How employers can reduce prescription drug spending
The rising cost of prescription drugs is a growing burden on employer-sponsored healthcare plans. More than 60% of employers say drug and medical spending is unsustainable for their business, the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions says in a new survey.
The report, “Employer Roundtables on Drug Management,” surveyed 80 employers for how they are managing these rising costs. Fifty-five percent said they were considering the utilization of a pharmacy benefit manager and 44% said they want to implement reference-based pricing.
“Employers are working to change the conversation with their PBMs, health plans and other vendors to reduce waste and fraud and implement more effective strategies that improve health while mitigating these costs,” says Michael Thompson, National Alliance president and CEO.
The cost of pharmaceuticals has already increased 5% since the beginning of 2020 and 52% of Americans say passing legislation that would lower the cost of prescription drugs should be a top priority for Congress. Recently, California introduced legislation that would work with generic drug companies to offer medications directly to consumers. This would increase competition and lower drug prices.
However, just 20% of employers surveyed by the National Alliance said they were confident legislative efforts would effect changes to price in the short term. The survey introduced these recommendations for how employers could address and manage these costs: