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July, 2014

What are the three ways PBMs promote their distribution channels? How do PBM channel strategies impact your brand?


PBMs consider the diverse needs of their clients when promoting the retail, mail, and specialty channels. The figure below illustrates the three key ways PBMs promote their distribution channels.

Source: Health Strategies Group, Pharmacy Benefit Managers, May 2014

Channel-specific offerings
PBMs develop differentiated solutions by channel, focusing on gaps in care of members with chronic conditions and increasing generic use within the mail and retail settings, and exclusive or limited distribution within the specialty channel.

Tiered or restrictive networks
PBMs offer tiered or restrictive networks within retail, mail, and specialty channels to increase prescription volume with preferred pharmacy partners.

Channel-agnostic programs
PBMs promote strategies through direct ownership of one or more distribution channels, offering opportunities for high level of control as well as a high degree of member flexibility and choice.

Why does this matter to you?

Biopharmaceutical companies face greater barriers to brand access when PBMs focus channel strategies on specific categories to enhance generic utilization or drive adoption of more restrictive networks. As PBMs become more sophisticated in optimizing channel utilization, biopharmaceutical companies will need to assess the impact on brands and develop channel-specific strategies and tactics.

How do PBM channel strategies impact your brands?

Health Strategies Group’s recently released research PBM Channel Strategy: Retail, Mail, and Specialty explores the current and emerging PBM channel strategies and how they impact biopharmaceutical companies as well as 31 unique therapeutic categories.

Key Questions This Research Answers

  • How do PBMs promote retail, mail, and specialty channels?
  • How do retail, mail, and specialty channels influence product utilization?
  • Which therapeutic areas are subject to active interventions through retail, mail, and specialty channel strategies?
  • How do PBM retail, mail, and specialty channel interventions impact future company strategies?

Pharmacy Benefit Managers keeps pharmaceutical and biotech companies abreast of current and emerging trends and performance in the managed care marketplace, with an inside look at PBM activities and their likely impact. This research constitutes the second of four publications from the Pharmacy Benefit Managers service for 2014. Click Here for Research Agenda.

Pharmaceutical and biotech managed markets executives and account management teams use Pharmacy Benefit Managers to:

  • Evaluate the opportunities and risks involved in working (or not working) with targeted PBMs
  • Determine the impact of managed markets trends that create new opportunities or challenges when working with PBMs and their customers
  • Identify PBM programs and initiatives that support brand strategies and those with negative impact on brands
  • Prioritize and allocate resources to proactively monitor or respond to emerging changes in the healthcare environment
Want access to more leading research? Click here to request more information.



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