Prescription drug prices are on the rise. The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found United States spending on prescription drugs in 2014 saw the largest increase since 2001. The nation's pharmacy bill rose to $373.9 billion in 2014 as new, high-cost treatments came to market and manufacturers increased prices on old ones.1 Drug costs were $300.3 billion in 2009; $234 billion in 2004.1
Members who need these critical, high cost drugs may not be able to afford them.
Over the past several years, employers, consumers and public programs have increased use of lower cost but equally effective generic drugs.1 However, higher prices for drug treatments threaten these important savings.
Prime Therapeutics (Prime) recently joined the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP). CSRxP is a project of the National Coalition of Health Care (The Coalition). The Coalition is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving our health care system and keeping it affordable.
Simply put, clients need innovative solutions. Members need affordable medicine.
Keeping medicine affordable is a core focus for Prime. A few examples of our strategies and thought leadership around this issue include:
- Prime's integrated business model has delivered lowest net ingredient costs five years in a row.2
- Prime received the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute’s (PBMI) 2015 Rx Innovation Award in recognition of our innovative “Specialty Drug Watch List,” a tool that helps us prepare well in advance for drug approvals that could have a major impact on payers per member per month costs.3
- Prime saved $30 million for Blue Plan owners and clients on PCSK9 inhibitors in their first few months on the market by using pharmacy benefit management tools to manage appropriate use.
Prime is eager to help lend our expertise to the effort.
Jim DuCharme, president and CEO of Prime Therapeutics said, “We want to work with others to find realistic, market-based drug pricing solutions. We want to find solutions that are in the best interest of members while preserving pharmaceutical innovation and competition in the U.S. health care system.”
What is the National Coalition on Health Care?
The Coalition is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving our health care system and keeping it affordable. It’s the nation’s oldest and broadest health care stakeholder organization and includes more than 80 organizations – representing over 100 million Americans – working for comprehensive health system reform. This group consists of medical societies, businesses, unions, health care providers, faith-based associations, and pension and health funds. It also includes insurers and groups representing consumers, patients, women, minorities and persons with disabilities. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and Association of Health Insurance Plans are founding members. Prime is the only PBM to join the CSRxP.
What is the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing doing?1
The Coalition began the CSRxP to start a national dialogue on the pricing of new high cost drug therapies. CSRxP sponsors events, research, and policy discussions to help key audiences with a stake in the debate on sustainable drug pricing.
To learn more about what CSRxP is doing visit www.csrxp.org and follow on Twitter at @csrxp.
- Medicines Use and Spending Shifts. Report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. https://www.imshealth.com/files/web/IMSH%20Institute/Reports/Medicines_Use_and_Spending_Shifts/Medicine-Spending-and-Growth_1995-2014.pdf
- Coalition website: http://www.csrxp.org/
- Ingredient cost study: http://blog.primetherapeutics.com/blog/connect/managing-drug-costs-starts-with-measuring-them-clearly
- Watch list story: http://blog.primetherapeutics.com/blog/connect/drug-watch-list-debuts-online