. The attendees, including some curious representatives of retail pharmacy chains, crowded into the Stone Room at the Westin Boston Waterfront for a reception to introduce

“When people outside of the business ask me what specialty pharmacy is, I try to keep the answer as simple as possible: I tell them it’s about patients with complex, chronic conditions; I tell them it’s about extremely complex, high-cost drugs,” Drug Store News editor-in-chief Rob Eder said in a speech at the reception. “And because of that, every single touch-point of the operation—managing the network, the utilization management, formulary management, sourcing the drugs, the buy and bill, the benefit design, the dispensing and fulfillment, the claims adjudication, etc.—all of it is more complex. So, that is our mission: to make a very complex business easier for the people who make their living in that business.”

Associate publisher Wayne Bennett noted the drug-development environment that has helped contribute to the rapid growth of specialty pharmacy. “Our new publication, Specialty Pharmacy, will add to the broad portfolio of pharmacy publications published by The Drug Store News Group,” Bennett said. “As three-quarters of all new drugs currently in the drug development pipeline are biotech products, and the market for these products will grow by $40 billion in just a few short years, Specialty Pharmacy will be the voice for all stake-holders in this rapidly growing area of pharmacy care. We also will be collaborating with Armada Health Care, who has led in providing innovative solutions to make the specialty pharmacy market work more efficiently.”

Specialty products—most of them biotech drugs—have experienced rapid growth lately, generating just under $60 billion in U.S. sales last year, Specialty Pharmacy reported in its inaugural issue, and growing by 8.8% year-over-year, compared with 4.4% for traditional drugs. Meanwhile, two specialty pharmacies—Swartz Creek, Mich.-based Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Commcare Pharmacy—made Inc. magazine’s list of the top 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States for 2009.

“My colleagues and I are very enthusiastic about our collaboration with Drug Store News to launch Specialty Pharmacy magazine,” said Lawrence Irene, CEO of Armada Health Care. “We are confident that this publication will become the media voice for this emerging segment of health care, while fostering a better understanding of the value proposition that specialty pharmacies offer to such key stakeholders as Pharma/Biotech, payers, prescribers and, most importantly, patients.”

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