Wednesday, December 31, 2008

News You Can Use: Specialty drugs driving Rx cost increases

A report from Haldy McIntosh and Associates for Medco finds 60% of plan sponsors believe that specialty medications are the leading driver of spending growth. This is a sharp increase over last year's survey, where only 25% of respondents shared this view.

To help curb rising costs, plan sponsors are considering programs like pharmacogenomics (personalized medicine, in plain English). Such programs include genetic testing to find how an individual will metabolize a drug to ensure it is prescribed in the right dose.

Other cost-cutting strategies are more conentional, with 65% of organizations offering a wellness management program, 70% a disease management program 46% planning to increase cost sharing over the next 18 months.

Click here to read EBN coverage of how one employer brought specialty pharmacy costs under control.

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