Specialty Pharmaceuticals

2017 Research

October 2017. Examines managed care customer evaluations of manufacturer-sponsored specialty care management progams and resources and identifies unmet customer needs. 

July 2017. Examines SPPs' manufacturer "Partner of Choice," manufacturer collaboration initiatives with SPPs, and and benchmark ratings of manufacturers in account support and willingness to contract. Examines the contracting environment across ten therapeutic classes. 

July 2017. Provides an overview of specialty pharmaceutical spending over time by therapeutic class and distribution channel. Examines recent notable SPP market activity and trends, and SPPs' most pressing strategic imperatives. Examines SPP service offerings for health plans and manufacturers. Provides profiles for the top industry-leading specialty pharmacy providers. 

April 2017. Reviews plans' operational objectives in specialty drug cost containment for 2017 and the specific management strategies utilized across twelve specialty therapeutic areas. Provides health plan decision-makers nominations of overall Product of Choice across therapy classes and analyzes how plans define and perceive specialty product value.


March 2017. Reviews health plan nominations of overall specialty manufacturer "Partner of Choice" and ratings of 30+ manufacturers in account support and willingness to contract for their specialty portfolios. Examines the evolving contracting environment across twelve specialty therapeutic classes and reveals opportunities for partnership. 

2016 Research

June 2016. Reviews recent biosimilar and specialty generic market entries, examines payer responses to the availability of these alternatives, and discusses implications going forward. 

Specialty Pharmaceuticals

Research Overview

Payers remain focused on developing optimal cost and utilization strategies as the specialty drug spend continues to rise. HIRC's Specialty Pharmaceuticals Service assists pharmaceutical manufacturers in developing and maintaining successful market access strategies by monitoring trends in specialty medication management, as well as issues in distribution and specialty pharmacy provider engagement.

HIRC utilizes a triangulated research design, combining primary survey data, interview insights, and in-depth secondary research, resulting in a deep understanding of issues related to specialty pharmaceutical market access.

Therapeutic categories include:

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Hemophilia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • PAH
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • White Blood Cell Stimulants

For more information or to subscribe, contact Danielle Snook via email or at (408) 884-8560

Covering the Specialty Market Ecosystem

The service monitors commercial health plan activities to manage the cost and utilization of specialty pharmaceuticals and tracks trends in contracting. Manufacturers' account support engagement, programs, and willingness to contract are assessed from the perspective of the customer. Trends in specialty drug distribution and manufacturer engagement in the specialty pharmacy provider (SPP) channel are also examined and monitored.

  • Commercial Health Plans: Management Trends
  • Commercial Health Plans: Manufacturer Engagement
  • Specialty Pharmacy Providers: Channel Distribution Trends
  • Specialty Pharmacy Providers: Manufacturer Engagement

Bringing Value to Subscribers

HIRC's data and insights enable subscribers to understand and track market dynamics and trends critical to optimal product and value-added program positioning as the specialty market evolves. 

Through detailed analyses, key implications, and strategic recommendations from experienced HIRC researchers, subscribers to the Specialty Pharmaceuticals Service are able to understand the specialty pharmaceuticals market landscape, evaluate account support, identify specialty-specific managed care needs, and act upon partnership opportunities.