Mercer | Specialty Pharmacy Costs

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Mercer announces new innovative approach to help contain specialty pharmacy costs

  • October 5, 2016
  • United States, New York

Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), is launching an innovative solution to address one of the fastest growing healthcare cost drivers today: specialty pharmacy costs.1 Through alliances with Envolve Pharmacy Solutions and Magellan Rx Management, Mercer is bringing a new strategic approach to this area of healthcare that is among the biggest areas of concern for employers.2 

The Mercer specialty pharmacy solution provides a number of benefits for employers, employees and their families including:

  • Highly competitive pricing

  • Targeted clinical management options

  • Patient assistance program facilitation; and

  • Access to limited distribution drugs 

“We are very excited to bring this innovative solution to our clients to help them provide specialty medications to their employees and families in a more affordable way,” said Mercer’s David Dross, Managed Pharmacy Practice Leader. “We believe that this new approach provides an important addition to plan sponsors in managing the complex and rapidly changing specialty pharmacy space.” 

This launch of these alliances comes at a critical time as specialty medications represent 35-40% or more of pharmacy-related costs for employers despite treating just 1-2% of members.3 While specialty biotech medications are therapeutic breakthroughs for chronic disease conditions like Hepatitis C and Multiple Sclerosis, they come with a hefty price tag, costing as much as $80,000 or more per treatment.  For the entire US healthcare market, specialty medication spending has nearly doubled since 2011, reaching more than $150 billion (see Figure 1). 

Both Envolve Pharmacy Solutions and Magellan Rx Management have been managing millions of patients on behalf of health plans for many years and specialize in the complexities of working with providers, health plans, Pharmacy Benefit Managers and other stakeholders. 

“As an organization with a long history of putting patient care first, we are thrilled with the opportunity to deliver a specialty-focused drug solution in collaboration with Mercer,” said Don Howard, CEO of Envolve Pharmacy Solutions. “We work hard every day to ensure our technology, people and patient services are carefully aligned to improve the outcomes of individuals living with complex conditions.” 

“This opportunity with Mercer allows us to bring our thought-leading expertise in specialty pharmacy, which we have been delivering to health plans for more than 14 years, to the employer market,” said Matt Ward, senior vice president and general manager of Magellan Rx Management’s employer division. “We expect this alliance with Mercer to reshape how employers manage costly and complex specialty medications and look forward to working with even more plan sponsors to help improve savings and care.” 

1 Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, 2015

2 PBMI 2015-2016 Prescription Drug Benefit Cost and Plan Design Report

3 IMS Health 2015 Report of Use of Drugs in the US 

About Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and careers of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 140 countries.  Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue of $13 billion and 60,000 colleagues worldwide, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer

About Envolve Pharmacy Solutions

Envolve Pharmacy Solutions™ provides unified drug management that includes integrated pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy under the AcariaHealth brand, and medication delivery services. Headquartered in Orlando, FL, Envolve Pharmacy Solutions manages pharmacy and medical benefits, with the ability to predict costs and eliminate financial risk, all under customized and flexible programs, with full clinical, operational and financial visibility. AcariaHealth, an Envolve Solution, is a leading specialty pharmacy focused on improving care and outcomes for patients living with complex conditions, including: cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, hepatitis C, infertility, multiple sclerosis, oncology and rheumatoid arthritis. To learn more, visit www.envolverx.com and www.acariahealth.com

About Magellan Rx Management

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Magellan Health, Inc. is a leader in managing the fastest growing, most complex areas of health, including special populations, complete pharmacy benefits and other specialty areas of healthcare. Magellan Rx Management is a full-service PBM that specializes in solving complex pharmacy challenges for its customers by developing and executing smart solutions that leverage industry-leading experience and technology to exceed expectations across the employer, third-party administrator, broker, managed care, government, Medicaid and Medicare Part D lines of business. As a pioneer in medical specialty pharmacy management and a leader in best-in-class formulary optimization programs, Magellan Rx Management delivers consistent, proven cost savings. As clinical experts, Magellan Rx Management delivers customized programs to address clients' most pressing clinical challenges, drive Star Ratings improvements and engage patients and providers to deliver improved health outcomes. For more information visit www.MagellanHealth.com 

Figure 1: Spending on specialty medications has nearly doubled since 2011

 

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