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Express Scripts Pharmacy Cost Trends Lowest in Over a Decade
Date:4/20/2009

$42 Billion Savings Opportunity Still Remains for Nation

ST. LOUIS, April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In the midst of the financial crisis and skyrocketing healthcare costs, greater use of generic drugs and lower-cost brand drugs led to a record-low spending trend for 2008 according to data from Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX), one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefit managers. Overall pharmacy cost trend for Express Scripts clients was 3.0 percent for 2008, down 2.5 percentage points from 5.5 percent for 2007. The findings were calculated by evaluating total prescription costs for traditional drugs and specialty drugs, including patient copayments and payments by plan sponsors, which include employers, health plans and labor unions.

"Using generic drugs that are safe and effective can help lower costs while still driving value for patients and employers," said Steven Miller, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Express Scripts. "Our results indicate that cost control is achievable through careful management of appropriate use of drugs and delivery channels, without shifting costs to consumers. Although the trend is the lowest it has been in over a decade, significant opportunity to lower spending still exists."

The research shows that failure to make prescription drug choices that take full advantage of clinically appropriate, lower-cost alternatives to more expensive brand drugs cost Americans approximately $42 billion in 2008. This estimate is based upon potential savings for the total U.S. population in only 13 drug-therapy classes. Researchers calculated the $42 billion estimate by using a commercially insured group of 3,000,000 people to extrapolate savings for the U.S. commercially insured population (see Table 1 below). These figures were then applied to oth
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SOURCE Express Scripts, Inc.
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