Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yay or Nay: Is the Wal-Mart, Caterpillar Rx benefit model better for employers?

Wal-Mart is expanding a pilot program that eliminates copays on generic drugs purchased at its stores to more employers.

The program already operates at the construction company Caterpillar, where employees who purchase generic prescription drugs at a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club pharmacy are waived the $5 copayment. Some see the program as a way to help employers reduce health care costs tied to prescription drugs by trimming the work they have to do pharmacy benefit managers.

“The easiest thing to do is look at the number the PBMs spit out,” said Todd Bisping, pharmacy benefits and informatics manager at Caterpillar, the Chicago Tribune reports. “As more and more companies realize we just can't blindly assume what's going on is best for us, they're going to start digging into it and find the same thing.”

Have you done the digging that Bisping mentioned? If so, what did you find? Will the Wal-Mart-Caterpillar model be a better one for employers and employees on a wider scale? Yay or nay?

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