Magellan Rx Management hosted the 15th annual Specialty Summit on August 21-23 in New York City with a day-and-a-half of sessions on the industry’s most complex pharmacy challenges and a focus on breakthrough treatments like CAR-T and gene therapy.
A highlight for the audience of 500 was a session on CAR-T, an immunotherapy that is pushing the boundaries of cancer treatment in both children and adults. Dr. Bruce Levine, Professor in Cancer Gene Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania, is a pioneer in this field and presented successful results from the first pediatric patient treated with engineered T-cell therapy—including a surprise appearance from that patient. Now 13-years-old, she walked across the stage with her parents and shared her dream of being a movie director when she grows up!
Dr. Andrew Scharenberg of Casebia Therapeutics talked through the complexity of gene therapies, including the incredible CRISPR/Cas9 molecular surgery technique that modifies the patient’s own genome to restore ‘normal’ function and, essentially, cure the disease. Colleagues Dr. Jeffrey Trent of TGen and Dr. Joseph Mikhael of TGen and the International Myeloma Foundation shared the stage to discuss mind-blowing advances in personalized medicine that are transforming the lives of children with rare, previously undiagnosed diseases.
Diving deeper into specific categories, Dr. Saira Jan of Horizon BCBS of New Jersey highlighted opportunities to improve quality of care, lower the total cost of care, and enhance member experience through an integrated model of managing autoimmune therapies. Michelle Rice from the Hemophilia Foundation discussed similar strategies for hemophilia treatment, including how advocacy groups, providers, and payers can work together to deliver more effective care.
Several lively panel discussions with industry experts from Amgen, SelectHealth, Mercer, IQVIA, AmerisourceBergen, Pfizer, Barclays, BCBS of Tennessee, Medica, Health New England and Security Health unpacked industry challenges and the continuing evolution of care delivery. Sessions focused on value-based partnerships, overcoming specialty barriers in Medicaid and managing medical pharmacy trend, as well as the impacts and lessons learned from the introduction of biosimilars; through expert insights and real-word examples, attendees walked away with action-oriented solutions for better management strategies and patient care.
Two standout speakers were Mark Johnston of Amazon Web Services (AWS) who reviewed the culture, philosophy, and vision that is driving Amazon’s incredible pace of innovation and how AWS is helping to reshape the foundation of the healthcare industry. An inspiring keynote by Dr. Victor Strecher gave the audience a crash-course on honing your individual life purpose to motivate you through your work, personal ambitions, and family/community goals.
At Magellan Rx, we are passionate about connecting our clients and industry partners to the people, tools, and information needed to make the best decisions for the populations they serve. Our purpose is to help people live more healthy, vibrant lives and take better control of their health. As pioneers in specialty pharmacy management, we are proud of this heritage and develop the Specialty Summit agenda each year with those values in mind. Mark your calendars and join us next year in NYC on August 26-28, 2019 as we host another exciting event packed with timely insights and emerging trends in the evolving specialty market.