Experts Highlight Employer Strategies to Improve Care Quality, Affordability

Representatives from employers, pharmacy benefit managers, and others discussed methods of improving pharmacy access and affordability in health plans.

Panelists at the 2022 Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2-5, discussed employers’ efforts to improve care quality, equity, and affordability as related to specialty drug management.

Moderated by John O’Brien, PharmD, MPH, president and CEO of the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), the discussion focused on the disconnect and lack of transparency between employers and their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and potential vendors.

As O’Brien pointed out, drug benefits being used now were designed for blood pressure and cholesterol medicines in the 1990s, and not new and often expensive cell and gene therapies.

That benefit landscape “is increasingly being managed by fewer and fewer companies who are integrating vertically and owning a number of different entities in the pharmaceutical supply chain,” he explained, adding these entities can create “perverse incentives.”

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