October 27, 2021 Ben May, Director of Specialty Drug Trend and Pipeline

Developing Our Shields Drug Pipeline

The specialty drug pipeline is a critical component in building a successful specialty pharmacy program. Staying abreast of what is on the horizon and successfully planning and executing is key to a successful pipeline strategy.

One of our strategic management goals is to identify drugs well before approval, often 18-24 months, and engage the manufacturers on access pathways for these medications. Research and identification of potential medications is a strategy to ensure our health system partners have access to critical specialty medications and medications needed to service patients with rare and under-served diseases.

The drug pipeline consists of many drugs covering a variety of disease states. The most common are for core diseases such as Oncology, Multiple Sclerosis, and Inflammatory conditions. In addition, there is a growing number of medications in the pipeline for rare or orphan conditions where there are few or no treatment options currently available. There are also emerging therapies such as gene therapies that are not only ultra-high cost but have special genetic testing, as well as storage and handling requirements.

When researching medications outside of the core disease states, we often look at clinical trial sites and the patient populations within specific clinics when evaluating pipeline products. The are many situations and scenarios to consider when evaluating medications in the pipeline. Each step is essential to help ensure the patients within Shields partner sites can benefit from our health system partners’ value.

Below are some of the notable upcoming drugs in the pipeline we are currently monitoring for our health system partners:

Mavacamten- Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Adagrasib- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Deucravacitinib– Plaque Psoriasis

Amcenestrant- Breast Cancer

At Shields, improving lives and elevating performance are at the heart of everything we do, which is why managing our drug pipeline is critical. With new and innovative drugs coming down the pipeline, we are excited to help our partners offer their patients the drugs they need to provide better care and achieve greater outcomes.