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Express Scripts Unveils New Opportunities to Drive Down Healthcare Costs; Presents Five Studies at Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Conference
Date:10/13/2010

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) 2010 Educational Conference taking place in St. Louis this week, Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX) will present research findings that spotlight new opportunities for driving down healthcare costs and providing increased value for health plan sponsors and patients.

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"Our new research identifies a specific set of opportunities for health plan sponsors and their members to reach healthier outcomes and lower costs," said Steven Miller, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Express Scripts. "By turning data into insights, and insights into solutions, Express Scripts continues to lead the industry in making the use of prescription drugs safer and more affordable."  

During the event, George Paz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Express Scripts, will address AMCP leadership and selected honorees at an awards luncheon. In addition, Brian Seiz, vice president of Clinical Services, will discuss electronic prescribing and therapy adherence during conference sessions.

Express Scripts' research includes three studies that support the use of lower-cost prescription drugs in two classes: anti-epileptics and antidepressants.

First is a study of the occurrence of seizures among patients switched between brand and generic anti-epileptic drugs. The study showed no significant relationship between a switch and exacerbation when controlling for important patient characteristics, consistent with earlier research findings. The effect was similar regardless of whether the new agent was a brand or generic anti-epileptic drug.

The company is also presenting two studies on antidepressants. One compares discontinuation rates and healthcare costs between patients starting brand and generic sertraline. Another examines discontinuation rates and costs between patients starting any brand or generic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Conclusions of the antidepressant studies included that the short-term costs of using brand versus generic sertraline were similar, and the costs of using any generic SSRIs and SNRIs were lower. Both studies found that the risks of discontinuation were similar in patients starting either a brand or generic antidepressant.

Express Scripts researchers are also presenting two additional studies at the conference:

  • An analysis of the effect of message framing on patients' decisions related to cost savings opportunities. In the study, patients who received letters that employed an illusion of progress message frame were more likely to choose to save on prescription costs by switching to a lower-cost alternative drug or moving a prescription from a retail pharmacy to home delivery. The principle of illusion of progress proposes that people behave differently the closer they get to an end goal or reward, and that they will accelerate a particular behavior to reach that point faster.
  • A study of a commercially insured cohort of breast cancer patients, describing the use of filgrastim and pegfilgrastim. These agents are used to improve tolerability of chemotherapy regimens. Researchers found that actual use of these agents often deviated from established treatment guidelines, including a substantial number of patients who received concurrent therapy with both agents. These concurrent users received a lower intensity of treatment, but were on therapy for a significantly longer period of time than those on either agent alone.

  • The AMCP 2010 Educational Conference is the largest assembly of pharmacy and healthcare professionals dedicated solely to the issues of managed-care pharmacy. It will highlight myriad activities, initiatives, breakthroughs and partnerships that are shaping the future of managed-care pharmacy. The conference attracts more than 2,500 attendees who are managed healthcare professionals interested in increasing their knowledge of the management and coordination of clinical, pharmacy benefit and pharmaceutical care programs.

    About Express Scripts

    Express Scripts, Inc., one of the largest pharmacy benefit management companies in North America, is leading the way toward creating better health and value for patients through Consumerology®, the advanced application of the behavioral sciences to healthcare. This approach is helping millions of members realize greater healthcare outcomes and lowering cost by assisting in influencing their behavior. Headquartered in St. Louis, Express Scripts provides integrated PBM services including network-pharmacy claims processing, home delivery services, specialty benefit management, benefit-design consultation, drug-utilization review, formulary management, and medical and drug data analysis services. The company also distributes a full range of biopharmaceutical products and provides extensive cost-management and patient-care services. More information can be found at http://www.express-scripts.com and http://www.consumerology.com. Media Contact: Julie Adelsberger314.996.0991jcadelsberger@express-scripts.com
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    SOURCE Express Scripts, Inc.
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