This study covered 6 years from 2011 through 2016, and about one million members in four New England states. Based on the last HCCI’s “HEALTH COST AND UTILIZATION REPORT“, published in February 2019, spending on drugs has increased steeply during the last 5 years and represented over 23%* of total health spending in commercial healthcare plans in 2017.
This steep increase is almost entirely due to prices as shown in figure 2 below:
*21%, plus the “administered drugs” part of “Professionals services” (delivered by doctors in their office) minus rebates, which represent just over 10% of the spending, equals 23.3%
This is even more relevant for Brand drugs, as the Report concludes: “Average Price adjusted for service-mix intensity” for brand drugs did more than double over the period under review: $312.21 to $647.80!
Therefore it comes as no surprise that more and more Americans report having difficulty to afford their medications, as shown in the chart below (KFF 2014). This raises concerns about the implications that poor adherence to prescribed dosage may have on health outcomes and longer-term treatment costs.
The problem is now subject to public discussions as illustrated with the drug pricing hearing, on February 26th, 2019, of 7 big Pharma top executives by the senate finance committee. It comes regularly to the front page, the last example being the very vocal controversy between Bernie Sanders and Catalyst’s CEO Patrick McEnany about the price increase of Firdapse, an orphan drug used in the treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, sold at a price tag of up to $375,000 for the annual treatment.
Firdapse is currently available in France at the retail price of 10,908 € for a typical 90-day supply, or about 7 to 8 times cheaper than the US retail price. This represents a potential saving upwards of $80,000 per quarter, before fees and travel expenses.
Important note: calculations made by specialists show that the so much vaunted “rebates” represent only 10% of the list price! So there are no miracles to expect on that side!
CARE2CARE SOLUTIONS TO THIS ESSENTIAL ISSUE
At Care2care, we worked out with US partners a list of dozens of medications, used by millions of Americans, which could generate savings in excess of $10,000 per quarter when bought in France. These drugs are treating diseases like cancers, MS, HCV, and numerous orphan diseases with astoundingly high prices in the US.
These cases affect only a small percentage of insured lives, but have a huge impact on the budget: a 2014 study by Kaiser showed that 3% of the insured represented 30% of the expense and this proportion is likely higher today, since prices of brand drugs have doubled between 2013 and 2017.
Our small network of French doctors in various specialties is ready to review medical files and dialog with patients through our secure platform, to provide aprescription allowing the delivery of the specialty drugs directly to the patient by one of our partner pharmacies.
Your company, or your client companies, are probably confronted with this problem of unaffordable treatments for their workforce.
We will assist the traveler at every step to ensure a safe travel to France and back home.
That’s why our solution is “As easy as… a trip to Paris!”