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Our Executive Clinical Pharmacy talk through the basics of limited distribution drugs and how they affect the marketplace in terms of market access, payer reimbursement, patient care, and drug development.


Topics included in this episode:

  • Overview and Basic Definitions of Limited Distribution Drugs and their Networks

  • Pharmacy Motivations for Carrying LDDs

  • Independent Retail Pharmacies 

  • Hospital Perspectives for Providing LDDs

  • Payer Implications for Reimbursing for LDDs

  • Patient Implications for Receiving LDDs

  • Manufacturer Motivations for Developing LDDs




"So, we all know that specialty medications can be complex, require special handling, are very costly, can be limited to certain patient types, and have various administration needs. A limited distribution drug network can provide greater scrutiny for all of these things, as well as the ability of adding even more infrastructure to support a single drug. Some of the things that limited distribution drug networks can handle are additional clinical services (and this can include drug administration, drug dispensing, and nursing services), ensuring that the REMS programs requirements for higher-risk drugs are met, helping to decrease waste of these expensive medications, and providing additional patient education.


Another thing that a limited distribution drug network can do is strictly adhere to the special storage and handling needs that these medications require. They also typically have a better understanding of the disease state and the patient's needs. They can provide better service knowing much more about the disease state, the medication’s uses and effects, and in addition, limited distribution drug networks can provide data and reporting consolidation to payers and providers. Some of this data includes outcomes, results, side effects, and adverse effects — all of which can potentially improve utilization of the drug and the experience for the patient."


Our Executive Clinical Pharmacy is back to add more insight on limited distribution drugs and their networks. As the specialty drug landscape has expanded, payers and providers have struggled to stay up to date on shifting limited distribution networks, making it harder to provide these critical medicines to patients. IPD's team discusses this complexity and why it's important to track limited distribution networks.


Topics included in this episode:

  • Understanding Limited Distribution Networks and Why they Exist

  • Specialty Pharmacies 

  • Manufacturers and Specialty Drug Launches

  • Tracking Limited Distribution Networks

  • Limited Networks versus Specialty Drug Distributors



"I know that before Access Hub, there was always an in-stream of questions asking if there is some sort of repository for understanding which drugs have limited distribution. Why do you think this information is so key to our subscriber base?


...that's an important question because there's not really publicly available lists that we're aware of. It's key information to know, but it's really hard to accumulate this information and maintain this information. The list of LDD drugs and their distributors changes daily. Pharmacies are added or deleted by the manufacturer. Especially in the first year or so, we find that that's when the list of specialty pharmacies distributing a certain drug changes the most. Also, there's always new drugs being approved, so there's new specialty drugs coming to market that you have to add and maintain to that list. And, again, as we spoke, IPD Analytics is now maintaining a database of this LDD information for our subscribers."

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