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Prime Therapeutics Drug Trend Insights Reports One of the Lowest Drug Spending Increases in the Industry
Date:8/24/2011

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Aug. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Even as the costs of brand-name prescription drugs and commercial health care rose sharply in 2010, pharmacy spending at Prime Therapeutics (Prime) and its health plan partners rose just 2.9 percent, one of the smallest increases in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry, according to the company's 2011 Drug Trend Insights report released today.

Prime executives attributed the performance to several factors: industry-leading management of high-cost specialty drugs, which are used to treat complex and chronic conditions; success in encouraging greater use of lower-cost generic medications among members; negotiating improved discounts with drug manufacturers and retail pharmacies; and effective outreach to boost members' adherence to regimens of clinically proven, cost-effective medication. Improved drug adherence is a key strategy for better management of chronic illness, leading to less time in the hospital and lower overall costs for treating such conditions as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.

"For the eighth year in a row we've achieved single-digit trend, and our results are among the best in the industry," said Eric Elliott, Prime's president and chief executive officer. "This year's report provides great validation of our integrated approach and philosophy of transparency. Our tight integration with our health plan owners enables us to focus on improving an individual's total health and saving them money, while ensuring the most appropriate pharmaceutical drug spend."

Prime's core pharmacy spending trend analysis measures average drug payments per member per month. The 2.9 percent overall rise in 2010 compares with industry-reported drug price increases of 6.9 percent and commercial health care cost increases of 8 percent. Nearly half of Prime's trend was driven by specialty drugs. Specialty drug spending grew 12.6 percent and account
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SOURCE Prime Therapeutics
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