CHICAGO, June 24, 2011 /CHICAGOPRESSRELEASE.COM/ — Identifying successful strategies for specialty pharmacy benefit programs can assist in creating optimal program management, Prime Therapeutics Vice President of Specialty Pharmacy Solutions Elizabeth Mauer and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Senior Director of Clinical Pharmacy Programs Beckie Fenrick told participants at a pre-conference workshop at the 6th Annual Executive Forum on Pharmacy Benefit Management Strategies today.
“Assessing current specialty pharmacy approaches and examining efficient program monitoring and evaluation tools can help improve programs and close gaps,” said Mauer. “Greater competition, new tools for specialty management, improved understanding of the cost/quality equation, a greater focus on patient outcomes and improved coordination across the health care spectrum will all change how we manage specialty benefits in the years ahead.”
Specialty pharmaceuticals treat complex or chronic illnesses and many of these medications are “biologic” drugs, requiring a complex production process. Spending on specialty medications is increasing at twice the rate of the overall drug market, reaching an average annual cost of $32,735 in 2009.(1)
“Understanding the current and future specialty pharmaceutical landscape is a key imperative for payers for which the importance will continue to grow,” said Fenrick. “New innovative medication introductions will bring more competition to the specialty space and appropriate medication management will become more complex. Add to that the regulatory and market changes we will see with health care reform a successful specialty pharmacy management strategy becomes a key factor for payers in the short and long term.”
Mauer and Fenrick also spoke about the forces driving growth of specialty spending and identified the four keys for effective specialty pharmacy management: distribution channel, utilization management, care management and contracting activities.
Delivered to an audience of health plan executives, large self-insured employer executives and other experts within the industry, Mauer and Fenrick’s presentation was the meeting’s only pre-conference workshop.
Prime Therapeutics is a pharmacy benefit management company dedicated to providing innovative, clinically-based, cost-effective pharmacy solutions for clients and members.
Providing pharmacy benefit services nationwide to nearly 17 million covered lives, its client base includes Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, employer and union groups, and third-party administrators. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Prime Therapeutics is collectively owned by 12 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those Plans. Learn more at www.primetherapeutics.com.
(1) Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, PRIME Institute, University of Minnesota, Leigh Purvis, AARP Public Policy Institute, and David J. Gross, AARP Office of Policy and Integration. “Rx Watchdog Report: Drug Prices Continue to Climb Despite Lack of Growth in General Inflation Rate.” Insight on the Issues 36, November 2009. http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/health-care/i36-watchdog.pdf.
SOURCE Prime Therapeutics