Today at the Armada Summit, Blue Fin Group is moderating and participating in a micro-panel titled “Goldilocks and the SPPs: What Size Network Is “Just Right?” Led by moderator Clelia Biamonti, Senior Principal, the panel participants are Jennifer Hamilton, Senior Principal, Blue Fin Group and Brett Furchner, President, Acro Pharmaceuticals.
One of the questions that Blue Fin Group gets asked by manufacturers most frequently is “how big should our SPP network be?” It’s a great question and the answer is, “it depends”. It depends on the unique characteristics of the product, the number of patients and their profile, prescriber / site of care composition and number, payer mix and benefit design, manufacturer’s capabilities and competencies, and of course, the capabilities of an SPP to meet the manufacturer’s requirements (just to name a few). Balancing access (any willing provider) with control (patient experience and transparency) is often more art than science, and we know the pressure to get it “just right” is mounting.
In addition, there is pressure coming from within the manufacturer from the sales force and managed markets account managers to expand “The Network”, as well as from external marketplace players as well. We are seeing new and different players emerge and they all want in “The Network”:
• Integrated Health Systems (IHS) / Integrated Delivery Networks (IDN) / Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) who have established their own SPP
• Mass merchandisers with in-store pharmacies who have partnered with a third-party for patient services (e.g. reimbursement support)
• Contract pharmacies on behalf of 340B covered entities
• Physician offices/clinics who dispense in-office
So, how does a manufacturer know what size network to launch a product with and if /when they should open the network up? And by how much, and to whom? And what is the cost (channel investments, human and technology resources, channel conflict) when they do?
We will explore this, and a bit more, during this discussion. Feel free to ask your questions on this topic in the comments below, or, if you are at the event, let us know what you think.