U.S. Employers Eye Cutting Wasteful Drugs Worth $6 Billion
From the Bloomberg article:
“A health plan covering thousands of California teachers stopped paying for a diabetes drug that cost $352 per prescription. In its place, the plan now pays less than $13.
The difference? Instead of getting a 1,000-milligram dose of metformin, members got two 500-milligram pills.
It’s just one example of what some employers call “wasteful drugs,” and a coalition of some of the nation’s largest employers says there are hundreds more. At a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing to trim drug costs for Medicare by tying them to prices in other countries, the coalition is on a crusade to cut company spending on drugs nationwide by simply noting the cheaper choices already available, drawing the ire of drugmakers.
A guidebook produced by the Pacific Business Group on Health and researchers from Johns Hopkins University identifies 49 medications with less expensive alternatives that could be cut from the lists of drugs covered by employers. The group has pushed its approach to large employers for two years. Now it’s focusing on mid-sized companies at conferences, with webinars and through an online Excel sheet designed to help any company identify savings.”
Lauren Vela, senior director of member value at the coalition, said it all comes down to who gains in the end. “There are so many folks making so much money on the existing system that the folks who really know how the system works don’t have an interest in changing it,” Vela said.
Read the full article from Bloomberg here