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Near-total overlap of memberships, plus the rising importance of specialty pharma to all pharma distribution, seem to be the drivers
On the heels of its annual Business & Leadership meeting, the Healthcare Distribution Management Assn. (Arlington, VA) has announced that the Specialty & Biotech Distributors Assn. (SBDA) has merged with it. There will be a new council within HDMA, the Specialty & Biotech Distribution Council, which will be charged with guiding the association’s advocacy and industry relations efforts on issues such as reimbursement, pedigree, and risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS) as they relate specifically to specialty pharmaceutical distribution.
SBDA was formed a few years ago, apparently (its website has already been shut down) to advocate on behalf of its members on issues relating to Average Sales Price (ASP), reimbursement for distribution services and Medicare policy. The real wonder is why it was separate from HDMA at all: it members were mostly HDMA members as well, including the Big Three distributors, US Oncology and a handful of other specialty distributors. All of this points to rising importance of specialty pharmaceutical (and pharmacy) services, which relate primarily to chronic care drugs that need the intercession of healthcare professionals to administer.
“Bringing our associations together to align our advocacy efforts will provide the healthcare distribution industry with a single, definitive voice on its fastest-growing business segment,” said John M. Gray, President and CEO, HDMA. “This will further leverage the distributor’s role as the central, vital link in the healthcare supply chain. We will be better poised to bring together the entire supply chain from manufacturers to healthcare providers, to improve the delivery of specialty drugs to the patients who need them most.”