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John Elliott7/1/24 2:37 PM

2024 Pharmacy Trends and Developments

Pharmacy Insights from Conferences & Connections

As we pass the midpoint of 2024, the pharmacy ecosystem has seen significant developments across various sectors this year—from specialty pharmacy to home infusion, and the ongoing impact of programs like 340B. At D2, we've actively engaged with industry leaders and participated in pivotal events such as the National Home Infusion Association's annual conference in Austin (NHIA), Asembia's AXS24 Summit in Las Vegas, and ECRM's Health System/Institutional Pharmacy Session in Tuscon. These experiences coupled with our daily interactions in the market, have highlighted several critical trends.

Let's explore 5 key trends that are shaping the future of pharmacy.

Infusion Innovation and Technology Adoption

Infusion organizations are at a pivotal moment with the adoption of new technologies. Successful implementation of these systems is crucial for enhancing patient care and operational efficiency. At the heart of this transformation are technology partners who play a vital role in supporting scalability, integrating care across modalities, and standardizing operations. Despite challenges in finding executive leadership well-versed in technology, the commitment to advancing through innovation remains strong.

Related Topics: Tips for Adding Infusion Services to your Specialty Pharmacy »

Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

The implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by Medicare continues to reverberate throughout the specialty pharmacy market. With changes expected to Part D reimbursement and procurement by 2026, and implications for Part B in 2028, stakeholders are navigating uncertain waters. Questions abound regarding the role of inflation rebate caps and their effects on drug pricing, particularly in the infusion market. This regulatory shift demands proactive adaptation strategies from industry players.

Consumer-Driven Healthcare and Cash-Pay Programs

Outside traditional specialty sectors, there's a notable trend toward consumer-driven healthcare models. Manufacturers are increasingly focusing on cash-pay programs like Lilly Direct, aiming to forge direct relationships with patients and streamline distribution channels. This evolution raises questions about the future role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and payer coverage, especially for consumer-centric products like GLP-1s.

Continuing Relevance of the 340B Program

Discussions surrounding the 340B drug pricing program remain integral to broader market conversations. Issues around distribution, patient eligibility, and the use of 340B drugs in ambulatory infusion models persist. As new models emerge, there's a growing emphasis on patient data and effective patient engagement strategies to retain patients across the prescription continuum.

 

Related Topics: Solving the Never-Start Specialty Prescription Issue »

Strategic Mergers and Acquisitions Amid Market Pressures

The sector has witnessed increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, driven by new reimbursement models and market consolidation pressures. While these initiatives promise innovation and growth opportunities, stakeholders must contend with margin compression and strategic alignment challenges. Strategic planning will be crucial for navigating these dynamics and capitalizing on emerging opportunities.

Looking Forward: Strategic Considerations

As we look toward the future, it's essential for organizations to address key questions that will shape their strategic direction:

  • Data Optimization: What data is necessary to optimize growth and operational efficiency?
  • Partner Consolidation: Is there an opportunity to consolidate partners to access comprehensive operational and patient data sets?
  • Comprehensive Partnership Approach: Are technology and consulting partners aligned in providing a holistic approach to business challenges?

At D2, we remain committed to partnering with industry leaders to navigate these transformative times. As we continue to monitor industry trends and innovations, we're optimistic about the opportunities ahead in 2025 and beyond. 

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Let's shape the future of healthcare delivery - together.

For more insights on the evolving pharmacy landscape and how D2 can best support your organization, schedule a time to connect with me or contact me directly at john.elliott@d2rx.com.
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John Elliott

Vice President of Digital Growth

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