Increasing formulary competition and decreasing product differentiation have led to an aggressive pricing war in the U.S. asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) markets. As pharmacy benefits managers aim to cover only one or two of the four available long-acting beta2
agonist/inhaled corticosteroid (LABA/ICS) combinations, drug manufacturers are forced to slash prices in an effort to gain preferred status over the competitors. The same phenomenon is likely to play out with the LABA/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) combinations for COPD, as the second class member recently launched and up to three additional combinations are expected to be approved. This report examines if better ways exist for these similar products to win the reimbursement battle.
Questions Answered in This Report:
- Given the availability of four LABA/ICS fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) and two LABA/LAMA FDCs with three more likely to launch in the United States, payers have a multitude of options to consider in the respiratory space. How do U.S. pharmacy directors and pharmacy benefits managers make the decision as to which respiratory FDCs to include on a preferred formulary tier? Are there any strategies beyond a discounted price relative to competitors that can give later-to-market FDCs an advantage over earlier entrants?
- The next novel inhaled drug class to launch will likely be the triple LABA/LAMA/ICS FDCs. How can the drug developers prepare for optimal reimbursement and pricing upon market entry of the next generation of combination products, the LABA/LAMA/ICS triple combinations? What impact will the entry of this new drug class have on the existing brands?
- The potential entry of generic LABA/ICS FDCs as early as 2016 will strongly influence pricing and reimbursement in the respiratory market. How can branded combinations expect to fare with the entry of generic LABA/ICS combinations? How do U.S. pharmacy directors expect to cover AB-rated and branded-generic versions?
Author(s): Colleen E. Albacker, Ph.D.