Pharmacists continue to play a vital role in helping people manage their chronic and acute medical conditions by educating them on how to properly manage their medications. And the benefits don’t stop there. Did you know pharmacists can also help your employees save money on their prescription medications? The average American spends $1,200 on prescription medications annually, so both employers and employees have a vested interest in finding the most effective, but also the most affordable, medicines. As an employer, we know you want to make informed decisions that will positively impact your business. This includes keeping your employees healthy by providing safe and affordable prescription drug options. One way you can do this is by offering integrated medical and pharmacy coverage to your employees, expanding coverage to your workforce and ultimately helping you see greater value for your business’ health care dollars. Blue Cross also offers a new drug list called the Preferred Drug List, which is available for self-funded groups and large groups. The Preferred Drug List includes medications that have been selected for their clinical effectiveness, safety and maximized savings. Here are some tips to help employees think of their pharmacists as health care consultants.
- Ask about generics: In 2017, brand-name medications cost consumers on average 18 times as much as generics. Generics are tested and approved to have the same effectiveness as brand-name counterparts. Your employees can speak with their pharmacists about generic options that are just as effective and can help them save money in the long run.
- Stay on track with maintenance meds: High drug costs and a lack of understanding about prescriptions are just two of the factors that can prevent employees from taking their medication as prescribed and, in turn, increase their coverage Employees can speak with pharmacists about any barriers they may face with taking medications properly for help identifying solutions that will promote health while saving money. These concrete actions show significant results: 90% of Blue Cross members on specialty medications with combined pharmacy and medical coverage follow their prescribed medication therapy and often see lower prescription costs.
- Explore step therapy options: Step therapy provides employees with access to safe, effective and reasonably priced medications. At the onset, they’re prescribed less expensive meds shown to be effective for others who are managing the same condition. From here, they “step up” to a medication of higher cost if necessary. Pharmacists can educate employees about this money-saving option.
- Talk to a clinical pharmacist: One of the first moves many people make in their medical care is to check online sources about medications for treatment. This can cost them if online sources point to less effective drugs, many of which can take a toll on patients’ wallets. Suggest that employees consult with a clinical pharmacist to ensure the medication they’re taking is safe, appropriate and affordable.
Visit these blogs for more information on how you can help your employees save money and get safe and effective prescription medications:
- Five Things Blue Cross is Doing to Keep Health Care Affordable
- Blue Cross Pharmacy: Striving to Drive Down Drug Costs
- What You Need to Know About Prescription Drug Costs
Image Credit: Tbel Abuseridze