13th Annual EMD Serono Specialty Digest™ Details Utilization and Clinical Management Trends
- Digest Launches at 2017 Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit

ROCKLAND, Mass., May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in the U.S. and Canada, today announced the launch of the 13th edition of the EMD Serono Specialty Digest™ at the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit in Las Vegas, NV.  The Digest is an annual industry resource that provides market data on health plans' management of specialty pharmaceuticals and identifies common trends occurring across plans. The Digest is available to those who request a copy at http://www.specialtydigest.emdserono.com.

"The healthcare industry is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace and this year's Specialty Digest once again seeks to identify the current trends in managed care and provide insights into the challenges and opportunities that exist to improve access to patient care," said Scott Filosi, Senior Vice President, Market Access & Customer Solutions, EMD Serono.  "It is our hope that the Digest will serve as a foundation to initiate important conversations about potential barriers to accessing care and inform how we as an industry can better meet the needs of patients."

The 13th edition EMD Serono Specialty Digest outlines the results of a survey of 58 commercial health plans representing 173 million covered lives in 2016. This year, the Digest has a heightened focus on emerging opportunities and challenges presented by the introduction of additional biosimilars to the marketplace, as well as management strategies and opportunities in oncology care.

"Now on its thirteenth year, the EMD Serono Specialty Digest has been a leading source for insights on specialty pharmacy perspectives from managed care decision makers," said Kevin Host, President and COO, Pharmaceutical Strategies Group, who oversaw the development of the Digest. "This year we've seen a shift as health plans have indicated that 'ensuring clinically appropriate use' has now risen above 'managing oncology drugs' as their top challenge. I am confident that this year's report and those to come will continue to provide an invaluable measure of specialty drug management trends."

Eighty-three percent of respondents ranked ensuring clinical use among their top five challenges, with managing oncology drugs and determining the value of specialty drugs ranking second at 79%. This suggests that health plans are moving to a more mature management stage, moving beyond 'value' and a single therapeutic area to the clinical management of specialty drugs as a whole. Other topics addressed in the survey include utilization and clinical management, reimbursement methods and competitiveness, benefit design, and emerging challenges and opportunities.

Originally developed in 2004 to serve as a reference and benchmarking tool for managed care decision makers, the EMD Serono Specialty Digest has been accessed and used annually by thousands of stakeholders, including health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, employers, specialty pharmacies, and pharmaceutical companies.

Findings are available in the full text of the EMD Serono Specialty Digest, at http://www.specialtydigest.emdserono.com

About EMD Serono, Inc.
EMD Serono is the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in the U.S. and Canada - a leading science and technology company - focused exclusively on specialty care. For more than 40 years, the business has integrated cutting-edge science, innovative products and industry-leading patient support and access programs. EMD Serono has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a robust pipeline of potential therapies in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology as R&D focus areas. Today, the business has 1,200 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company's home state of Massachusetts.


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