Fast and Furious: What is Driving the Specialty Spend?

ACPE UAN #:  0233-0000-19-062-H04-P

Release DateOctober 30, 2019

Expiration Date:  October 30, 2022

Activity Type:    Knowledge-based

Contact Hours:  1.5 

Activity Fee:  Member:  FREE        Non-Member: $30

Target Audience: Pharmacists who practice in managed care settings.

Activity Description:

In 2018, the United States spent an estimated $517 million on specialty drugs. While specialty medications make up only about 1–2 % of all prescriptions written, they account for nearly 50% of total drug spend. In 2018, the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved 59 new novel drugs, many of them representing the first treatments for challenging diseases that previously had no therapeutic options available. But as more specialty treatments reach the market, payers find themselves bewildered on how to pay for these costly medications. Payers must not only know what is coming down the specialty pipeline, but they must start planning their benefits coverage and management strategies in preparation for when these agents reach the market. Because specialty medications are unique and can be paid for by either the pharmacy or medical benefit, it is imperative to have an integrated view of your entire specialty spend.  This session will highlight several promising specialty medications in development, including efficacy data, potential place in therapy, and anticipated budgetary impact. This session will also give you some insights into the tools that you may need to see the full picture of your specialty spend. 

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to: 

  1.  Recognize high-impact specialty drugs in the pharmaceutical pipeline.
  2.  Explain how emerging pipeline drugs compare with currently available therapeutic options.
  3.  Determine the likely place in therapy and budgetary impact of emerging pipeline drugs.
  4.  Identify tools and strategies that help identify opportunities to better manage specialty spend across both the pharmacy and medical benefits. 

Schedule of Educational Activity

This activity consists of an audio recording, pre-test assessment questions (not required to pass to continue), post-test questions (required to pass with a score of 70% or higher) and a specific activity evaluation. 

Accreditation Statement:

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

As an accredited provider, AMCP strictly adheres to the ACPE Standards for Commercial Support and other relevant guidelines and standards to ensure the independence of continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities.  AMCP intends that all CPE activities be independent, objective, balanced, evidence-based, and free of any commercial bias.

CPE Requirements:   

Participants should claim continuing pharmacy education (CPE) credit for this home study activity only if they have not claimed credit for the live activity presented at AMCP Nexus 2019.

CPE credit will be processed through the AMCP Learn portal and reported directly to CPE Monitor.  Please allow 72 hours for processing and posting in your NABP account. 

To receive credit for an online activity you must:

  • Review the full content of the activity.
  • Successfully complete the post-test (required to pass with a score of 70% or higher, it may be taken a maximum of three times).
  • Complete a specific activity evaluation.


C.E. (Gene) Reeder | RPh, PhD, FAMCP | Professor and Director of Outcomes Research | University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy | Columbia, South Carolina.

System Technical Requirements/Viewing Requirements: System Requirements Courses and learning activities are delivered via your Web browser and Acrobat PDF. For all activities, you should have a basic comfort level using a computer and navigating websites.  View the minimum technical and system requirements for continuing education online learning activities.

Credit Information

Activity Number Credit Amount Accreditation Period
ACPE UAN #0233-0000-19-062-H04-P 1.5 Contact Hours October 30, 2019 - October 30, 2022