In two recent articles, we touched on the growing prevalence of high-cost drugs, some with price tags in the thousands and even millions of dollars:
- Drugmakers are raising prices on over 350 unique drugs this month.
- Innovative gene therapies have emerged that cost as much as $3.5 million a dose.
So how do health plans best manage health care spend when faced with the prospect of increasingly expensive pharmacy prices? We asked Dr. Luke Burchard, Medical Director of Avande, MedBen’s medical review partner, for his insights on the subject:
“[…] If prevention or early detection strategies are available, they must be pursued. For example, genetic counseling should be offered to all couples with even a remote family history of genetic diseases. We have seen that with aggressive early-detection strategies for cancer patients (mammography and genetic testing for breast cancer, colonoscopy and genetic screening for colon cancer and Lynch Syndrome), not only can enormous savings be achieved, but more importantly, patient outcomes are improved.”
Burchard also recommended using the most cost-effective drugs, such as those available through MedBen Rx’s comparative effectiveness option:
“[…] Strategies should be developed within health plans to encourage patients to use the most cost-effective providers in their service areas. At Avande, we are evaluating claims from major medical centers that are charging over ten times the wholesale acquisition cost for already expensive drugs. Such profiteering must be exposed and stopped.”
MedBen will be happy to discuss Dr. Burchard’s comments and how they apply to your health plan, as well as proven MedBen Rx solutions to help keep pharmacy costs in check. Just call us at 888-627-8683.