The cost of prescription drugs — in particular, generics — is increasingly lower when patients purchase the medications directly from online suppliers and leave their insurance cards out of the equation, according to a collaborative effort by the New York Times and ProPublica. The story, linked below, takes a closer look at the whys and implications.
As drug prices have spiraled upward in the past decade, tens of millions of generally law-abiding Americans have committed an illegal act in response: They have bought prescriptions outside the U.S. and imported them.
The number of doctors who each prescribe millions of dollars of medications annually in Medicare’s drug program has soared, driven by expensive hepatitis C treatments and rising drug prices overall, federal data obtained by ProPublica shows. more
by Dr. Franco Mueller
Partner/Medical Director, TFG Partners
We remain a bit skeptical of the studies mentioned in our previous post from KHN. Please look at the study dates, the data is from between 2007 and 2013. Many Pharma companies have boosted the price in the last two years and we are just seeing costs continue to skyrocket. There are more problems facing employers then just orphan drugs in the industry pipeline. The issues go much deeper into the pharmaceutical industry and orphan drugs are just one part of the horizon. more
Rising concerns about spending on prescription drugs that treat rare diseases are not justified, according to a new analysis in the journal Health Affairs.
“We wanted to focus on the true impact of orphan drugs,” said Victoria Divino, a senior consultant at IMS Health and an author of the study. Researchers at IMS Health and drug maker Celgene analyzed U.S. pharmaceutical spending from 2007 to 2013 on more than 300 drugs that had orphan approval under the 1983 Orphan Drug Act. more
We all need to sit down together and talk this one out.
When it comes to the current media storm surrounding the EpiPen and other drugs with rising prices, their are two points of view when it comes to laying blame. In the media, we see fault being assigned to either the drug companies or the insurers. Here are two articles illustrating the opposing viewpoints. more
The Society for Human Resource Management has released their Health Care Benchmarking Report and there are some pretty compelling insights.
The average cost of employee healthcare makes up 7.6% of a company’s annual operating budget.
The average cost per covered employee has increased by nearly $500 in the span of one year
Employers spent an average of $8,669 per covered employee in 2015, compared to $8,171 per employee in the previous fiscal year.“
Almost all employers (98%) now offer healthcare coverage for full-time employees.
Fewer organizations offer spousal coverage and more organizations have a spousal surcharge than in previous years, to help curb costs. As such, 92% of employers offer coverage for the spouses of employees, down from 96% in 2011.
Many expected that the federal health law would push these employers in this direction. An analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute finds evidence that these predictions are coming to fruition.
Instead of buying a health insurance policy to cover their workers, a growing number of small and mid-sized companies are opting to pay their employees’ medical claims directly, a potentially riskier practice financially called self-insuring, a recent study found. more
Two surveys suggest these companies continue to try new ways to control the expense of employees’ coverage.
Big employers expect health costs to continue rising by about 6 percent in 2017, a moderate increase compared with historical trends that nevertheless far outpaces growth in the economy, two new surveys show. Employers are changing tactics to address the trend, slowing the shift to worker cost sharing and instead offering video or telephone links to doctors, scrutinizing specialty-drug costs and steering patients to hospitals with records of lower costs and better results. more