Cancer Drug Sales Up 170%; New Cancer Patients Expected to Increase 45% by 2029
The addition of three new cancer drugs to The Apothecary Shops’ inventory of oncology pharmaceuticals reflects the company’s growing influence in the rapidly-expanding niche of specialty pharmacies.
According to a 2009 report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the number of new cancer patients in the United States will increase 45 percent over the next 20 years.
“From both the medical perspective and as a business model, the focus on oncology as a specialty makes strategic, practical and healthcare sense,” said Leslie Yendro, Director of Business Development for The Apothecary Shops. “Right now, there are more than 860 medicines in development for cancer, and oncology drugs are projected to comprise between $5 and $7 billion in annual drug spending in 2010.”
Based in Phoenix, The Apothecary Shops now includes Afinitor®, approved by the Federal Drug Administration in March for treatment of advanced renal cell cancer; Nexavar®, also FDA approved for inoperable hepatocellular (liver) cancer; and Caphosol®, an FDA-approved mouthrinse that minimizes the severity of mouth sores and dry mouth from cancer treatments, among the oral chemotherapies, self-administered injectable biotech drugs and supportive care agents the company regularly has on hand.
The Apothecary Shops has a semi-exclusive specialty contract with Caphosol® manufacturer EUSA.
Over the past year, oncology sales at The Apothecary Shops have grown 170%. The oncology share of total company sales is projected to grow to from 2.9% in 2008 to 11% by year-end 2009. In January, the company added four regional specialty sales representatives for oncology and transplant specialty sales to hospitals and outpatient clinics.
“On the clinical side, our pharmacists are highly trained in their specialties and through regular communications with doctors and their patients can provide information and education about the drugs and monitor the patient’s adherence to the drug regimen,” Yendro said. “Through that regular contact, we can document whether or not a patient is staying on the drugs, which is critical to ensuring the drug’s effectiveness in treating the specific cancers they’re designed to address.”
In addition to a robust clinical support program, The Apothecary Shops also offers insurance verification and prior authorization services, expertise in Medicare Parts B and D billing, and free Fed Ex shipping of all oncology medications directly to a patient’s home nationwide.
In May 2008, the company launched its LINKS Rx program for oncology to provide patients, providers and physicians additional information and support at www.theapothecaryshop.com/linksrx_oncology.html.
In addition to its oncology specialty, The Apothecary Shops, a national specialty pharmacy, focuses on targeted medical specialties including ophthalmology, pain management, transplant, fertility, infectious disease including HIV/AIDS, veterinary medicine, sports health and compounding. The Apothecary Shops had one of the nation’s first pharmacies to earn accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB).
The Apothecary Shops’ pharmacists are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll free number is 877-546-5779.