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Columbia University Students Learn About Pharmacy Benefit Management From Prime Therapeutics President and CEO

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- M.B.A. students at Columbia University today heard Prime Therapeutics President and CEO Eric Elliott speak about the history and future of pharmacy benefit management (PBMs). Prime Therapeutics is a pharmacy benefit management company dedicated to providing innovative, clinically-based, cost-effective pharmacy solutions for clients and members.

In a speech titled, "Pharmaceutical Management: Past, Present and Future," Elliott provided an overview of the emergence of pharmacy and PBMs and what the industry should expect in the coming years. Delivered to an audience of graduate students in Columbia's well-known program on public health policy, Elliott's presentation on pharmacy benefit management was part of a series of health system lectures.

Elliott shared several compelling statistics to highlight the impact of pharmaceutical development and how they have permanently altered the health and health care of Americans:

  • Almost half of the increase in life expectancy achieved over the past 15 years in the industrialized world can be attributed to new drugs.
  • In the United States alone, the economic gains from medical innovation are estimated at more than $500 billion per year.

Elliott discussed how PBMs leverage a larger number of members to manage prices, provide less costly medications for patients, and provide greater value for plan sponsors. Elliott also touched on research that found that e-prescribing will help prevent 3.5 million harmful medication errors, and save the federal government $22 billion in drug and medical costs over the next 10 years.

"PBMs have pioneered the use of e-prescribing technology, which provides physicians with clinical and cost information on prescription options, allowing them to better counsel consumers on which medications will be the safest and most affordable choices," said Elliott.

Elliott also discussed how mail service provides lower costs and greater convenience for members and plan sponsors, and the significant opportunity that still remains to save on drug costs through greater use of generic medications.

Prime Therapeutics is a pharmacy benefit management company dedicated to providing innovative, clinically-based, cost-effective pharmacy solutions for clients and members.

Providing pharmacy benefit services nationwide to nearly 17 million covered lives*, its client base includes Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, employer and union groups, and third-party administrators. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Prime Therapeutics is collectively owned by 12 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those Plans. Learn more at

*As of January 1, 2011

SOURCE Prime Therapeutics
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