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Intravenous Immune Biologics Will Suffer from the Pending Shift in Coverage from the Medical to the Pharmacy Benefit
Date:7/15/2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and GLEN ROCK, N.J., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthLeaders-InterStudy and Fingertip Formulary find that surveyed pharmacy directors of both national and single state plans say coverage of immune biologics will shift from a medical benefit to a pharmacy benefit by 2014, citing Centocor Ortho Biotech's Remicade and UCB's Cimzia among products that will be most affected by this shift. According to the new Formulary Forum report entitled Formulary Advantages in Immune Biologics: Tightening Payer Control Offers Opportunities for Differentiation, the majority of surveyed pharmacy directors say they currently cover Amgen/Wyeth's Enbrel and Abbott's Humira solely as a pharmacy benefit, but cover other immune biologics as a medical benefit.

The report finds that payers expect the shift of biologics from the medical benefit to the pharmacy benefit is motivated by an expectation of increased cost control. For example, 34 percent of surveyed payers currently require patients taking an IV biologic to first fail therapy with an SC biologic and will continue to enforce this requirement moving forward. An additional 38 percent of surveyed payers expect to newly implement this cost control measure over the next five years.

"Managed care organizations are looking to restrict patient access to physician-administered biologics, because these agents are harder to control in terms of cost outlays--in part due to physicians preferentially prescribing agents such as Remicade so the physician can purchase the agent at a discount relative to the reimbursement rate and thus maintain a profit margin on the procedure," said Michael Malecki, Ph.D., product manager for Formulary Forum. "Maintaining control of the supply chain will be critical to the future profitability of managed care organizations, and plans are aware of this fact. By 2014, for example, 84 percent of surveyed pharmacy directors say their organization will mandate IV biologics be purchased from an authorized vendor (e.g., specialty pharmacy)."

About Formulary Advantages in Immune Biologics: Tightening Payer Control Offers Opportunities for Differentiation

The new Formulary Forum report is based on a survey of 50 pharmacy directors who control national, regional and state-level managed care organizations, as well as historical formulary data from Fingertip Formulary.

About Fingertip Formulary

Fingertip Formulary (www.FingertipFormulary.com), the leading provider of access to and insight into formulary data in the United States, offers comprehensive formulary data covering commercial, Medicaid, Medicare and PBM plans, among others. The company offers a variety of unique data and marketing solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, consultants and healthcare providers that provide access to and insight into formulary data. Fingertip Formulary is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a Decision Resources, Inc. company, is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis and news. For more information, please visit www.HL-ISY.com.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Both HealthLeaders-InterStudy and Fingertip Formulary are Decision Resources, Inc. companies. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

All company, brand or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

    For more information, contact:

    Lisa Osgood                            Elizabeth Marshall
    HealthLeaders-InterStudy               Decision Resources, Inc.
    781-296-2606                           781-296-2563
    losgood@hl-isy.com                     emarshall@dresources.com


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SOURCE HealthLeaders-InterStudy
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