PHARMACY

Survey: Prescription drug trends to increase by double-digits

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2016 will increase for most medical plan options and increase substantially for prescription drug coverage to double-digit rates, according to forecasts compiled in the 2016 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, Segal’s nineteenth annual survey of health plan cost trends. Trend is the forecast of annual gross per capita claims cost increases.

“Whether it is new high-tech surgical or diagnostic procedures replacing lower-cost options, or extremely high-cost specialty biotech drugs growing in popularity, plan sponsors still face significant challenges to manage medical plan cost trends to more sustainable long-term levels,” said Edward Kaplan, National Health Practice Leader at The Segal Group. “Plan sponsors have already put cost-management strategies, such as adding narrower provider networks and using specialty pharmacy management, into place.”

Other prescription drug coverage findings included:

  •     Trend rates for prescription drug coverage are expected to be significantly higher in 2016: 11.3% for carve-out coverage for actives and retirees under age 65 years and 10.9% for retirees ages 65 years and over. Both projections are roughly 3 percentage points greater than projections for 2015.
  •     The projected specialty drug/biotech drug cost trend rate is expected to remain high at 18.9%, but slightly lower than the projection for 2015.
  •     Price inflation for prescription drugs and hospital stays are the overwhelming driver of cost increases, especially for prescription drugs, where trend is approaching double digits (9.8%).

The Segal survey included data from managed care organizations, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and third-party administrators. For complete survey results, click here.

 

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PHARMACY

30-year retail-pharmacy leader joins CARE board

BY Michael Johnsen

LINTHICUM, Md. — CARE Pharmacies Cooperative on Monday named Michael Cantrell to their board of directors to serve a three year term.   
 
“Mike’s experience and insight will be invaluable to CARE as we expand our specialty and managed care initiatives,” said Mike Wysong, CEO, CARE Pharmacies. “We look forward to welcoming him to our leadership team.”
 
With more than 30 years of industry experience, Cantrell is currently VP pharmacy network development for Ateb. Cantrell also held previous leadership positions including SVP retail health for Shopko and VP pharmacy for Delhaize America. 
 
Cantrell also worked at AmerisourceBergen and is a Longs Drugs alumnus. He is known for his expertise in pharmacy operations, managed care, regulatory oversight, pharmacy mail order and central fill operations, community pharmacy marketing and procurement, specialty pharmacy, and state and federal legislative affairs and government relations.
 
For Ateb, Cantrell develops quality-focused provider networks that connect constituents across the care continuum to manage healthcare costs while optimizing patient outcomes. And he employs community pharmacists to deliver that care.
 
Cantrell earned his B.S. Pharmacy from University of Utah; a B.A. in Chemistry from University of No. Colorado; and graduated frome the Executive Management Program for Pharmacy Leaders at the Wharton School of Business. 
 

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FlavoRx, RxNT streamline process of flavoring pediatric meds

BY David Salazar

COLUMBIA, Md. — Software solutions company RxNT and FlavoRx announced Thursday a streamlined way for prescribers and patients to get flavored pediatric medications, potentially boosting adherence. Now prescribers who e-prescribe medication or keep records through RxNT’s eRx or EHR can designate a patient’s preferred medication flavor and communicate it to pharmacists. 

“Allowing patients to choose the taste of their medication can play an important role in pediatric adherence,” FlavoRx CEO Stuart Amos said. “For prescribers that use RxNT’s e-prescribing solution (RxNT|eRx) or its full electronic health record solution (RxNT|EHR), they simply need to click the FLAVORx option on the screen to recommend customizing the taste of medications, which now can be covered by the patients FSA or HSA.”

The move comes as eprescribing is on the rise, with 56% of physicians reporting that the prescribe medications electronically, according to Surescripts’ 2014 National Progress Report. The taste selector and pediatric dosage calculator are core components of RxNT’s solutions. 

“The benefits of ePrescribing are significant for the entire healthcare community, and it is clear ePrescribing is here to stay,” Tom Collinson, EVP Business Development at RxNT, said. “With that in mind, we continue to make enhancements to our solutions that further simplify and streamline the workflow of physicians and their practices.”

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