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Health Experts: Employers Must Take Larger Role to Rein in Rising Drug Costs

Overall health care costs for businesses continue to rise at an unsustainable rate and one of the main drivers is the proliferation of specialty drugs, high-cost medications that treat complex conditions. To address this concern, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s HealthForward initiative convened 28 regional health care purchasers to discuss the impact of these drugs on their health care spend and strategies to ease the financial burden.

Cheryl Larson, vice president of the Midwest Business Group on Health, and Randy Vogenberg, principal for the Institute for Integrated Healthcare, offered insight on how some forward-thinking health purchasers are proactively negotiating the price of medication to ensure specialty drugs are getting to patients who need them. The speakers urged attendees to reach out to their pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and health plans to take a closer look at their contracts and have a dialogue on potential savings for specialty drugs.

Attendees also had the opportunity to share their concerns and strategies for dealing with the increase in specialty drug costs and the pipeline of new drugs that will hit the market in the coming year. This was the fourth educational installment for HealthForward’s cost and access programming, which is focused on supporting regional employers and their employees in navigating the health care system.

For more information on HealthForward, contact Jonathan So.