Specialty drugs come to Big Pharma's rescue

Specialty drugs are in the news again this week. A Reuters report quotes Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher (photo) as saying the mass market for drugs "is really starting to disappear." That's very likely a strong belief he holds, given the effort expended in acquiring Genzyme, a specialist in bio-treatments for rare diseases.

Earlier this month, we reported AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal said they see specialty drugs as an important component of their drug-distribution business now. Cardinal CEO George Barret "looks forward to the potential." And last week we reported on how the Big 3 drug distributors' embrace of the specialty drug sector may be one of several clues to big pharma survival.

To be clear, we don't consider this revolutionary thinking. One of our headlines from 2008 read, "Can specialty drugs turn pharma tide?" (source IMS believed they could). And a 2006 item identified spending on specialty drugs as the biggest cost driver in pharmaceuticals.

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Special Report: The Big 3 Distributors